Arsenal 4-0 PSV: Domination. Efficiency. Class
Final Result: Arsenal 4-0 PSC (Saka 8′, Trossard 20′, Jesus 38′, Odegaard 70′)
Arsenal XI (4-3-3): Raya; Zinchenko (Tomiyasu 58′), Saliba, Gabriel, White; Rice (Jorginho 76′), Havertz, Odegaard; Saka (Vieira 69′), Jesus (Smith Rowe 69′), Trossard (Nelson 58′)
The occasion was set and Arsenal geared themselves up for their first Champions League appearance in six-and-a-half years and it was totally worth it.
Arsenal didn’t waste time to assert their dominance in the game when Martin Odegaard blasted a shot, which was saved by Benitez before Bukayo Saka smashed home the rebound, sending the Emirates to raptures. Arsenal didn’t take their foot off the pedal and almost made it two when Ben White fired in a cutback which was missed by Gabriel Jesus.
PSV tried to mount a comeback when Bakayoko almost won a penalty when his cross hit Oleksandr Zinchenko’s leg before clipping off his arm. After a few checks, it was chalked off.
Arsenal continued the push to put the game beyond doubt with Odegaard firing a one-time shot after receiving the ball from Leandro Trossard but Benitez made a good save and smothered the ball on the second attempt with Jesus on the prowl. However, Arsenal got the goal their attacking okay deserved when Gabriel Jesus won a loose ball in midfield and teed up Saka that saw Trossard on the edge of the box, threaded a neat pass to him and the Belgian maverick side-footed the ball home.
Arsenal didn’t take their foot off the gas and more intricate play from Jesus and Odegaard saw the Norwegian maestro tee up Kai Havertz but his shot went over the bar. Gabriel made a rare foray forward and nodded the ball to the side netting.
Two goals became three when Trossard went in behind the defense to reach a Gabriel pass, saw Jesus in the far post and dinked the ball to his direction. Jesus controlled the ball superbly with his first touch before smashing it in with his second.
The second half saw the Gunners control the game better and with the North London Derby in mind, Arteta started making expected changes, taking out the likes of Saka, Zinchenko, Jesus, Trossard and Declan Rice for Reiss Nelson, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Emile Smith Rowe, Fabio Vieira and Jorginho. It was going to see these players get some game time and try to prove their worth to the team.
This happened, as two substitutes combined to put the icing on a well-baked cake. Smith Rowe and Nelson worked in tandem before feeding Odegaard. The captain shimmied past a marker before blasting the ball pass Benitez to make it four.
This was an amazing performance for the team and there were no injury concerns with the Gunners having everyone ready for what will be a pulsating encounter with Tottenham.
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