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Five talking points from Arsenal 6-0 Lens
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Mitchell Fretton at the Emirates
Gabriel Jesus got in on the action as Arsenal hammered Lens
Gabriel Jesus got in on the action as Arsenal hammered Lens

Arsenal ran riot in the Champions League on Wednesday night with six different players getting on the scoresheet in a 6-0 thrashing of Lens.

Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard and Jorginho all netted as the Gunners guaranteed top spot in Group B.

Here are five talking points from a chilly November night in North London.

Top of the pops

PSV Eindhoven's late winner at Sevilla denied Arsenal's immediate qualification to the knockout stages but those inside the Emirates knew a win against Lens would guarantee them top spot.

The crowd were up for the challenge and 60,000 Gooners ramped up the atmosphere with a deafening rendition of 'North London Forever' ahead of kick-off.

A spectacular lights show accompanied the iconic chant before the players were met with an ear-splitting cheer as they emerged from the tunnel.

Nine of the 11 who started at Brentford in the Premier League retained their place for the visit of the French side and the biggest applause at the start of the night was reserved for Saturday's match winner Havertz.

All guns blazing

Captain Martin Odegaard was on hand to bag Arsenal's fifth against Lens
Captain Martin Odegaard was on hand to bag Arsenal's fifth against Lens

If Lens had any plans of causing an upset in the capital, they were quickly forgotten.

Mikel Arteta's men were dominant from the first whistle and their five-goal cushion at half-time was no less than they deserved.

Arsenal's high press — which has given them so much success under the Spaniard — was flawless and every attacking wave had spectators off their seats in anticipation as the boss watched on in a relaxed manner from the sidelines.

Even at 5-0, the Gunners looked hungry for more, which is representative of Arteta's aggressive methods designed to leave his opponents down-trodden and void of any confidence.

King Kai

After earning praise from his manager at the weekend, all eyes were on Havertz again as the German looked to continue his good form in front of goal.

And the former Chelsea man had one of his best matches in an Arsenal shirt, showing shades of the player that prompted the Blues to pay £71million for him back in 2020.

Things may not have worked out perfectly for the 24-year-old since moving to England but he did prove he can be a dominant force on the pitch with his performance against Lens.

Havertz did enough to poke his effort past the goalkeeper for the opener in North London and his dangerous driving runs from midfield were enough to earn him a standing ovation at the end of the night.

Lacklustre Lens

Lens struggled to deal with Arsenal's attacking threat
Lens struggled to deal with Arsenal's attacking threat

Although they were extremely outmatched on paper, Lens will be disappointed to have put in such a timid display.

The Ligue 1 outfit proved they could compete with the Premier League leaders in the reverse fixture but offered next to nothing in the final third at the Emirates.

No9 Elye Wahi showed flashes of brilliance on the counter-attack and his electric pace seemed to trouble William Saliba at first, but the Frenchman's lack of physicality gave the Gunners defender the edge more often than not.

Aside from an audacious effort that hit the post in the first half, Lens lacked any significant threat in the final third and see their knockout hopes ended as a result.

Rest and recovery

Arsenal's dominant performance gave Arteta the luxury of being able to withdraw some of his key players in the second half.

Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu were both withdrawn at half-time to give Ben White and Jakub Kiwior some minutes and it would not be long before the big names were hooked as well.

Saka, Declan Rice and Jesus were likely wrapped in cotton wool when they departed with a packed schedule looming for the Gunners.

All in all, it was the perfect night for Arsenal who proved once again that they have the credentials to compete for Europe's biggest and most prestigious trophies.


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