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Five talking points as Arsenal thrash PSV 4-0
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Danny Ryan at the Emirates
Leandro Trossard scored for Arsenal for the second match in a row
Leandro Trossard scored for Arsenal for the second match in a row

Arsenal kickstarted their Champions League campaign with a 4-0 thumping of PSV Eindhoven.

Bukayo Saka opened the scoring in the eighth minute before Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus also netted in a dominant first-half display.

Captain Martin Odegaard added a fourth from distance after the break to put the icing on the cake.

Here are five talking points from a memorable night for the Gunners. 


Emirates rocking

The atmosphere before kick-off at the Emirates was electrifying.

Accompanied by a spine-tingling pre-match light show, the roars from the crowd were as loud as ever as supporters welcomed back Champions League football.

The last time the North Londoners played in Europe's top competition was March 2017, when they were thrashed 5-1 by Bayern Munich. 

Mikel Arteta said before the game he was "proud and excited" to manage on club football's biggest stage for the first time — and his team did him proud.

It was a big night for Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal side
It was a big night for Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal side

Trossard delivers

For the second match in a row, Trossard stepped up in Gabriel Martinelli's absence.

The Belgian winger scored a brilliant winner off the bench against Everton last Sunday and followed that up with a goal, an assist, and a superb all-round display up against PSV right-back Jordan Teze.

His 20th-minute strike was a marvellous first-time finish from Saka's pass after moving into a central position, while the lofted cross to tee up Jesus was inch-perfect. 

Martinelli may not walk straight back into Arteta's starting team when he returns from the hamstring injury he suffered at Goodison Park.

Havertz conundrum

Kai Havertz was reinstated to Arsenal's XI at Fabio Vieira's expense and failed to stamp his authority on the game while others around him shone.

The German linked up well with Trossard on a few occasions and was tidy in possession but still looked a little short of confidence — even when deployed as the No9 late in the game.

He had a glorious chance to open his scoring account in the first half, too, only to see his shot fly over the crossbar after some fantastic work from Jesus.

The Havertz question is one Arteta still needs to answer ahead of Sunday's North London derby.

Kai Havertz is yet to score for Arsenal since joining from Chelsea
Kai Havertz is yet to score for Arsenal since joining from Chelsea

Dependable David

David Raya was selected over Aaron Ramsdale in goal for the second game running and put in another astute display.

The Spaniard was typically composed with the ball at his feet and pulled off a few smart saves when PSV hit the hosts on the counter.

Raya also dealt brilliantly with crosses on a very slippery surface at a rain-soaked Emirates.

Ramsdale was a key figure in the Gunners qualifying for the Champions League last season but he now faces a battle to win back the No1 jersey.


Tougher tests to come

While victory by a four-goal margin is cause for celebration, Arsenal and Arteta will know tougher opposition lie ahead in the Champions League.

PSV's high defensive line played into the Gunners' hands and their array of quality forwards took full advantage.

However, the visitors also looked threatening on the break with the pace of wingers Noa Lang and Johan Bakayoko — and the amount of space Arsenal offered in midfield at times with Declan Rice as the lone No6 should concern the manager.

Against the likes of Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, that frailty will be exploited.


Champions LeagueArsenalPremier LeaguePSV EindhovenEredivisie
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