UCL 2023/24: Arsenal win their first match since returning to Europe after 2016

Arsenal

Last season’s Premier League runners-up Arsenal kicked off their first UEFA Champions League season since 2016/17 in style as they defeated Dutch side PSV Eindhoven by 4-0 in front of home supporters. The Gunners had Eindhoven in the palm of their hands and dominated the game throughout the 90 minutes.

The Emirates Stadium witnessed its first UCL game after a very long time and in context, Arsenal played and won their first game in Europe after 2388 days. Arsenal’s starting line-up might have looked a bit inexperienced because as many as 8 players in the team were making their UEFA Champions League debut.

Goalkeeper David Raya, Defenders Ben White, William Saliba & Gabriel, Midfielders Martin Odegaard & Delan Rice and Forwards Bukayo Saka & Leandro Trossard all made their respective debuts last night. Kai Havertz, Oleksander Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus were the only 3 players from Arsenal’s starting 11 to have played a UCL final back in 2021 when Chelsea defeated Man City by 1-0 at Porto.

If we talk about the game then it did not take Arsenal much longer to open the scoring. Their star number 7 Bukayo Saka netted the first goal as he turned in a rebound shot from Martin Odegaard in the 8th minute. He will be delighted to have scored on his UCL debut.

12 minutes later, another debutant found the back of the net. Belgian forward Leandro Trossard doubled Arsenal’s lead, finishing off a wonderful move that started from the defense. Ben White found Gabriel Jesus in the midfield who ran a few metres before passing to Saka in the left-wing.

Saka then layed it off for Trossard who was waiting for the ball in the middle. The Belgian calmly struck towards the bottom right-corner to make it 2-0 before the half-hour mark. Former City number 9 Gabriel Jesus tripled the Gunners’ lead in the 38th minute through a fantastic shot from the right side of penalty box.

The match was already done dusted in the 1st half and Martin Odegaard put the final nail in the coffin in the 70th minute through a left-footed drive from outside of the box.

This win would give them a lot of confidence ahead of this weekend’s London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.