Arsenal cruised to a 4-0 home victory against PSV Wednesday in Champions League play. The match was the north London club’s first top European match in over six years. Although many wondered how the Gunners would handle the pressure, they certainly looked confident on the night.
Much of the pregame talk surrounded which goalkeeper Mikel Arteta would pick for Arsenal’s Champions League return. The Spanish manager went on to select David Raya between the sticks, his second consecutive start for his new club. Aaron Ramsdale previously started 52 straight Premier League matches for the Gunners.
On the other side, USMNT star Sergiño Dest started the match for the visitors. Dest’s international teammates Ricardo Pepi and Malik Tillman, however, would be relegated to the bench by PSV head coach Peter Bosz.
Arsenal returns to Champions League with goal surge against PSV
The Gunners may have faced a lengthy spell away from the Champions League, but they only had to wait eight minutes for their first goal on the night. Club captain Martin Odegaard initially sent in a curling shot towards goal, which was saved by Walter Benitez. However, the PSV shot-stopper could not collect the shot and the ball fell straight to Bukayo Saka. The England international then slotted his shot into the open net from short range to give Arsenal the early lead.
Leandro Trossard doubled Arsenal’s lead in the 20th minute with a fantastic finish. Gabriel Jesus initially began the move with a clever run towards the PSV area. The Brazilian striker then shifted the ball off to Saka out on the right flank. Saka collected the pass and found Trossard near the edge of the 18-yard box. The forward then struck a first-time shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Jesus grabbed a goal of his own 18 minutes later. Trossard instead supplied the goal with a lofted pass over the PSV backline to his Brazilian teammate. The striker collected the ball and sent an arrowing shot into the far corner of the goal. Trossard knew Jesus would score, as the Belgian raised his arms in celebrations before the striker even took the shot.
Odegaard puts finishing touches on visitors
The two teams eventually seemed to settle down a bit following the halftime break. Both clubs did have a few decent chances in the opening 20 minutes or so of the second period but could not capitalize on the opportunities. Jesus came the closest player to score during this timeframe after receiving a clever pass from Kai Havertz. Nevertheless, the Brazilian could not find the target.
However, the Gunners grabbed yet another goal in the 71st minute thanks to a long-range effort from Odegaard. Second-half substitutes Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson combined to help create the fourth goal of the night. The latter attacker picked out Odegaard free outside of the box. The midfielder then scored with a powerful strike from distance.
Arsenal will look to take some momentum to the North London Derby against rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend. PSV, on the other hand, will try to bounce back when they face Almere in Eredivisie play on Saturday.
PHOTO: IMAGO & PA Images
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