- Arsenal made sure they put on a full show at the Emirates before kick-off
- Oleksandr Zinchenko featured in a more traditional wing-back against PSV
- Listen to the latest episode of the Mail Sport podcast It all starts!
Arsenal made a dream return to the Champions League after a six-and-a-half year absence by beating PSV 4-0.
First-half goals from Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus were supplemented by a sumptuous strike from Martin Odegaard after the break.
It was a display of speed, strength and football intelligence from the Gunners, although their Eredivisie opposition offered little resistance.
But there are even more things you may not have realized about this encounter.
Isaan Khan writes about six points that may have gone unnoticed.
Martin Odegaard produced a stunning performance to lead Arsenal to a 4-0 win over PSV
Rehearsals for the Arsenal theme song
The Emirates Stadium could not wait a minute sooner for the return of Champions League football after a six-year absence.
Rehearsals of the competition’s theme song could be heard from stadium speakers on the main road outside until two hours before kick-off.
You couldn’t blame them. The noise inside was also further increased compared to nights like this being really missed.
A history-inspired light show in the Emirates
Ten minutes before kick-off, the North London club had put on a light show. On the screen were fragments of yesteryear; from Dennis Bergkamp’s wonder goal against Newcastle to the heroics of Thierry Henry and Ian Wright.
The clips were interspersed by a narrator, one line of which aptly read: ‘We must be dominant, we must show aggression’.
It was almost a memory of such a big evening.
Aaron Ramsdale and David Raya exchange a hug
Aaron Ramsdale and David Raya were seen together during the warm-up, with the former helping his teammate prepare, including a big hug. There was no awkwardness between the two, but one had to consider the dire situation created by Mikel Arteta dropping Ramsdale two games in a row.
To put yourself in the England goalkeeper’s shoes…
David Raya and Aaron Ramsdale exchanged a hug despite the selection battle
Oleksandr Zinchenko plays a typical left back role
Oleksandr Zinchenko is known for his modern inverted role, in which he enters midfield from left back. Today he still made those forays forward, but was seen closer to the touchline in a role typical of a left back.
He followed the order well, but it was no surprise that he left after 58 minutes. The endurance required was certainly taxing.
The PSV goalkeeper develops a mood
After 30 minutes, there were nine shots on target and six on target registered by Arsenal. The noisy group of PSV fans living away from home had become silent. But not goalkeeper Walter Benitez, who became increasingly angry about his defense after each goal.
He has lately become accustomed to goals flying in at the other end. PSV scored eight times in the previous two matches and conceded zero.
Almost 2,400 days passed between Arsenal’s last Champions League goal and Saka’s
A long old wait between Champions League goals…
Bukayo Saka’s goal was the Gunners’ first in the competition since a Theo Walcott strike against Bayern Munich in March 2017 – 2,388 days ago. Tonight was also Saka’s Champions League debut.