CLINICAL, ruthless, scintillating – just three of many words to describe Arsenal’s performance against Lens.
It was a joy to watch the Gunners in full flow and it looked like everything they had been practising on the training pitch finally came to fruition.
In the first half especially, Arsenal looked dangerous every time they went forward and scored in a variety of ways – solo goals, patient build-up, counter-attacks, a late penalty.
There were also six different scorers, adding further variety to the attacking play.
There was too, of course, a clean sheet.
Gabriel celebrated a late clearance like it was a hat-trick, showing just how vital it was to stay tight at the back.
While Lens were not the biggest test Arsenal will face this season, the 2-1 defeat in October will still have been fresh in the mind.
And perhaps that’s indicative of how much Arsenal continue to improve.
The trip to France that day was lacklustre and error-strewn.
Wednesday’s performance was the exact opposite and job done with a game to spare in terms of knockout qualification.
After the game, Arteta kept a clear focus on the weekend’s match against Wolves, but a 6-0 win in Europe is quite some statement, and one that will have other teams looking over their shoulders when the last-16 draw is made.
Superb Saka shows his star boy credentials
The Champions League is quickly becoming Bukayo Saka’s own.
He now has the most goal involvements in this season’s competition (7), ahead of the likes of Harry Kane, Robert Lewandowski and, well, everyone.
That includes four assists and three goals – tallies he added to against Lens.
Saka is the third player on record (2003-04 onwards) to both score and assist in three consecutive home games in the competition and the first English player to assist three or more goals in a single Champions League season for Arsenal.
In the game itself, he had the highest xG of any of the starting XI (0.6), created the second most chances (2), as well as contributing with the joint-highest number of tackles (4) and most won (3).
It all comes on the fifth anniversary of his Arsenal debut, also coming in Europe, and a timely reminder of the remarkable rise of one of the continent’s most talented youngsters. — Skysports.