In accordance with the prevailing weather conditions, our team’s goals flowed against our opponents, putting us in a commanding three-goal lead by halftime, thanks to the strikes from our front trio: Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, and Gabriel Jesus.
Captain Martin Odegaard joined the scoring frenzy after the halftime break with a trademark finish, contributing to our scoreline that accurately mirrored our exceptional performance and was perfectly suited to the occasion.
A Remarkable Beginning:
After a hiatus of six years from competing in the competition, we wasted no time in reasserting our dominance, emerging with full force and rapidly constructing a substantial lead.
Merely eight minutes into the match, Saka adeptly navigated down the right flank and located Odegaard, who had an abundance of time and space to prepare a shot. Walter Benitez managed to parry it, but Saka, the England international, calmly slotted in the rebound, marking his maiden European goal at Emirates Stadium.
Shortly thereafter, Jesus came agonizingly close to converting a cross from Ben White, and in the 18th minute, Benitez spilled another low shot from Odegaard, although this time he managed to regain control.
However, only a minute later, Benitez was once again retrieving the ball from his net. Jesus seized upon the hesitancy in the visiting defense, initiating a counter-attack and finding Saka, who, with time at his disposal, advanced toward the penalty area. Saka’s pinpoint pass enabled Trossard to dispatch the ball past Benitez, marking consecutive games with a goal for the latter.
Gabriel’s Third Goal:
Our offensive onslaught continued, with Jesus twice forcing the PSV goalkeeper into saves within a single minute. Initially, he drove the ball at the shot-stopper from an angle, and subsequently, after showcasing some deft footwork, he had a sight of goal. Unfortunately, his shot aimed for the top corner was expertly tipped over. Gabriel then misjudged a header from the resulting corner despite being well-placed.
Desperate for a response, the visitors struggled to regain a foothold in the game. Only a wayward Johan Bakayoko attempt and a header by Armel Bella-Kotchap from a corner provided any genuine cause for concern. Peter Bosz’s team witnessed their chances of achieving a positive result diminish further when the third goal arrived in the 38th minute.
A precise pass from Gabriel sent Trossard sprinting down the left flank. Trossard’s chipped cross to the back post found Jesus in perfect sync, showcasing excellent control with his initial touch before powerfully hammering the ball past a helpless Benitez, effectively sealing the contest.
Captain’s Noteworthy Contribution:
The halftime interval arrived at an opportune moment for the Dutch side, who were struggling to match our pace. Following the break, we lost some of our attacking momentum and rhythm. Jesus narrowly missed the target after a well-executed play involving Reiss Nelson and Kai Havertz. Nevertheless, in the 70th minute, we rediscovered our scoring touch.
Havertz initiated a break, and the ball traversed through substitutes Emile Smith Rowe and Nelson before reaching Odegaard. Once again, the Norwegian had acres of space to select his target and executed flawlessly from 20 yards out, rightfully earning a goal that was a testament to his outstanding performance.
Our dominance persisted, with David Raya rarely called into action. While we were unable to add to our tally in the final 20 minutes, Mikel Arteta’s debut as a Champions League manager would be a cherished memory.
Notable Facts and Statistics:
With goals from Saka, Trossard, Jesus, and Odegaard, we became only the seventh team to have four different players score on their Champions League debut for the club in a single match.
Saka scored his inaugural goal in European competition at the Emirates Stadium in his 11th such appearance.
This marked the first instance in which we scored three goals in the opening half of a Champions League match since December 2014 against Galatasaray.
Odegaard has scored four goals from outside the box in all competitions for Premier League clubs since the commencement of the last season, second only to Kevin De Bruyne (7).
What’s on the Horizon:
Our next challenge awaits us in the Premier League as we face Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday in the first derby of the campaign, a highly anticipated encounter. Following that, our attention will shift to the Carabao Cup next Wednesday, where we will travel to Brentford for our third-round tie.