Arsenal had a night to remember (Nigel French/PA)
Arsenal enjoyed a fine return to the Champions League as they cruised past PSV Eindhoven at the Emirates Stadium.
Six years of absence were soon brushed to one side – as were PSV – as a scintillating attacking display saw Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard score in a dominant 4-0 win.
The club’s hiatus from the top table of European football was so long someone felt it necessary to print the words to the Champions League anthem in the matchday programme and Arsenal’s players were certainly singing from the same hymn sheet.
Bukayo Saka got Arsenal off to a flying start (Nigel French/PA)
Mohamed Elneny, back on the bench for the first time since a serious knee injury in January, was the only member of the current crop to have experienced Champions League football in an Arsenal shirt.
It did not take any of the tournament debutants long to make their mark on a new stage, however, as Saka struck inside eight minutes before Trossard doubled the lead, Jesus added a third before the break and Odegaard capped off a fine evening.
David Raya retained his place in the Arsenal goal having replaced Aaron Ramsdale for Sunday’s Premier League win at Everton.
Kai Havertz and Jesus came in for Fabio Vieira and Eddie Nketiah while Trossard deputised for the injured Gabriel Martinelli.
Gabriel Jesus got in on the act (Nigel French/PA)
Saka set the tone for the evening, the England winger finishing after PSV goalkeeper Walter Benitez pushed an Odegaard shot into his path.
Jesus should have doubled the lead moments later but could not make contact on Ben White’s low cross but the second came soon after as the Brazil forward led a counter-attack and played inRead on belfasttelegraph.co.uk