Mikel Arteta paid tribute to the understated performance of Kai Havertz on an evening where more lauded Arsenal favourites stole most of the headlines.
The German, who joined Arsenal from Chelsea for £65million in the summer, finally looked at home in the Gunners' midfield as they demolished PSV 4-0.
It was a retort to the detractors who have ripped into his passing and spatial awareness since making the move to the Emirates Stadium.
Part-way through the night, Arteta moved Havertz from the left of the midfield three into the centre and he adjusted seamlessly, also proving instrumental in the build-up to their fourth goal.
'Yeah, he [Havertz] was really connected today in the game,' said Arsenal's manager after the game.
'It's true I asked him to play two different roles in regards to the behaviours of the opponents and he's so intelligent that he does it. It's just finishing one or two actions that we had but it's coming and he's so willing to do it.'
The match marked a reward for Arsenal's toil to return to the competition since they experienced it last in March 2017, and Arteta admitted it had been an emotional journey getting back into the European big time.
He said: 'It was a beautiful night after such a long time.
'Everyone was getting a bit emotional before it. I was [emotional[, yeah. I was really excited about it. I wanted to control and not show that too much, but I was really excited.
'The journey started last year when we earned the right to be in this competition which is where we have to be as a club. Now we have to produce what we have to produce to stay at this level.
Like any journey in football, there have been sacrifices along the way.
Arteta spoke of the pain of having to leave players out - the public willRead on m.allfootballapp.com