Arsenal surged into the Champions League round of 16 as Group B victors following an explosive display that saw them trounce Lens 6-0 with a flurry of four goals within 14 minutes. Mikel Arteta’s squad secured their place in the knockout stages with a dominant performance, showcasing their superiority over Lens, who struggled to keep up on a chilly night at the Emirates Stadium.
Goals from Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, and Gabriel Martinelli arrived in the opening 27 minutes, with Martin Odegaard adding a fifth just before halftime. Jorginho sealed their resounding victory with a late penalty, marking Arsenal’s most significant win of the season.
Leading the group with a four-point gap over PSV Eindhoven, the Gunners are assured of finishing in first place, granting them a home advantage in the round of 16 second leg.
Arteta, aiming to make a mark in European competitions, acknowledged the challenge ahead in his debut Champions League campaign as a manager. Despite steering Arsenal back into the Champions League after a seven-year absence, his pursuit of European silverware remains unfulfilled since reaching the 2021 Europa League semi-finals.
This commanding performance signifies Arteta’s ambitions, with Arsenal displaying strength by winning four out of five group games, positioning themselves as contenders for their inaugural Champions League title. Sitting atop the Premier League, Arsenal looks poised for an exhilarating season.
Meanwhile, Lens suffered a dismal night, marked by their elimination and fan disturbances that included throwing flares towards the Arsenal section and launching objects onto the pitch aimed at the Gunners’ players.
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