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UCL : Gunners Off To Flying Start On Their Champions League Return

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Arsenal  are back in the Champions League and they’re back with the profoundest of bangs.

In the end it was four. It should have been at least double that as the Gunners ruthlessly reacquainted themselves with European football’s elite club tournament with this efficient dismantling of PSV Eindhoven.

This was Arsenal’s first venture back into the Champions League since 2016. Boy did they make up for lost time.

fter the long hiatus, you’d forgive supporters for simply being grateful at being back in the big time.

On this evidence – that would be selling themselves short. If this awesome showing is anything to go by then Arsenal will go long into this tournament.

The Champions League anthem was greeted with a euphoric roar from the Emirates faithful. The club even printed the lyrics to the unmistakable hymn in the match-day programme. How they’ve missed these nights.It was a beautiful night after such a long time,’ said head coach Mikel Arteta, who once again started David Raya ahead of long-term No 1 Aaron Ramsdale.

‘It was great to hear the Champions League music – we were emotional. I was emotional – but we managed to take the emotion out of it. We were exceptional tonight.’

There was a poignance about the opening goalscorer; Bukayo Saka – the one player who best represents Arsenal’s formidable transformation under Arteta.

Arsenal’s undisputed ‘starboy’; Saka’s already achieved so much. But this was a night he has longed for. Dreamt of.

To hear the anthem. To feel the anticipation. And here he was, on his Champions League debut, taking it all in his stride with a stylish swagger.

Everytime Saka has been asked to step up a level he has found the answers. What a player the 22-year-old is.

The goal was relatively straightforward, Saka stroking past Walter Benitez who parried Martin Odegaard’s effort into the Arsenal forward’s direction.

The stadium erupted. It’s been a long six-and-a-half years. The last player to score a Champions League goal for the club was Theo Walcott. He retired in the summer.


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