10 impressive stats from Arsenal’s sensational return to the Champions League
Arsenal made their long-awaited return to the Champions League in style by blowing away PSV with an impressive 4-0 victory at the Emirates.
It’s been six long years since the Gunners were last in Europe’s most prestigious cup competition, which made a stark contrast to the 19 successive years they spent in it under Arsene Wenger’s reign.
Having finished runners-up to Manchester City in the Premier League last season, this young and hungry Arsenal side look resurgent and ready to pit their wits against Europe’s elite.
Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard all scored as Arsenal outclassed the Eredivisie table-toppers, who came into this contest off the back of a 100% winning record in the Dutch top flight.
“We enjoyed it. From the first minute we went for it. We were really good in both boxes and in the Champions League when you are really good in both boxes you have a chance,” Mikel Arteta told TNT Sports in his post-match interview.
“In between the boxes there are things to improve but inside the boxes we were phenomenal.”
Here are 10 impressive stats from Arsenal’s big win over PSV:
– Each member of Arsenal’s front three found themselves on the scoresheet, while Saka and Trossard also registered assists.
– This was the first time in Arsenal’s history that two players have scored on their Champions League debuts in the same game (Saka and Trossard).
– The scoreline was reflective of Arsenal’s dominance, with the hosts having registered 59% possession, 17 shots to the visitors’ 12 and eight on target to their four. They were particularly clinical on the night, having scored four goals from 2.36xG. PSV registered 0.57xG.
– Nine of the top 10 players for ‘attacking sequence involvements’ in the game were Arsenal players, with Ben White coming out on top with nine of 10 – via @OptaAnalyst:
— Opta Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) September 20, 2023
– Arsenal were particularly strong in the first half, scoring their fastest goal of a Champions League opening match with Saka’s after eight minutes. They registered seven of their eight shots on target in the opening 45 minutes and 1.85 of their total 2.36 expected goals.
– Gabriel Jesus has now scored 21 Champions League goals in just 39 appearances in the competition. The Brazilian has scored in exactly half of his starts in the Champions League, which is the eighth-highest rate of any player in the competition’s history (min. 20 starts) – via @OptaJoao
– This was the first time that Arsenal have started their Champions League campaign with a win in 10 years – 2013-14 against Marseille. It’s also their biggest win on the opening match since a 6-0 victory over Braga in 2010-11.
– Man of the match Odegaard registered one goal, three dribbles (100% success rate), 64 accurate passes (the most of any on the pitch) and a 91% passing accuracy.
Take a bow Martin Odegaard! 🤩
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) September 20, 2023
– Every player who featured in Arsenal’s last Champions League campaign in 2016-17 has since left the club. Granit Xhaka was the last player from Arsenal’s last Champions League outing, a 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich, to depart The Emirates.
– Of Arsenal’s starting XI, seven made their Champions League debuts in the victory over PSV. Only Oleksandr Zinchenko, Kai Havertz, Jesus and Odegaard had appeared in the competition before.