Arsenal makes winning return to Champions League by beating PSV Eindhoven 4-0 in rain

| | London
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Arsenal makes winning return to Champions League by beating PSV Eindhoven 4-0 in rain

Thursday, 21 September 2023 | AP | London

Arsenal makes winning return to Champions League by beating PSV Eindhoven 4-0 in rain

Arsenal made a stylish return to the Champions League by sweeping aside PSV Eindhoven 4-0 at Emirates Stadium after a six-year absence from the competition.

Arsenal seemed determined to make up for lost time and jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the 38th minute on Wednesday – with PSV goalkeeper Walter Benitez having made a couple of good saves by then to prevent an even bigger scoreline.

In a game played in driving rain throughout, Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus all scored in the first half, before Martin Odegaard added the fourth with a long-range strike in the 70th.

Arsenal qualified for the Champions League for 19 straight years under Arsene Wenger but had not played in the competition since 2016-17. PSV last played in it five years ago, and the two teams met in the group stage of the second-tier Europa League last season.

Arsenal beat PSV 1-0 at home that time, but this was a far more one-sided affair.

Saka opened the scoring in the eighth minute by slipping away from U.S. International Sergino Dest and slotting in the rebound after Benitez had pushed away a low shot from Odegaard. Saka turned provider by teeing up Trossard on the edge of the area in the 20th, and the Belgian fired a low right-footed shot just inside the far post.

It was Trossard's turn to assist on the next one, sending in a cross from the left to Jesus, who downed the ball with one touch and blasted a shot into the far corner with his second. Jesus was making his first start of the season after recovering from a knee injury.

PSV had started brightly and tested Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya with a couple of low shots on the slick surface in the opening few minutes. But the visitors rarely threatened again until a counterattack in the 54th, when Johan Bakayoko only managed a weak shot straight at Raya.

Odegaard added gloss to the scoreline after collecting a pass from substitute Reiss Nelson and driving forward before unleashing a low 25-yard strike past the outstretched Benitez.

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