What a memorable night it proved to be at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal qualified for the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League after thrashing French side RC Lens by six goals to nil. 

The Gunners scored five goals in the first half of the match with Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and skipper Martin Ødegaard all finding the target. Jorginho came off the bench in the second half and got on the scoresheet via a penalty kick. The win means that Arsenal top the Group B and qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout stages (still with a game in hand) for the first time in seven years.

The Gunners are also currently at the top of the Premier League standings with a point ahead of Manchester City. It must be said that Mikel Arteta has found the right formula to harness his team’s productivity while his relentless belief in Kai Havertz might have just been key to boosting the German’s confidence of late. 

He opened the scoring for Arsenal against Lens after previously scoring the only goal as a substitute in the crucial win against Brentford. Now, Arteta’s five favourite attacking players; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli, Havertz and Ødegaard (according to his usual lineups) were all involved in the goals that were scored on Wednesday night which shows just how potent and effective they can be in a game. 

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Kai Havertz and Gabriel Jesus
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 29: Kai Havertz of Arsenal celebrates scoring the opening goal with team-mate Gabriel Jesus during the UEFA Champions League match between Arsenal FC and RC Lens at Emirates Stadium on November 29, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

It is also very notable how well the wingers and full-backs link up to create goalscoring opportunities. The Gunners boss has been able to assemble a team that truly understands each other intricately.

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The victory in the Champions League could serve as a major confidence boost for Arteta and his boys as they resume domestic action this weekend at home to Wolves. 

Although Gary O’Neil’s side will be fired up for a challenge at the Emirates after their eventful 3-2 loss at Fulham, Arsenal are expected to show great dynamism and get a win at all costs.

They must secure all maximum points in order to retain top spot and the Gunners have indeed shown great quality and class in their gameplay. While they will be favourites to win a whole lot of their matches this season, their ability to add a couple of trophies to the cabinet this season is yet to be seen.


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