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Arsenal vs Lens LIVE: Champions League result and reaction as Gunners demolish Lens to reach knockout rounds

Arsenal 6-0 Lens: Mikel Arteta’s men run riot and notch up six goals at the Emirates

Michael Jones
Wednesday 29 November 2023 22:41 GMT
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The team camaraderie for Havertz and Ramsdale is what this Arsenal team is all about

Arsenal sealed top spot in Group B with a barnstorming performance against Lens in the Champions League that saw them score six goals without reply at the Emirates Stadium.

It took just 13 minutes for Kai Havertz to settle any nerves when he poked home the opener from close range to cap off an aggressive and dominant start. What followed was a consistent run of goal scoring as Gabriel Jesus turned in the second when checking inside before Bukayo Saka chested one over the line.

Gabriel Martinelli’s curling effort made it four goals before the half hour mark but Arsenal kept their feet on the gas. Martin Odegaard adding a fifth with a fabulous volley in stoppage time during the first half.

The tempo understandably slackened in the second half but when the hosts were awarded a penalty late in the match, Jorginho coolly slotted it home to become the sixth goalscorer of the evening.

Relive the action below:

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Arsenal show how the Champions League should be done – Man Utd and Newcastle take note...

It probably wasn’t Mikel Arteta’s pre-match team talk, but it could have been. “Forget brinksmanship. Group stage drama is for amateurs and also-rans. Just go out, do the job and wait until the Champions League’s proper action starts in February.” Perhaps it would have been emphasised with lots of hand gesticulations, had he taken that approach.

After the week’s earlier drama involving fellow Premier League teams, Arsenal fans might have been feeling a little left out in that regard, but they shouldn’t be. Their side is far more complete, far further along the teambuilding process and far more prepared to go far in a major European competition. It’s probably also fair to note they have a far more routine group, certainly than Newcastle at least.

This 6-0 drubbing of a distinctly second-rate RC Lens showed as much, as does the far more important fact of Arsenal qualifying for the last 16 with a game to spare.

Arsenal show how Champions League should be done – Man Utd and Newcastle take note...

Arsenal 6-0 Lens: A dream first half saw the Gunners cruise into the Champions League knockouts in style

Mike Jones29 November 2023 22:15
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FT Arsenal 6-0 Lens

More from Saka: “I try to be myself but when you cross the white line, it’s you against your opponent. I try my best to be better than him. Whatever I have to do to win, I do it.

“Not really [happy at coming off], I wanted to play 90 minutes. I understand his decision. Now I’m focused on Wolves, I want to do my best in that game.

“I’ll never forget that day [his debut five years ago]. It was a cold day like this. I’ve gone through a lot on and off the pitch since then.”

Mike Jones29 November 2023 22:17
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FT Arsenal 6-0 Lens

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka to TNT Sports: “Everyone is really happy. It’s our first time back in the Champions League for a while and we’ve qualified with a game to go.

“When we first looked at our group we wanted to finish top. We’ve done that so can be proud. The boss is already reminding us to just enjoy a little bit and then focus on Wolves on Saturday.”

Mike Jones29 November 2023 22:14
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FT Arsenal 6-0 Lens

Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus speaking to TNT Sports: “We were amazing. Everyone was focused. We controlled the game. They tried to come in the second half. At the end everyone played amazing. The team performance was top. We have to keep going.

“Playing at home, we know our support is amazing. They push us. We want to win the game and qualify. Congratulations to the whole team.

“We didn’t concede a goal. We kept a clean sheet and then we scored in the last minutes.

“I watch the Champions League a lot at home. I love football. The Champions League is special, like the Premier League. I already won the Premier League, I want to win here, but I want to win the Champions League as well.”

Mike Jones29 November 2023 22:10
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Arsenal are the first side in Champions League history to have as many as five different scorers (excl. own goals) in the first half of a match in the competition.

Mike Jones29 November 2023 22:07
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FT Arsenal 6-0 Lens

Gabriel Jesus is the first player to score in each of his first four Champions League games for an English club.

(Action Images via Reuters)
Mike Jones29 November 2023 22:05
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FT Arsenal 6-0 Lens

(Action Images via Reuters)
(PA)
(PA)
Mike Jones29 November 2023 22:01
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Full-time! Arsenal 6-0 Lens

90+3 mins: Wahi has a stoppage time shot on goal but Saliba gets across and blocks the effort before celebrating as though he’d scored a goal. The defender really wants a clean sheet tonight.

He gets one.

The full-time whistle goes. Arsenal have blown Lens away at the Emirates Stadium and will finish top of Group B. They’re through to the knockout rounds with a game to spare.

Mike Jones29 November 2023 21:54
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Arsenal 6-0 Lens

90 mins: There’s going to be three minutes of added time to play.

Mike Jones29 November 2023 21:50
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GOAL! Arsenal 6-0 Lens (Jorginho, 86’)⚽️

86 mins: It’s six!

Jorginho is actually the man to take the penalty after Odegaard placed the ball. The Italian guides it to the goalkeeper’s left and puts the icing on the cake for Arsenal.

Mike Jones29 November 2023 21:47

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