Arsenal edged closer to the Champions League knockout stages as Bukayo Saka’s goal and assist helped them to a commanding 2-0 win over Group B opponents Sevilla at the Emirates Stadium.
Four days on from their acrimonious defeat to Newcastle at St James’ Park, victory never looked in doubt from the moment Leandro Trossard swept home Saka’s low cross in the first half.
Saka added the second with a composed finish after latching onto a pass from the similarly dangerous Gabriel Martinelli in the second period, but a positive night was dampened when the 22-year-old limped off after landing awkwardly in the closing stages.
Arsenal will be encouraged by the fact Saka took part in the post-match celebrations, and the victory, during which Sevilla only registered one shot, sees them maintain their four-point cushion at the top of Group B with only two games left to play.
How Arsenal eased to victory
Arsenal were without Eddie Nketiah in addition to Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus but carried an attacking threat right from the start and should have led after a minute, when Kai Havertz headed inexplicably wide from a few yards out following a corner.
- Eddie Nketiah, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus were unavailable for Arsenal, with Leandro Trossard starting up front.
- Sergio Ramos missed out for Sevilla, with Youssef En-Nesyri returning up front and former Tottenham player Erik Lamela also starting.
Sevilla found themselves pinned back and remained there for the duration of the first half, having particular problems on the flanks, where Saka forced a succession of fouls and Martinelli repeatedly got the better of right-back Juanlu Sanchez.
Sevilla survived a succession of openings on Martinelli’s side, with Arsenal unable to capitalise on the Brazilian’s one-on-one superiority, but the visitors had no such luck after Jorginho’s defence-splitting pass released Saka for the opening goal.
The England international looked up and squared the ball for Arsenal’s false nine Trossard, who swept a first-time finish beyond Sevilla goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic for his fourth goal of the campaign.
Sevilla saw more of the ball after the break but it remained a one-sided affair, with Havertz seeing an effort blocked soon after the break before firing narrowly wide from outside the box.
Trossard was next to go close as Martinelli continued to torment Sevilla right-back Juanlu – the Brazilian completed nine successful dribbles in total – and he was the creator of the second.
It was a breakaway effort as Martinelli charged forward and slid the ball forward for Saka, who cut inside his man before steadying himself and curling a low effort into the far corner.
Arsenal had chances to extend their lead, with substitute Oleksandr Zinchenko’s stinging volley forcing a parry from Dmitrovic, but the two-goal margin was enough to ensure routine victory after the acrimony of their defeat to Newcastle.
The Champions League knockout stages are within reach.
Arsenal’s remaining Champions League fixtures
November 29: RC Lens (H) – kick-off 8pm
December 12: PSV Eindhoven (A) – kick-off 5.45pm
Arsenal return to Premier League action on Saturday when they welcome struggling Burnley to the Emirates Stadium (kick-off 3pm).
Up next for Sevilla is a home match against Real Betis in LaLiga on Sunday (kick-off 5.30pm).