Mikel Arteta said he was delighted after watching Arsenal secure Champions League progress ‘in a beautiful way’ after stunning Lens 6-0 at the Emirates.
Arsenal secured progress to the knockout rounds as group winners, with a game to spare, after an exceptional first-half performance, one which saw the Gunners race into a five-goal lead by half-time.
Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard were all on target before the break for the north Londoners, who became the first English team to lead a Champions League game 5-0 at the interval.
Jorginho’s penalty added a sixth in the second half, as Arteta’s team ran riot to power into the knockout rounds. The defeat was Lens’ heaviest ever in European competition and the biggest defeat by any French side in Champions League history.
Arteta could not contain his delight with the performance from Arsenal, who have impressed in their first Champions League campaign since 2016/17.
“Today was the day to get it done. We did it in a beautiful way,” the Spaniard told TNT Sports.
“We scored five goals against a really good side [in the first half].
“You can become really sloppy. And there were parts of the second half with different behaviours but we stayed really focused.”
On topping the group with a game to spare, Arteta added: “It’s great because the schedule we have at the moment is crazy. We’re already thinking about Wolves in 72 hours.
“We have to demand more from each other. We’ll have to be well prepared for Wolves.”