Arsenal defender William Saliba (22) said that the team could be “proud” after demolishing RC Lens (6-0) at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday to secure their progression to the Champions League knockout phase.
Arsenal were imperious, scoring four goals in the space of just 14 minutes in the first-half and effectively killing the game off as a contest before it had even begun. Martin Odegaard added a fifth just before the break, whilst Jorginho added a sixth from the penalty spot late on.
It was a completely different match to the first one between the pair. Lens beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Stade Bollaert in early October, however, they atoned for that defeat in emphatic style. “We are very happy. They beat us in the first match. We knew they were a good team and today we wanted to be aggressive early in the match and that’s what we were. We were clinical in front of goal and we defended well. It was a great performance as they aren’t an easy team to play against. We can be proud of ourselves,” Saliba told Canal Plus post-match.
Saliba revealed that the defeat in Lens in October was still on his mind and that, on an individual level, he was keen to make up for that surprise defeat. “When I go back to the country (France), I want to win, so that first match stuck in my throat a bit. We have qualified, we are first, and we will try to finish well against PSV. When a team beats us, we want to then beat them. We watched videos from the first match, looking at what we did well and what we did poorly and that worked. At home, it was easier for us,” added the Arsenal defender.
With qualification already assured, Arsenal complete their group stage campaign with a trip to PSV, whilst Lens host Sevilla.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle