Arsenal broke the European record and progressed to the Champions League knockout stage with an emphatic victory over Lens.
Arsenal’s 6-0 win over RC Lens on Wednesday night was the biggest win by an English team in Europe against French opposition.
As the winners of Group B, the Gunners have secured their place in the Champions League knockout stages.
Mikel Arteta’s rampant side blitzed their Ligue 1 opponents with five goals in the first half, including goals from Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Martin Odegaard. Jorginho sealed the victory with a late penalty.
After a seven-year absence from Europe’s premier competition, Arsenal will be one of the teams competing in the tournament’s last 16 after Christmas. And not only did Arteta’s qualify in terms of style, but they also broke records.
After the game, OptaJoe stated on social media that Arsenal’s 6-0 victory was the biggest any English club has had against French opposition in a European competition – no small feat.
The Spaniard said in his post-match press conference: “Today was the day to get it done. We did it in a beautiful way. We scored five goals against a really good side in the first half. [Then] you can become really sloppy. And there were parts of the second half with different behaviours but we stayed really focused.
“When the team has that body language, living every action and every game the way we do, good things are going to come. It’s like the crowd, they always want more.
“They celebrate it and they play every single ball with us. When there is that connection it’s really powerful. The team wants to win, doesn’t want to concede anything and that’s the mentality that we need to become better.”
He added: “It’s great that we are able to win this way. The consistency that we’ve shown at home to not concede any goals and score lots is a really positive factor.
“Those players need to have those experiences and believe that we can do it against those opponents. Now let’s wait. We have to park it, we will know in February who we’re facing and let’s see how we are at that moment.”
While basking in the glow of a historic victory, Arteta was quick to point out that Arsenal’s attention would soon shift back to domestic matters. The Gunners currently lead the Premier League and play Wolves on Sunday.