Arsenal produced a 'statement performance' in the Champions League, beating Ligue 1 side RC Lens comfortably to progress through to the next stage of Europe's premier tournament. 

An outstanding first half performance saw Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Ødegaard finding the back of the net, putting the Gunners in a very comfortable position for the second half. 

The hosts controlled possession and dominated off-the-ball, and a spot kick from Jorginho with five minutes of regular time remaining made it 6-0.

It had been 827 days since Arsenal last dismantled a side with a scoreline of 6-0, dating back to August 2021 when the Gunners ran riot at the Hawthorns in the Carabao Cup

Mikel Arteta was delighted with his team's performance, and the reassurance of qualification into the next round with a game to spare allows the Spaniard to re-shift the focus back to the Premier League, with the Gunners sitting at the top of the table. 

  • On Havertz's impact

The German midfielder was subject to heavy criticism from the media, as well as some fans after making the £65 million move across London. 

However, the 24-year-old has now scored in two consecutive matches, and was in impeccable form, flaunting excellent technical ability as well as deadly instincts on goal. 

"Scoring goals, playing well, participating in wins, those are positive attributes. The reception of his teammates and the crowd being with him, singing his name in every positive action that he had is all good things to help him show he's a tremendous player," Arteta said when asked about Havertz's general impact. 

  • On seeking revenge against Lens

While the Gunners fell short at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in early October, with goals from Elye Wahi and Adrien Thomassoncancelling out  Gabriel Jesus' strike, Arsenal were straight off the blocks on home soil. 

Arteta's side entered the interval five goals to the good, with the Spaniard naming an attacking lineup to take down Les Sang Et Or. All of Arsenal's attacking options got on the scoresheet, proving that while the Gunners have been praised for their defensive abilities, they are not afraid to show their attacking side. 

When asked whether it was a feeling of revenge to go all guns blazing against the French side, Arteta responded "No, it was the feeling of what we learnt from that defeat. Defeats give you a lot of things to think about and take the learning from that."

"Credit to them, they are a really good side and are extremely well coached and make life very difficult for you but today we were really effective."

  • On the positive team mentality

One thing that Mikel Arteta has prioritised and installed at Arsenal is the shift in mentality. Many have taken to social media to highlight Gabriel's last-ditch tackle on Elye Wahi during injury time, celebrated like a game-saving winner, despite being 6-0 up. 

"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 want it more. They celebrate it and they play every single ball with us."

With the Gunners qualifying to the next round and securing top spot, alongside being top of the Premier League, the relationship between fans and team is stronger than ever. 

"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."

Arteta is no stranger to the club he played for across five years. As they return to league action, a congested December schedule will be a real test for Arsenal's title capabilities, and with the Champions League burden lifted off their shoulders for now, they are in a healthy position. 

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