4 things we learnt from Arsenal's win over FC Zurich
Arsenal players celebrating Eddie Nketiah's winning goal (Photo Credits: Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) 

Just days after their first defeat of the season at Old Trafford, Arsenal bounced back comfortably to win 2-1 in St Gallen.

A debut goal from Marquinhos and a first of the season for Eddie Nketiah was enough to see off Swiss champions FC Zurich

Nketiah's goal came as a relief to the youngster, who gave away a penalty just before the half-time break, allowing the hosts to level. 

Here are the main takeaways from The Gunners first European game in over a year. 

  • Fabio Vieira showed promising signs

Arsenal's €35 million man made his full debut in Switzerland, giving fans a glimpse of what to expect from him.

The 22-year-old played a perfectly weighted pass to send Nketiah down the left wing, leading to Arsenal's opening goal.

With his confidence growing, Vieira seemed to grow into the game, looking for the ball more often as the half progressed.

There were still signs that Vieira is not yet up to full fitness. Some tired passes crept into his game, giving up possession too easily for his liking. 

Mikel Arteta replaced the Portuguese midifelder with Martin Odegaard in the 69th minute, signalling the end of a promising first start. After only making his debut four days ago, fans will be excited to see what Vieira can do when he is up to speed in Arteta's system. 

  • Franco Foda needs a win

It is fair to say that FC Zurich have endured a horrific start to their title defence. The departure of manager Andre Breitenreiter to 1899 Hoffenheim has had a damaging effect on both players and new manager Franco Foda

Foda joined FC Zurich after resigning from his post as Austrian manager in March 2022, after failing to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup

The German has seemingly found it difficult to adapt to club football again, with FC Zurich feeling the full effect. Just two points from seven Super League games signals their worst start to a league campaign for 19 years. 

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Hopes of a positive result would have been high at half-time. Mirlind Kryeziu's converted penalty in the 44th minute levelled the scores, albeit against the run of play.

The hosts failed to seriously test Arsenal from open play, taking just five shots from inside the penalty area over the 90 minutes. 

Foda will be hoping to pick up his first domestic win against Servette on Sunday in order to relieve some of the mounting pressure. 

  • Issues against a low block

Arsenal played some lovely football on Thursday night, dominating the game. Their 2-1 victory arguably should have been a more emphatic one, with large spells of the game passing the hosts by. 

After Marquinhos' goal, The Gunners took hold of the game, barely allowing FC Zurich out of their defensive third. While the visitors looked comfortable in possession, they struggled to break down Zurich's low block.

Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga looked to pass sideways across the pitch frequently, but did not look to take any risks when moving the ball. 

Nketiah looked to drop deep to receive the ball, while Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu moved into central areas in an attempt to overload Zurich's midfield.

With Arsenal on the up under Arteta, they will face more teams willing to sit deep against them. The Spaniard will be hoping to see his side move the ball with more urgency to break these sides down.

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  • An important run 

FC Zurich do not face Arsenal at The Emirates until matchday six of their Europa League campaign. Players and supporters alike will be hoping to have their future in their own hands at the time of their trip to London.

PSV Eindhoven and Bodo/Glimt played out a 1-1 draw in Eindhoven, meaning Zurich have not lost too much ground at the start of their European campaign.

The Swiss champions play both sides home and away before facing Arsenal again, and will be hoping to capitalise on the fixtures.

Franco Foda would hope to see his side win both home games in order to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stages. With three tough away trips in store, it is hard to see Zurich advancing without taking six points from their remaining home matches. 

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