Review – Arsenal demolish RC Lens in 6 goal thriller

Looking at the team sheet it would appear that Mikel Arteta is playing his very best team to go all out for the win.

It’s a lively start with the Gunners on the front foot, but with our patient build up but it took 10 mins before we got our first real chance and Havertz’s header went just wide. But 3 mins later the big German got the ball in the net and despite a possible offside he was given the goal.

Lens finally got into our half but when Saka was taking the ball upfield he was was cynically doubled up on and draws his first serious foul. He should expect a lot more of that.

On 20 mins Jesus did a brilliant dummy in the box to give him an easy shot and we are quickly 2-0 up and looking powerful.

Incredibly 2 mins later Martinelli had a shot parried by Samba but it landed on Saka’s knee and it is already 3-0 only halfway through the first half. Incredible start.

And then Martinelli goes on a mazy run and it’s 4-0 – Wow!

Saka gets chopped again on the half hour and I think he should be taken off to stop Lens causing any more damage to him as the points are in the bag.

Minutes later VAR had to check a possible penalty for Lens but it was adjudged correctly as ball to hand as it came of his knee first.

On 40 mins Lens hit the post. This is a totally mad game indeed! At least Arsenal are letting Lens have the ball a bit now.

We still nearly got a 5th but Martinelli really should have crossed to Jesus on the 6 yard line. But we DID get the fifth in added time after a cross from Tomiyasu found Odegaard running into the box and he smashed it into the net. Total and utterly ruthless 45 minutes from The Arsenal!

Arteta did make changes at half time but surprisingly only brought on White and Kiwior (replacing Zinny and Tomi) as wing backs.

Lens started livelier in the second period as they tried to salvage some pride, but couldn’t get close enough to trouble Raya. It looks like Arsenal are just conserving energy and letting Lens have the ball as they like.

On 65 mins, Arteta at last brings on Reiss Nelson for Saka in a sensible move. Then Havertz cuts in around the back of Lens defence and we nearly got a 6th but there is not too much urgency involved.

With 15 mins to go Jorginho replaces Rice and the game seems to be at a much slower pace but with an occasional burst into the box. And Nketiah replaces Jesus with 10 mins to go.

We still had time to get a 6th name on the scoresheet after Martinelli got lamped in the box and Jorginho was left to convert the resulting penalty to make it a respectable 6-0,

The home fans are definitely going home in a happy mood and Arsenal have definitely finished on top of the group.

What a night!

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Tags RC Lens


  1. Arsenal were extraordinary. I hope Wolves will play openly as Lens did so bravely

    Havertz played well generally, but he lost the ball too many times on the ground for my liking. He needs to improve that aspect, otherwise a better opposition could punish us

      1. They didn’t have to play openly after the first goal. They could have kept it tight and hoped to nick a goal on the counter or from a set piece. It was very brave/naive/foolhardy.

        1. Oh I see, losing 1-0, needing to win, but hoping to score on the break against, as they must have been aware, the best defence in the PL?
          WOW!!! Their defence needs a little tightening then 😂😂😂😂

        2. Absolutely! Tbh, they are a decent side and played some good football over the two legs.
          In all, glad it all went our way.

    1. Gai, Havertz may not be needed in first 45 minutes against Wolves as they don’t play physical. Jorginho Rice and Odegard would just be fine. I don’t know if anyone noticed how outstanding Tomiyasu was in the game.. I bet it’s time to have deputy for BSaka may be Nelson?

      1. We might need Trossard playing the left-sided AM role if Wolves park the bus

        Tomiyasu made two assists with his accurate long diagonal crosses and defended very well. If he doesn’t get injured again, he could become a great competitor for White and Zinchenko

        1. Tomi reminded me of his play at right back when he first joined us and was a sensation and perhaps the biggest surprise success from the prior transfer window. This guy is the consummate professional and I’m starting to wonder if we shouldn’t try him at CF, lol.

  2. Getting slagged off mostly by pundits but also some fans for being top of the league with the best defensive record in the league (my have goalposts moved.)

    The stick we were being beaten with was that the attack (that without injuries has barely played) was limp¿????¿ What.

    Great win.

    Onwards and upwards! Love you all, enjoy!

    1. Don’t mind those pundits. They should channel their energy to analyze why Manchester United has the same number of points as a rectangle after playing 5 games in the champions league.

    1. Am one of his main critics at the beginning. It seems Arteta is beginning to know how and when to use him. I must admit that indeed, Harvertz could be our joker this season if properly utilized. He is actually gaining confidence and jelling with the team. Arteta as a matter of tactical approach should not start him in all games. For instance, he should start from the bench in a match against Wolves. Saka, White and Martinelli should start from the bench. This will diorganise Wolves. Make no mistakes about this, if Arteta starts with the above players, they will make the match very frustrating for us.

    1. He consistently positions himself as the initial commentator after every game, intentionally infusing his remarks with controversial phrases to attract attention.

      Among his absurd comments are claims of our win being attributed to luck, claiming the opposition’s missed opportunities, attributing our victories to mistakes by opponents, and unfairly criticizing a player who performed well and contributed to a win. By now, you should be familiar with his tactics.

        1. In what way? I think lens were very tactically naive in trying to go your-to-toe, even at 1-0 down. How many times have we criticized Arsenal in previous seasons for being too gung-ho against superior sides?

  3. it will be back to XI behind the ball in the PL unfortunately

    and if I was our opponent I would too

    look what happens if you give us space – 6 nil stroll

    Havertz though is looking better and better with every game, could be running in to form at the right time to unlock the ‘parking the bus’ tactic we will see every week

    hopefully we stay injury free ahead of Liverpool at Anfield – that is our next big test

      1. not all opponents are equal, not all contests are equal

        for a genuine title contender then a home game against a bottom half of the table team is ‘get the job done’ territory

        whereas away to a genuine title rival, and particularly Liverpool at Anfield is a ‘big test’

        i think that is a fair distinction

  4. Rampant Arsenal Rating

    Zinchenko- 7 Spear head the attack down the left.
    Magalhaes- 7 Immense and was switch on for the ninty
    Rice – 9 A worthy standing ovation as he left the pitch.
    Raya – 7 Not really tested, his distribution was superb
    Tomi – 8 A work man performance, genuine work horse, his overlapping noticeable.
    Saliba- 7 Ever so composed, was like a stroll in the park
    Odegaard- 8 Lead by example, he is gradually getting better and better.
    Havertz- 8 Even his staunchest critics will admit he’s coming to life in an Arsenal shirt.
    Saka- 9 He’s right on the verge of joining that small world class elite group.
    Jesus- 9 Another goal another assist another fine display
    Martinelli- 8 This kid reminds me of Luis Suarez
    White- 7 One his most attacking games, his overlapping was very pleasing on the eye
    Kiwior- 7 He can now deputize for Magalhaes, certainly will start the next champions league game.
    Jorginho- 7 His legs are holding and so is his polished display
    Nelson- 7 A very lively display

  5. 6-0 and it’s Champions League, how can MA be so disrespectful with their French opponent. Once again he’s playing the tall Geman, why must this guy make a goal again, I had just started to love him as our new scapegoat. I’m afraid we can win silverware this season, can we handle it 🤠

  6. Top of the EPL. Top of our CL Group. Havertz, Tomi best displays for the club. Jesus best of the season, Ode getting back to his best. Our best game of the season. What’s not to like?
    I reckon we are more likely to win the CL than the EPL, as top Euro teams don’t play a low block well as they don’t need to, and this is what happens when we are given space.
    I watched the first half on Spanish TV and the second on French tv. We ARE a seriously good team and Europe is impressed.

  7. Thrilled to bits by that emphatic win
    Not every match can give that level of joy but after a more difficult match against Brentford this was a tonic
    Pleased for Havertz. Perhaps not giving up on him is reaping dividends. He’s a big lad and is becoming more visible.

    1. It was a great performance which demonstrates how good we can be when allowed to play.
      Havertz is still to fully justify the investment in him but he has clearly needed time to gel with the rest of the team and also to find his best role.
      I agree that it has been far too early to write him off. Some of the suggestions about how he should be managed have bordered on the ridiculous e.g. that he should be training with the under 21 squad.
      The whole team is also still evolving and changes have been necessary due to injuries, relatively indifferent form, and transfers (e.g. Xhaka).
      It is also interesting to see the emerging qualities of certain players. Some of Tomiyasu’s play was world class before he went off.

  8. What a masterful performance. Havertz scores for the second successive game and if he continues like this our attack will look fabulous. Tomiyasu for me was the MOTM, what an exceptional performance from an exceptional player. Kiwier looked solid which is good considering he has got less game time. Martinelli was amazing. My only little bit of worry was that with the game done and dusted, Arteta should have substitued Saka and Odegaard early in the second half to give them well deserved rest. All in all, an amazing performance and we top the group. Also, we have done the English record for the most number of goals in a CL match in the first half, simply great.

  9. Great game yesterday, from Raya through to the subs. I’m really, really happy to see Havertz giving some brilliant performances and Zinchenko back to his best, not slowing down the game. Arteta did well to have Nwaneri and Lewis-Skelly on the bench, hopefully to get some minutes in the coming game against Wolves.

  10. As easy a game as you could want last night. A nice little thrashing of Lens. Yes Lens were poor but we can only beat the team in front of us. Great performance, won the grouo, now onto the weekend and hopefully a good attacking attitude like last night. Long may it last.

  11. Rice reminds me of Vieira (the real one!) strolling through the game pinging passes forward but also defending and winning balls back, what a player he is turning into. As for Tomiyasu, he was a revelation, his crosses and the cross field pass to Martinelli was amazing, especially as it was basically on the volley.

    1. No, he impressed me in both legs – even had the beating of saliba on one occasion. I think he’d be a fantastic fit for our team.

        1. I disagree.
          He is a very good, possibly great, talent. He ceiling seems significantly higher than Eddie’s at this point

        2. Far stronger than both, can link the play as a cf, – has a touch of class in that area, which neither of the ones you mentioned have – and he can score goals to some degree (very much doubt he’s worse than Eddie in that regard). Plays a different role to martinelli, but looks at least a level above Eddie.
          I mention the fact he ran past saliba because I can’t remember seeing that happen for a while, and saliba was close enough to get the measure of the situation. Plus he’s only 20.
          A look at his wiki page will reveal some personal concerns, which might be off-putting, though.

    2. Grandad I took a notice of him. I had seen highlights of his game before when we were linked with him but seeing him in an actual game proved to me what a fantastic player he is. He looked very lively but didn’t get much support from teammates.If Arsenal were to look for a forward in the mold of Jesus in the future,I think he would be a good option. He has pace,technique and the numbers suggest his finishing is good too.

    3. @Grandad, Agreed, he looks good. If we are priced out for Toney and not too keen on Benjamin Cisco, he would be a great signing for Arsenal.

  12. Feel a bit sorry for Lens

    Glad to see Havertz on the scoresheet again, even if it wasn’t particularly difficult last night.

    CL group wrapped up, hopefully we can put out a full second string team in our last game and give some players the time and experience.

  13. Lens and CL group is done so next focus is Wolves with their mercurial but enigmatic manager, Gary O’Neill. I’m a big fan of him as player where he captained the average Portsmouth side to respectable finishes. And he did brilliantly to save the poor Bournemouth team from relegation last season. Surprisingly, he was sacked and unsurprisingly, he is doing a brilliant job at equally poor Wolves. He reminds me a lot of the young Roy Hodgson, full of positivity, calmness and tactical knowledge. His players trust him and do the job for him without hesitation. They have already beaten Man City and Totties this season. Arteta and the boys should approach this game with utmost seriousness and professionalism. Wolves under Gary O’Neill could sprung an unneeded surprise.

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