Arsenal dominated Sevilla en route to a 2-0 victory that flatters the visitors. The Gunners were in total control from the opening whistle and Sevilla hardly had a touch in the Arsenal penalty area. The win keeps Arsenal on top of Group B. And with PSV Eindhoven beating RC Lens, the Gunners need a point from their final two matches to guarantee a place in the knockout stage.
Leandro Trossard opened the scoring but the goal was made by Jorginho. The Italian midfielder picked out Bukayo Saka with a gorgeous pass between multiple Sevilla defenders. The winger cut it back for the Belgian to tap-in.
Arsenal put the match out of reach in the second half, off a throw-in of all things. Gabriel Martinelli broke into space, Alex Zinchenko threw the ball into his pass, and the Brazilian found a streaking Bukayo Saka on the right wing. Saka cut inside his defender and curled a shot into the far corner.
Martinelli and Saka were too much for the Sevilla defense to handle, consistently beating defenders around the outside. Somewhat surprisingly (or maybe not), the referee was incredibly slow to go to his pocket. Saka was fouled five times in the first 35 minutes — twice by Nemanja Gudelj and three times by Kike Salas. Martinelli was the man of the match. He was incredible.
The defense didn’t have much to do, and when they did, William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes handled things with their typical calm, solid defending. Sevilla got their first shot on target in second half added time. Declan Rice was excellent, as was Jorginho. Arsenal hardly put a foot wrong all match.
The only negative on the evening was Bukayo Saka limping off after landing heavily on his left ankle after challenging for a header. If only the winger could have come off at the same time that Mikel Arteta subbed off Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli. Saka remained on the bench after coming off, which suggests the problem is not a serious one. There is also no word as of yet whether Takehiro Tomiyasu’s halftime substitution was tactical or forced.
Next up in the Champions League, the Gunners host RC Lens at the Emirates at the end of the November. Arsenal host Burnley at the weekend in the Premier League.