Football

Arteta on thrashing Lens: ‘I didn’t even dream of this’

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta admits he could not have dreamed of how well Arsenal would play in their 6-0 win over Lens in the Champions League.

The Gunners scored five first-half goals to confirm their place in the knock-out stages of the competition as group winners, avenging their defeat to the Ligue 1 outfit earlier in the campaign.

Arteta was thrilled with the performance and says it was better than anything he could have imagined.

“I didn’t even dream like this,” he said.

“We had the chance to qualify today and be top of the group and I think we’ve done it in a really convincing way against a really good side.

“The team from the beginning showed a lot of aggression and determination to go for the game. Everything happened in the right way in the first 30 minutes. That was really helpful to win the game.

“It’s great that we are able to win this way but I think 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 in that moment.”

Kai Havertz opened the scoring from close range before Gabriel Jesus added a second shortly after.

Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard all struck prior to half-time before Jorginho added a sixth in the second half from the penalty spot, and Arteta also praised the atmosphere inside the Emirates Stadium for helping his team to victory.

He added: “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. 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.”

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