Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus scored either side of halftime as Arsenal completed a 2-1 Champions League victory at Sevilla on Tuesday, a hard-fought win that takes them to the top of Group B at the midway point of the pool stage.
Martinelli raced clear from his own half to score the opener four minutes into stoppage time at the end of the first period as he completed a lightning break, before Jesus added a second goal shortly after halftime.
Sevilla offered little in the first half and was much improved after the break as it pulled a goal back when Nemanja Gudelj headed home, but the equaliser it so desperately sought eluded it despite some near misses.
Arsenal tops the group with six points from its three games. Lens is in second place with five points, followed by Sevilla and PSV Eindhoven with two each.
Mikel Arteta’s side never had complete control of the contest despite taking a 2-0 lead.
“Very happy to win, not many teams have done that here in the last 10 years in Europe,” Arteta told TNT Sports. “We played the game we wanted and had chances to finish it, and then from one corner they score.”
On a night of highs, there was one low. Arteta confirmed the second-half substitution of Jesus was due to injury.
“He felt something in his hamstring, so we will see in the next few days (how serious it is).”
Martinelli had a superb chance to give Arsenal an early lead when he was put through on goal but his shot was saved by Sevilla goalkeeper Orjan Nyland.
It was a warning to the home side that it did not heed, and Martinelli made sure second time around when another chance presented itself just before the break.
He raced clear from Jesus’s clever pass and this time rounded the goalkeeper before scoring.
Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard fired over the bar early in the second period but the London side did manage a second goal on 53 minutes.
Jesus curled in a shot from a narrow angle to keep up his record of having scored in every Champions League group game so far this season.
The visitor needed that insurance goal too as Sevilla pulled one back five minutes later when Gudelj headed home from a corner.
The home side had several chances to score again but some scrambling defence and a late miss from Ocampos allowed Arsenal to hold on.