Goals in each half from Leandro Trossard and Bukayo Saka gave us a well-deserved victory from a thoroughly dominant night in the Champions League.
Trossard, starting up front in place of the injured Eddie Nketiah, finished Saka’s low cross in the first half, before Saka himself doubled the lead, turning smartly before scoring emphatically into the corner.
At the other end we prevented Sevilla from having a single shot – on or off target – until the last minute of stoppage time.
Qualification to the knock out stages is not yet assured, but a win in our next match – at home to Lens – will not only guarantee us qualification, but also top spot in the group with a game remaining.
Early chances go begging
After the pre-match light show, we looked determined to channel the lingering frustration from Saturday’s defeat at Newcastle immediately. Indeed in the very first minute, Gabriel Martinelli won a corner with an incisive run down the left.
Martinelli’s corner was perfect for Kai Havertz at the far post, who was completely unmarked, but he mistimed his header, which dropped wide of the post.
Our next attempt on goal was also a header, this time from Gabriel, who rose well to meet Bukayo Saka’s inswinging free-kick, but his aim was also lacking, and it drifted wide.
Martinelli had started particularly well on the left, and looked to have the beating of Juanlu Sanchez whenever he ran at him. It would continue in that vein all night.
On the other flank Saka was fouled no fewer than four times in the opening 20 minutes, and from the fourth he curled a free kick just over from 22 yards out.
Ben White and Jorginho also saw shots fly just over as we began to camp out in the Sevilla half.
Sevilla sliced open
Just before the half hour mark, the pressure paid off. Jorginho started the move with a fantastic, defence splitting pass into the path of Saka on the right. The winger sprinted in behind the defence, and cut the ball back to Trossard. The Belgian did the rest, tucking first time past Marko Dmitrovic in the Sevilla goal.
The goal was richly deserved for our dominant start.
The Spanish visitors had barely entered our half in the opening half, but on a rare break, winger Adria Pedrosa burst towards the box, only to be denied by a superb covering tackle by William Saliba.
In fact the La Liga outfit did not muster a shot – nor even a touch in our penalty area – in the opening half. They wouldn’t manage that until the 70th-minute.
We continued to set the tempo after the break. Saka’s deep cross found Havertz in the box, but his shot was deflected wide for another corner.
Saka sews it up
The German came even closer a few minutes later, but his bending, fizzing shot from 20 yards went just the wrong side of the upright, with the keeper grasping at fresh air.
Next Trossard curled wide after smooth build up play involving Declan Rice and Martinelli – it seemed to be only a matter of the time until the second goal arrived.
And so it proved. From an Alex Zinchenko throw-in in our own half, Martinelli’s throughball sent Saka through on goal. He raced into the box, sat his defender down by checking onto his left foot, and expertly dispatched into the corner. He made it all look so simple.
Unfortunately, Saka was not to last the full 90 minutes though, he hobbled off with five minutes remaining.
But his work had been done, and three more Champions League points were assured, to keep us top of the group.
We’re back at Emirates Stadium on Saturday to take on Burnley in the Premier League, before the final international break of the year.
Our Champions League campaign resumes on November 29, also at the Emirates, against Lens, and we conclude the group in Eindhoven against PSV on December 12.
The knock out stages start in week commencing February 2.
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