Competing in UEFA’s premier club competition for the first time since 2016/17, the Emirates was a cacophony of noise as Arsenal got their long-awaited UCL campaign underway.
The visit of PSV - who beat the Gunners in last season’s UEFA Europa League - promised to be a stern test, but the hosts came flying out the blocks with a breakthrough inside eight minutes.
Armed with the early momentum, the hosts continued to dominate proceedings, and their pressure was duly rewarded with a second in the 20th minute.
Saka was the architect this time, teeing up Leandro Trossard on the edge of the box, who fired a sublime first-time strike into the bottom corner to double Arsenal’s lead.
The Gunners showed no signs of slowing down before half-time, and after Gabriel Jesus was denied by a flying Benitez save, the Brazilian struck a superb third, converting from Trossard’s delivery to give Mikel Arteta’s side a healthy advantage at the break.
Desperate to gain a foothold in the contest after a punishing first half, PSV emerged after the restart with a renewed focus, although clear-cut chances came at a premium, with David Raya saving comfortably from a speculative Johan Bakayoko effort.
Despite the visitors’ improvement, Arsenal’s lead never looked under threat, as Arteta looked to rest several of his key players with a North London derby against rivals Tottenham on the horizon.
That allowed the likes of Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe to get valuable minutes on the pitch, and it was the former who set up captain Martin Odegaard for Arsenal’s fourth late on as the hosts coasted through the final stages to secure a well-deserved three points on their return to Europe’s leading club competition.
As for the visitors, Peter Bosz’s side will be desperate to bounce back in matchday two against Sevilla after suffering their first defeat in 26 matches.