Sevilla 1-2 Arsenal: Goals from Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli enough for Mikel Arteta’s men to pick up huge victory in Spain as Gunners hold off fight back to go top of Group B

It is those Champions League nights, away from home, on soil that has long been rather troublesome, that a piece of magic is required.

Anything to get oneself going. Arsenal had only won three of their last 17 away games against Spanish teams in all competitions.

Gabriel Jesus produced not one, but two fragments of magic that set the Gunners on their way.

The first half was seconds away from being wrapped up, a Sevilla corner having been cleared to Jesus near the halfway line.

The striker held off two defenders, produced a turn only those with elasticity in the ankles could even attempt, before playing an accurate through ball to Gabriel Martinelli.

His fellow Brazilian marched down the pitch, near all alone, to go around goalkeeper Orjan Nyland and finish home.

That was a mere taster for what was to come on 53 minutes. He drove down the left wing, cutting in to unleash a circling shot from just within the box into a top corner.

The goal was his fourth of the season, the third in this competition. It is already clear that if Arsenal are to progress in Europe, Jesus will most definitely be needed.

You see, the North London club weren’t bad, but neither likely a victory without those two actions on a night of much profligacy.

David Raya also brought himself into the spotlight in the first half with yet more uncertainty on the ball. Maybe Aaron Ramsdale rushing to be back from the birth of his son over the weekend, Ramsdale was on the bench, leaves a reminder with the Spaniard that other options are there for Mikel Arteta.

Whatever the matter, he surely will need to improve in this area and fast for a team who have large ambitions.

Having slipped up against Lens, and with the group’s top spot so crucial to help avoid Europe’s strongest teams, one could sense the pressure around Arsenal.

It contrasted to their confidence within the league, where they are still unbeaten. But progress in this competition is what those of a red and white disposition have so craved for these last six years.

Jorginho started, after a scarce display against Chelsea on Saturday, largely because of a muscle issue to Thomas Partey which saw him not travel.

Takehiro Tomiyasu made a well-earned start in place of Oleksandr Zinchenko. The Japan defender replaced the Ukrainian at half-time against the Blues and there was an immediate improvement.

For Sevilla, they are 13th place in La Liga. The average age of their starting backline was 34. Their new manager Diego Alonso has only been in charge since October 10.

The above facts don’t bode well from an optics perspective.

Yet, just like last season, in Europe they somehow find a way. Seven Europa League titles in 17 years says as much.

A team featuring seasoned veterans like the wily Sergio Ramos and Ivan Rakitic — both of whom have five Champions League titles between them and started yesterday — were always going to be a tough proposition.

The match started in an end-to-end fashion, and the Gunners should have put themselves in front after eight minutes when Jesus played Martinelli clean through.

He got jittery, and his shot rebounded off Nyland. A player of his quality should have scored. Seconds later, Lucas Ocampos found himself at the front post of the opposition goal, stabbing his shot wide.

Amid this period Raya was once again raising more questions than answers. Centre back Nemanja Gudelj had a crack from around 40 yards after seeing the Spaniard off his line.

Raya then gifted the ball to Rakitic and Ocampos on separate occasions, the latter nearly leading to a goal-bound shot had Dodi Lukebakio got his feet in check. It is the type of occurrence which is becoming all too regular.

Bukayo Saka felt the full force of a challenge Marcos Acuna in the final third, wriggling on the floor in pain. He hobbled off and returned a minute later, but a concern nevertheless. It is difficult to recall the last match he was not felled.

Youssef El-Nesyri had a shot skim past the post just before the break, and then Martinelli struck with that imperious goal.

The away side started the second period in the same fashion, this time Jesus stopped from scoring by a good save. The ball fell to Martin Odegaard, who wildly hoicked it over.

Not that the miss frustrated his team-mates. Shortly after, Jesus was the scorer instead of provider with that beauty of a finish.

From there, the increased deficit had started to stir belief within Sevilla. Their fans were still loudly willing them on.

A Rakitic cross after 58 minutes met the head of Gudelj, beating William Saliba’s interception attempt and Raya to level the match.

Ocampos soon after tried an audacious scissor kick which went over.