Arsenal got their Europa League campaign off to a stellar start with a 2-1 win over FC Zurich.

The Gunners actually made quite a slow start to the game, with deputy goalkeeper Matt Turner showing some signs of rust in the opening exchanges with one notable stray pass that could have proved costly.

A first Arsenal goal for Brazilian teenager Marquinhos quickly settled any nerves just after the 15-minute mark. However, after a first-half that saw the Gunners dominate just about every aspect, Zurich equalised from the penalty spot via Mirlind Kryeziu.

Eddie Nketiah was the guilty culprit who gave away Zurich’s penalty, but he more than made up for it by heading home Arsenal’s second around the hour.

That didn’t entirely quell the threat posed by the hosts, who had a few half-chances towards the latter stages of the second-half. This prompted Mikel Arteta to bring on some established stars, including Gabriel Jesus and club captain Martin Odegaard.

Mirror Football has analysed five of the main talking points from a close encounter.

Marquinhos shines

Marquinhos netted his first goal for the Gunners against Zurich

The right-sided forward is the youngest member of Arsenal ’s seemingly ever-growing Brazilian contingent and wasted little time in showcasing his talent.

Marquinhos netted his first Arsenal goal just over a quarter of an hour into his senior debut with a fantastic right-footed finish into the top-left corner of the net.

Latching on to a perfectly weighted pass from Eddie Nketiah, the teenager displayed the kind of composure often shown by attackers many years his senior to hand Arsenal the lead.

The emotion of the moment clearly got the better of Marquinhos, who burst into tears during his celebrations.

The Sao Paulo-born sensation was a constant thorn in the side of the Zurich defence, giving his counterpart down that right-flank a headache all evening.

Goalscorer turned provider when Marquinhos curled in a pinpoint cross onto the head of Nketiah who sqeeuzed his header inside the right side of the post to restore Arsenal’s advantage.

That proved to be his last notable contribution before being replaced by Bukayo Saka with 20 minutes to spare.

Eddie impresses again

Eddie Nketiah scored his 19th goal in his 40th start for Arsenal

Arsenal’s number 14 ensured his fantastic form in front of goal when starting a game continued with his 19th strike in 40 starts for the Gunners.

Nketiah will be all too aware that becoming Arsenal’s first-choice forward could prove difficult for quite some time given the presence of Gabriel Jesus, so will know the Europa League presents his best chance to impress and he did exactly that in Switzerland.

His header came at a crucial time, proving that the England under-21 record goal-scorer can be a man relied upon at big moments. Nketiah’s goal was the difference and spared his side’s blushes on match-day one.

Fabio Vieira enjoys full debut

Fabio Viera was in fine form against Zurich

At long last, Arsenal fans around the globe rejoiced as they finally got to see their £34million summer acquisition in action as Fabio Vieira was handed his first start as an Arsenal player.

After a positive cameo appearance off the bench during the defeat at Old Trafford, the Portuguese talent was handed the chance to impress from the off in Switzerland.

It was one he took, with a remarkable number of deft touches mixed with assured passing. It was Vieira who started the counter-attack for the game’s opening goal, showing a blend of his dribbling and passing ability before finding Nketiah in plenty of space.

The former Porto man was subjected to some particularly brutal challenges at times, but soldiered on to constantly operate as the perfect link between Sambi Lokonga and the Gunners forward line.

Tierney does his best Zinchenko impression

Kieran Tierney’s display would have pleased boss Mikel Arteta
At one stage in his Arsenal career, when fit, Kieran Tierney was one of the first names on the Gunners team-sheet.

This season however, he has been forced to act as deputy to summer signing Oleksandr Zinchenko – a player many regard as the more technically gifted of the two.

While Zinchenko has undeniably been superb since his arrival, Tierney used this clash to prove he can also thrive when being deployed as more of an inverted full-back tasked with contributing to attacking play.

The Scotland international was just about everywhere over the course of the game, at one stage linking up with Marquinhos on the right-hand side.

Tierney regularly took up more central roles inside the final third as he tried to unlock a Zurich defence that proved surprisingly resilient for longer than expected.

The 68th minute saw Tierney replaced by the current first-choice option Zinchenko, who will know he can’t afford to rest on his laurels.

Xhaka’s Arsenal rehab continues

Granit Xhaka was Arsenal captain for the evening

Few who witnessed Granit Xhaka’s on-pitch meltdown against Crystal Palace back in 2019 could have predicted he’d ever play for the club again – let alone don the armband.

His outburst three years ago saw him stripped of the club captaincy, but on Thursday night against Zurich he took on the role once again from the first whistle.

The Switzerland international was jeered in this game, though this time it was only opposition fans thankfully due to his ties with FC Basel, a rival Swiss outfit.

Xhaka nearly silenced the home faithful mid-way through the first-half but saw his low-driven effort tipped just round the post.

The captain for the evening was pivotal to Arsenal’s press as he helped pin the hosts back into their own half for so much of the contest. Interestingly, Xhaka kept hold of the armband despite Odegaard’s introduction late on.