An own goal from Julien Escude, deflecting in Cesc Fabregas' shot, set the Gunners on their way, with Robin van Persie doubling their lead after the break and substitute Eduardo adding a third in stoppage time.

The Spaniards - making their debut in the Champions League and managed by Tottenham target Juande Ramos - had looked lively enough lead by former Spurs striker Fredi Kanoute, but could not break down the resolute Arsenal defence.

Arsenal may have sold star man Thierry Henry to Barcelona during the summer but they have not missed him as yet - racing to the top of the Barclays Premier League with four wins from five games.

It was another positive evening for the Gunners, who had to qualify to reach the group stages of Europe's elite club competition once again.

Such was the comfortable scoreline that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was able to give Lassana Diarra - signed from Chelsea - the final few minutes of action.