It was always going to be a difficult trip to Brentford, who were hosting their first top division match since 1947.
Add to the fact Brentford’s Community Stadium was packed for the first time and Arsenal were missing a host of star players, the 2-0 result shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
But perhaps the manner of the loss would be the biggest disappointment for manager Mikel Arteta.
The Spanish manager was damning in his post-match analysis.
“We were not good enough to beat them,” Arteta admitted. “We did not do the basics. We have started in a disappointing way but we will review and speak with cool heads and try to put it right as soon as possible.”
The visitors were without the injured Thomas Partey, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette were absent due to illness.
Quiz: How much do you know about Arsenal’s first-team stars?
But there was one positive for Arsenal – the introduction of Bakayo Saka on the pitch.
Saka played a role in England reaching the Euro 2020 final in the summer before devastatingly missing a penalty in the shootout loss to Italy.
The 19-year-old was subjected to vile racial abuse as a result but the country have since rallied around him and the two other players to miss penalties – Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.
And it seems the entire nation is behind him.
Last week during a north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham, Saka was given a great reception.
And that was very much the case when Saka was brought on off the bench in the 59th-minute.
The home supporters gave Saka a standing ovation – something that both Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan reacted to.
“That really is a beautiful reception for @BukayoSaka87 from the @BrentfordFC fans. Well played,” Lineker said.
Arsenal fan, Morgan, added: “Wow. That was quite something. A rousing prolonged standing ovation from Brentford fans for #Saka when he came on – what a stunningly emphatic repudiation of racism.”
It was a beautiful moment during a very tough night for Arsenal.