Arsenal hopes of finishing as group winners was dealt a serious blow in their matchday 5 clash against PSG at the Emirates last night. The Gunners needed to defeat PSG or avoid high scoring draws to have the head-to-head advantage over the Parisians.
The Gunners were on course to finish top of the group with a 2-1 lead 14 minutes to the final whistle but Lucas Moura’s header deflected in by Alex Iwobi took the wind out of North London. It was a harsh blow for young Iwobi but the Gunners could not grab a third despite the introductions of Theo Walcott, Granit Xhaka and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Edison Cavani tapped into an open net in the 18th minute after Thioga Motta picked out Matuidi’s run between Mustafi and Jenkinson before squaring for the Uruguayan striker. Arsenal were restricted and pegged back by PSG but managed to draw level with a late penalty in the first half. Giroud’s tackle up field found Ozil who found Sanchez via a reverse pass before the Chilean was clipped by Krychowiak. The referee pointed to the spot before Giroud scored the resulting penalty.
In the 60th minute, the Gunners went ahead thanks to an own goal. Marquinhos clearance was deflected back to goal by his teammate Veratti. PSG had the last smile with Moura’s header 13 minutes from regulation time.
PSG now have the top spot to lose when they host Ludogorets in the last group game. Arsenal will need to beat Basel in Switzerland and hope that Ludogorets hold PSG to a draw in Paris – almost impossible. Second place might be a blessing in the long run seeing that Barcelona and Bayern Munich look set to finish in second place in their respective groups.
Is the November Curse on?