Arsenal are through to the knockout stage of the Champions League after playing 1-1 draw with PSV
Top position in the group had already been secured two weeks earlier in London, but Mikel Arteta’s much-changed team were desperate to advance to the knockout rounds with another impressive win.
Eddie Nketiah scored our goal just before halftime with a low directed finish from just inside the box, but PSV – who have a perfect record in the Dutch league after 15 games – responded immediately after the restart.
Both teams had opportunities to win, including a late winner from Leandro Trossard, but we had to settle for a draw on another difficult European away day.
Both teams went into the game knowing that they were already guaranteed a spot in the Round of 16, so it’s not unexpected that the game started slowly.
The hosts had the finest chance of the first quarter-hour. When the ball landed at his feet in front of goal after a quick break, Ricardo Pepi appeared destined to score. Gabriel, on the other hand, slid in to make a crucial block and divert the ball over the bar.
Gabriel, along with William Saliba and Kai Havertz, were the only three players to retain their places in the weekend match against Aston Villa.
Havertz got our first shot on goal, heading wide from an in-swinging corner after outmuscling his man in the air.
Yorbe Vertessen struck the foot of the post with his header at the opposite end. Johan Bakayoko was making an impression on the right wing, and he cut inside to fire a 25-yard attempt just wide.
Mohamed Elneny, making his first appearance in 11 months, also attempted a long-range shot, but his effort nicked the post before going wide.
On the other hand, the hosts posed a constant threat. Pepi launched another counterattack, but Saliba, who was backing down, stopped his attempt.
Nketiah gave us the lead late in the half with a beautiful finish. Cedric with the diligent Reiss Nelson did a good job moving the ball up the right before putting Nketiah just inside the box with a low pass. He moved the ball to his left foot and hit the post with a drive.
Arsenal maintained their record of scoring in the first half of every European match this season—it was the striker’s first Champions League goal.
But the Gunners lost their lead quite early in the second half.
PSV advanced with genuine pace and determination once more, and Vertessen completed the play with an inch-perfect right-foot shot across Aaron Ramsdale and in off the post.
Declan Rice, Ben White, and Martin Odegaard were sent on as a response by Mikel Arteta. Rice was assigned to centre defence with Gabriel.
Nelson sought to take matters into his own hands once more, this time with a driving run that finished with a shot into the side netting.
The game was opening up, and Pepi went near yet again, hitting the post after turning Rice in the box.
Jakub Kiwior had the ball in the net when the flag was raised for offside, ruling out his header.
Trossard nearly won it in the final minute, but his furious strike was stopped at close range by Walter Benitez, and Kiwior’s blistering rocket over the bar was the game’s final kick.