By Walter Broeckx
A number of changes compared to the team that started at Manchester United last weekend.
In goal we have our CL keeper Ospina as expected. Jenkinson stayed at right back but at left back we had Kieran Gibbs in the place of Monreal.
In midfield we had the pairing of Ramsey and Coquelin so Elneny dropping to the bench. Iwobi came in the team and Walcott also dropped to the bench.
And up front we had Olivier Giroud so Alexis probably on the flank today but don’t know which flank now before the kickoff.
Team at the start: Ospina, Jenkinson, Mustafi, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin, Ramsey,Alexis, Ozil, Iwobi, Giroud
On the beach: Cech, Gabriel, Monreal, Elneny, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott.
Two misplaced passes by Kos and Coquelin early on but no real danger coming from it. A cross from Jenkinson goes over Giroud and PSG also with a cross but nobody at the end of it. Both teams not dangerous in the opening 12 minutes. Then the first foul is called in a up to then very clean match. Iwobi with a dangerous looking run but he didn’t go for the shot and finally lost the ball. 0-0 after 15 minutes.
Gibbs stopping a PSG effort short before the goal line after a corner. Matuide escapes on the left and his cross is bundled over the goal line for PSG. 0-1 after 18 minutes. Arsenal needing some time to recover from that blow and not at their best for the moment. Ramsey going down in the penalty area but the ref didn’t see a foul. It looked a close call as it was unclear if the defender first got Ramsey and only then the ball. Arsenal still 0-1 behind after 30 minutes.
Marquinhos goes in the book for chopping down Alexis who wanted to start a counter after a PSG corner. Coquelin also goes in the book for what no PL referee would call a foul. Özil plays the Alexis in some space but his cross is terrible. Too many passes not reaching an Arsenal team mate so far. Appeals for a handball but the ref rightly waved it away as the arm was in front of his body. And another cross goes terribly wide. Giroud wins back the ball, to Özil who gives it to Alexis who goes down and the ref points to the spot. Giroud behind the ball….. and he puts it away. GOAL!!!! 1-1 drze 45 minutes. Giroud sending the keeper the wrong way. Cavani being hot tempered after the penalty decision and some pushing and shoving with Ramsey before the penalty was taken.
To be honest I couldn’t see if Alexis was caught or not. Streams you know… but it was right in front of the 5th official so he might have seen something. The PSG player who committed the foul also not really reacting or protesting. So probably right to give the penalty. So after a bad first half we go in with a 1-1 score and that was more than hoped for based on our performance in the first 45 minutes. Meanwhile finding out that winning the group might see us face Bayern Munich who unless Atletico really screws up alot will finish second in there group….
Arsenal seemingly trying to press a bit higher up the pitch in the second half but not really much happening in front of either goal in the opening 5 minutes of the second half. Koscielny goes in the book after losing the ball in a dangerous position, correct decision. That seemed to be one of the problems too much running with the ball and not enough passing this evening. The free kick hits the cross bar with Ospina looking on. He looked sure it wouldn’t go in…. Verrati also goes in the book as he stops Alexis on a counter. Jenkinson with a cross that ends up in the feet of Giroud but his shot is blocked. Arsenal with some corners and some pressure just before the hour mark. Jenkinson with a cross the ball is deflected to Ramsey who has a shot that is kicked out by a defender…against another defender and goes over the line. GOAL!!!!! 2-1 after 60 minutes. Verrati the unlucky player to score the own goal.
Ramsey again involved a bit later but this time refuse to help Arsenal and they can clear. Cavani with a shot from distance but very far off target. Cavani then looking for a penalty but he just threw himself to the floor to obvious and Ospina can pick up the ball. PSG now recovered from the own goal and pressing forward now. The assistant then waiting an awful long time before raising his flag when Cavani was offside. Coquelin meanwhile not really daring to challenge PSG players in fear of getting a second yellow card. Those German refs can be strict at times.
PSG really pressing forward and Arsenal having trouble of getting out with the ball. Jenkinson with a good defensive interception on a cross. Arsenal then pressing high and winning the ball but Ramsey just can’t get on the end of Alexis’ cross. 2-1 to Arsenal after 75 minutes.
Ospina bravely first on the ball after a low cross in front of Cavani. PSG get a corner and Lucas heads it in goal totally unmarked and with Iwobi touching the ball so Ospina couldn’t catch it. That was his last contribution as Xhaka replaced the young Ivorian player after that. Ramsey moving forward Xhaka dropping deeper. Cavani escpade from deep in the Arsenal half but Ospina catched his attempted lob. Ramsey with a shot that went wide at the other end.
After 79 minutes Coquelin came off and Walcott came on. And a minute later The Ox came on for Jenkinson. Cavani headed wide after a promising cross. Ospina then having to head the ball out of his penalty area.
Both teams going for the winning goal when they have the ball. Xhaka picking the wrong long ball when Arsenal could counter and the chance goes begging.
Again not the best performance from Arsenal but again we kept ourselves alive somehow. So who will win the group will be decided in the last match in Bazel and Paris.