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  • By Alessandro Schiavone

Arsenal ride their luck in 1-1 draw at PSV but Kiwior and Trossard will be kicking themselves

By Alessandro Schiavone at Philips Stadion, Eindhoven

PSV 1-1 Arsenal

Goals: Nketiah (A), Vertessen (PSV)

EINDHOVEN-Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior must still be kicking themselves on the plane back home for missing a sitter apiece with the very last kicks of the game as PSV and Arsenal fought out a 1-1 draw at the Philips Stadion.

In a terrifically entertaining dead rubber, PSV were on top but it was Arsenal who got their noses in front through Eddie Nketiah’s 42th minute strike. Yorbe Vertessen levelled the contest five minutes after the restart when his composed finish in off the post left Aaron Ramsdale no chance.

With both teams already through as first and second in Group B respectively this had all the hallmarks of a dull encounter. But contrary to Arsenal, the hosts went for it in a bid to avenge the 4-0 trashing in the reverse fixture and take momentum into the last-16 round.

For ther record, PSV have only lost one game this season and have taken maximum points in the Eredivisie by winning an impressive 15 out of 15 fixtures thus far. And be it for the way the Dutch went about things, the energy and the chances they created it’s fair to say that they had another spring in their steps compared to Arsenal who rested EIGHT first-teamers, with only Gabriel Magalhaes, William Saliba and Kai Havertz playing from the start in the south of Holland.

The congested schedule ahead with games against Brighton & Hove Albion, Liverpool, West Ham and Fulham yet to come before 2023 closes left him with no other option.

The Gunners were happy to let PSV have a go at them. And the Dutch played all the pretty football. Early on they could have taken the lead, but Saibari fluffed the rebound after ex-Crystal Palace defender Patrick Van Aanholt, deployed as a central midfielder, saw his weak shot parried by Ramsdale. Vertessen’s header then came off the post while Brentford’s summer target Johan Bakayoko decided to go for power from a long way out but missed the target before he forced a routine save from Ramsdale.

Surprisingly,Arsenal’s first chance of a passive first half came through Mohamed Elneny who had a crack from distance only for his shot to hit the outside of Walter Benitez’s post.

Yet Nketiah was luckier when his immaculate shot hit the right side of the post as he finished off a neat team move after being teed up by Reiss Nelson.

But the lead only lasted three first-half and five second-half minutes as Vertessen levelled it with a fine curling effort in off the post.

Midway through the second half, Nelson could have turned from provider to goal scorer but he hit the side netting.

Guus Til had the winning goal on his right foot late on but dragged a poor shot wide.

Just like Trossard who fired straight at PSV’s Argentinian goalkeeper before Kiwior blasted the follow-up over. But it’s PSV who go home feeling that they had their pants pulled down.

PSV Eindhoven XI: Benitez; Teze, Ramalho, Obispo, Mauro Junior; Tillman, Van Aanholt, Saibari; Bakayoko, Pepi, Vertessen

Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Cedric, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior; Elneny, Jorginho, Trossard; Havertz, Nketiah, Nelson


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