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Much-changed Arsenal held to draw at PSV Eindhoven


Eddie Nketiah
Eddie Nketiah scored his first Champions League goal in four appearances to give Arsenal the lead in Eindhoven

Much-changed Arsenal were held to a draw at PSV Eindhoven in their final match of the Champions League group stage.

The Gunners had already won Group B and manager Mikel Arteta made eight changes from the weekend’s Premier League loss at Aston Villa.

It led to a disjointed performance, although Arsenal took the lead through Eddie Nketiah after 42 minutes.

But PSV earned a deserved point via Yorbe Vertessen’s fine equaliser.

Nketiah fired Arsenal ahead three minutes before the end of a first half in which they had been put under significant pressure by PSV, who had also already qualified for the knockout stages as group runners-up.

It was a superb finish by the England forward, controlling a low ball from the right before striking into the bottom-right corner from the edge of the area.

But Arsenal were pegged back five minutes after the break through Vertessen’s right-footed strike off the left post.

Both sides had good chances to find a second-half winner. Ismael Saibari hit the near post before Guus Til shot across the face of goal late on.

Arsenal did have the ball in the net, Jakub Kiwior heading home after beating PSV keeper Walter Benitez to a free-kick, but it was ruled out for offside against Gabriel.

Nketiah was denied one-on-one by Benitez in the sixth minute of stoppage time, before Leandro Trossard fired the rebound over.

Arsenal conclude the group stage with 13 points from six games – four ahead of PSV – and will face one of the other seven runners-up in the last 16.

Nketiah grabs point for sluggish Arsenal

With Arsenal safely through, Arteta rang the changes with just William Saliba, Gabriel and Kai Havertz retaining their starting XI spots.

That may have played a role in their sluggish start, with PSV much more lively in the opening stages.

The Dutch side’s only defeat this season was the 4-0 loss at Emirates Stadium, and they played with freedom and confidence here.

Aaron Ramsdale – one of the eight Arsenal changes in his Champions League debut – saved well from Saibari before USA striker Ricardo Pepi struck the post with a header.

Arsenal held out and took the lead through Nketiah, in a much-needed riposte to critics of his place as a striker at Champions League level.

But their poor recent history in the Netherlands continues. Arsenal have now failed to win in their past four European visits to Dutch sides since a 2-1 Champions League victory at Ajax in September 2005.

Arteta was clearly discontented with the performance, with Ben White, Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice all subbed on in the second half – a demonstration of Arsenal’s squad depth before the busy Christmas period.

He named three academy youngsters on the bench – Lino Sousa, Reuell Walters and Ethan Nwaneri – but chose not to give them game time.

Emile Smith Rowe did come on as a late sub, the winger making his first appearance since October following a knee injury.

Line-ups

PSV Eindhoven

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Benítez
  • 3Teze
  • 5Ramalho Silva
  • 4Obispo
  • 17Mauro Júnior
  • 10TillmanSubstituted forTilat 82′minutes
  • 30van Aanholt
  • 34SaibariSubstituted forDestat 74′minutes
  • 11BakayokoSubstituted forBabadiat 74′minutes
  • 14Pepi
  • 32VertessenSubstituted forOppegårdat 90′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Sambo
  • 8Dest
  • 9L de Jong
  • 16Drommel
  • 18Boscagli
  • 20Til
  • 24Waterman
  • 26Babadi
  • 35Oppegård

Arsenal

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 17Cédric SoaresSubstituted forRiceat 62′minutes
  • 2SalibaSubstituted forWhiteat 62′minutes
  • 6Gabriel
  • 15Kiwior
  • 25ElnenySubstituted forØdegaardat 62′minutes
  • 20Jorginho
  • 29HavertzSubstituted forSmith Roweat 89′minutes
  • 24NelsonSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 89′minutes
  • 14Nketiah
  • 19Trossard

Substitutes

  • 4White
  • 7Saka
  • 8Ødegaard
  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 10Smith Rowe
  • 22Raya
  • 31Hein
  • 35Zinchenko
  • 41Rice
  • 63Nwaneri
  • 72Sousa
  • 76Walters

Live Text

Player of the match

RamsdaleAaron Ramsdale

PSV Eindhoven

  1. Squad number11Player nameBakayoko

  2. Squad number10Player nameTillman

  3. Squad number8Player nameDest

  4. Squad number4Player nameObispo

  5. Squad number3Player nameTeze

  6. Squad number32Player nameVertessen

  7. Squad number17Player nameMauro Júnior

  8. Squad number5Player nameAndré Ramalho

  9. Squad number20Player nameTil

  10. Squad number30Player namevan Aanholt

  11. Squad number34Player nameSaibari

  12. Squad number14Player namePepi

  13. Squad number1Player nameBenítez

  14. Squad number35Player nameOppegård

  15. Squad number26Player nameBabadi





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