A third draw in a row has left Arsenal staring at second place in the Champions League Group stage, again. For the second time in a week Arsenal only mustered a single shot on target, and to an extent were fortunate to escape with a draw.
In the first half we were abysmal, and really quite embarrassing. Much like against United, we were slow and lethargic with no tempo to our game. Wenger started Giroud which I thought was a good call, but throughout the entire game he received no service, in the first half there were many occasions where we had possession in promising wide areas, but squandered any chance of a goal by delivering a cross of no quality, giving Giroud no hope. PSG’s weren’t much better but they did create two chances, one of which being their goal. How PSG found so much space in our midfield is beyond me, and then Matuidi was allowed to turn with no challenge, before finding a free Cavani at the back stick. Awful defending all round. Throughout the game, the most frustrating element was the lack of pressure on PGS’s back line and midfield, partially because Giroud hasn’t got the pace that Sanchez has to close down the centre backs. PSG were allowed to knock the ball with ease, which shouldn’t be allowed. Eventually towards half time we did begin to press, and with that came our penalty. It was a well worked move and good pressing from Giroud, Ozil’s pass to Sanchez was sensational and it was good movement from the Chilean. Whether it was penalty is debateable but there was just enough contact. Good penalty from Giroud, 1-1 at half time and the perfect time to score. The referee was poor in the first half, and you could argue Ramsey should’ve got a penalty earlier, but this isn’t an excuse for the fact we only created a single shot in the first 45.
Overall the second half was better, we looked brighter and more confident which was reflected by our fortunate second goal in the 60th minute. At this moment Wenger needed to freshen the side up and take a defensive approach. We let PSG come back into the game, before that shambolic equaliser. Jenkinson was awful all game, his crossing was inaccurate, he couldn’t contain an out of position Matuidi and he topped it off by losing an aerial battle to the shortest player on the pitch. Iwobi did knock it past Ospina but he can’t be completely blamed. Cavani should’ve scored from another Arsenal mistake, which did mean we were lucky not to lose. After that chance we gave up on pressing and allowed PSG to pass it around in our half.
This was a great chance to finally top our group and make life easier in the Round of 16, but we’ve squandered it and now will probably inevitably face Barcelona or Bayern Munich again. I honestly think we are a better side than PSG, they aren’t that good. Like Man Utd and Spurs we got our tactics wrong in a big game, and it’s cost us. Our first string of tough games has come to a close, with 3 points from 9 (all comps.), the equivalent of losing two and winning one.
On Sunday we face Bournemouth, and urge Wenger to take Jenkinson out of the side. However Ramsey should attain his position after a solid performance in midweek.
Ospina – 6
Jenkinson – 4.5 Koscielny – 6 Mustafi – 6 Gibbs – 5
Ramsey – 6.5 Coquelin – 6
Sanchez -6 Ozil – 6 Iwobi – 6
Giroud – 6
Subs: Xhaka – 6, Walcott – 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6