The stage was set before the match for an exiting showdown in Group A for the top spot, and both teams delivered it in style. Paris Saint Germain got the minimum they needed from the game, a 2-2 draw which sends them top of Group A, as result of their two away goals on the night, and group winners as long as they match Arsenal’s result in Matchday 6.
Arsenal were narrow favourites going into the match when news broke that Serge Aurier was not allowed to enter the country due to legal reasons, and PSG were given another blow when Di Maria was unable to train and was subsequently taken out of the squad that afternoon. And was surprisingly replaced in the Starting XI by Krychowiak. A change that came as a surprise to Paris fans and French experts due to his lack of matches and because Blaise Matuidi was pushed out into an unfamiliar Left Wing role.
Les Parisiens fans arrived at the ground particularly early and were in fine voice within an hour of kickoff when everyone else were slowly filtering into the stadium. PSG took control of the early stages in the match. Surprisingly, Arsenal seemed happy to sit off and let Paris control possession and it took until quarter of an hour when they got their first good chance of the match from a corner. Cavani got good contact on an in-swinging corner and eventually the ball was cleared away off the line.
However, Paris were able to take the lead their play had deserved in the 18′ and it seemed to come out of nothing as well. The ball was calmly being knocked around the back before Motta found space to attack the Arsenal defensive line and he played the ball through to Matuidi who picked out Cavani across the six yard box to make it 1-0 Paris. That goal carried on El Matadors excellent scoring form. He’s now scored 16 goals in 16 games in all competitions so far this season for PSG.
Paris Saint Germain looked good in the first half but Arsenal also looked very tired and flat and it was completely unfortunate for Les Parisiens who deserved to go in at Half Time 1-0 up, but had to settle for a 1-1 score when Giroud converted his penalty. Krychowiak was to blame for the penalty; losing possession carelessly and taking down Alexis Sanchez. The Gunners came out in the second half fresh from their goal that they’d scored from their only shot on goal in the whole half and gave PSG a lot of trouble. The pressure they applied even gave them a 2-1 lead in the most unlucky style when the ball bounced off Verratti and into the bottom corner.
As it stood PSG would be finishing second behind Arsenal and they needed a reaction in the knowledge that a goal would send them top. Emery brought on more creativity in the final 20 minutes through Hatem Ben Arfa and respond they did! It was the French attacker who swung a dangerous cross in from a corner and Lucas Moura, only 5″7, headed it into the net, with help from a flick from Alex Iwobi which took it past his own goalkeeper. The final stages of the match were extremely gripping. Cavani past up a great opportunity to make it 3-2 and he had a header that was whicker to putting Paris ahead too. But Les Rouge et Bleus held on to top the group!
Although level on points with the English side, Paris are on course to top the group due to away goals scored against the Gunners. As long as Paris beat Ludogorets at Le Parc Des Princes on Matchday 6, they will ned up as group winner for the first time since 2013, making this great result a huge step on their way to fulfilling high expectations.
Final Score: Arsenal 2-2 PSG
Top Performance: Lucas Moura – The Winger scored the important goal that meant PSG have a great chance of toping the group and he caused the Arsenal defence problems all game, even striking he crossbar from a free kick in the second half. Thiago Motta also deserves an honourable mention for his performance.
Next Match: Lyon v PSG, Sunday 27th November, 19:45pm