Arsenal lost to PSV Eindhoven 2-0, meaning their attempt to win Group A will go to the final game of the group stages. The Eredivisie team excelled in front of their home crowd, taking full advantage of an underwhelming Arsenal performance to secure their place in the knockout rounds. For amazing sports betting opportunities and games check out our links!
PSV had three goals ruled offside, but two of their attempts in the second half were successful. Joey Veerman scored PSV’s first goal in the 55th minute with a skillfully placed shot past Aaron Ramsdale. PSV gained control of the game after the break thanks to the arrival of Luuk de Jong, who scored PSV’s second goal in the 63rd minute by outdoing Aaron Ramsdale at a corner to make it 2-0.
PSV maintained their effort throughout their stunning victory even though Arsenal emptied the bench and substituted some of their regular starters.
Although Arteta stated earlier in the week that he believes elite players will be able to handle a season of 70 games, he could have used a win on Thursday night as the last thing he needs is another game to worry about. The Europa League’s new format calls for an additional encounter between the second-placed team in a pool and one of the third-placed Champions League teams to determine who advances to the knockout rounds.
The loss means that, as things stand, Arsenal has a two-point lead over PSV moving into the last round of games. As a result, they cannot afford to let up when they face FC Zurich the following week. Any outcome today for Arsenal would have clinched first place. The stand-in players on Thursday scarcely made a strong case to force their way into the starting lineup any time soon, contrary to Arteta’s recent comments about having a too-thin roster to be able to rotate in the Premier League. Both the hosts PSV and Arsenal had bad nights on this occasion.
Two of Europe’s most promising young players, Cody Gakpo and Xavi Simons, led the line for PSV. Gakpo received a lot of interest from Premier League teams in the summer, including Manchester United, Arsenal, Leeds, and Southampton. Even though Takehiro Tomiyasu had taken him out of the game last week, he was quiet at the Emirates, but tonight in front of his home crowd, he was able to display more poise.
Gakpo mistimed his move and ended up on the wrong side of the offside line, leading to scores being disallowed in either half, although his pace gave Arsenal problems. Although both of his attempts were rightfully disallowed, he added assist number 14 for the year when his perfect corner hit Luuk de Jong’s head to score PSV’s second goal, bringing his season total of goals scored to 13.
Xavi Simons teamed with Gakpo up front, and the 19-year-old was brilliant for PSV. Due to Anwar El Ghazi’s offside in the buildup, he had a fantastic goal disallowed in the first half, but his cleverness had Arsenal in tatters. With eight goals and three assists this year, it is understandable why he would be a last-minute addition to the Netherlands’ World Cup roster.
Simons, who can quickly change the course of a game, was included in Louis van Gaal’s extended squad on Friday. Since his summer transfer from PSG to PSV, he has thrived, and his standing will continue to rise.
On Thursday night, Arteta would have discovered a great deal about those guys who were on the fringes of the first squad. With Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, and Gabriel Martinelli leading the line alongside Eddie Nketiah and Granit Xhaka, and Thomas Partey controlling the midfield, the team that won the game had a familiar appearance. However, Arteta obviously felt the depth would be sufficient to handle their absence considering that Saka, Jesus, and Partey started the game on the bench.
Sadly, the team he assembled was unable to complete the job. When asked about Albert Sambi Lokonga’s comments about wanting more opportunities with the first team prior to the game, Arteta pushed him to argue his point on the field. He mostly went unnoticed. Rob Holding was twisted by De Jong for PSV’s opening goal, and the striker found enough room for himself to set up Veerman after Nketiah created three good opportunities but failed to convert on all of them. Fabio Vieira started out on the right flank but didn’t appear more comfortable until Saka entered the game and he was shifted more centrally.
Despite playing all over the left flank, in central midfield, and occasionally as a marauding attacking midfielder, Kieran Tierney—who has started three Premier League games this season—failed to make an impact. On the basis of this information, it is clear why Arteta believes he must always field his strongest XI in the top division, which is concerning if they are to maintain this momentum across many competitions.