Arsenal earned an important point against profligate French Champions PSG in a game that should have been over before it begun. Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria missed flurry of chances for the home team before Alexis Sanchez equalized for Arsenal. Arsenal could have won it late on but for poor finishing by Alex Iwobi.
From the moment the team list was released, it was obvious we were going to have a torrid time out there. Petr Cech was replaced by David Ospina in goal, Theo Walcott missed out due to a knee problem and Alexis Sanchez started upfront. Fans were expecting the worst and their worst fears were confirmed after PSG went ahead under 42 seconds.
Nacho Monreal gave too much room to Serge Aurier whose incisive cross met the waiting head of Edinson Cavani. At this point, we hadn’t even touched the ball. This early goal handed the momentum to PSG and they duly obliged. They carved open our defence at will and could have gone ahead on several occasions. Cavani alone had about 4 other chances to make the game safe for his side but for Ospina who made saves time and time again.
As a matter of fact, we were over-ran in midfield as the double pivot of Coquelin and Cazorla failed to make any significant impact.
We began the second half in a much better way than the first but still struggle to make any significant impact upfront. Ozil was not in the game and I have to say I have never seen him have such a bad day since he joined Arsenal.
PSG had some other couple of chances in the second half to take the game to bed but were thwarted by Ospina on all occasions. In the 63rd minute, Giroud came in for Oxlade-Chamberlain while moments later, Granit Xhaka replace the already booked Francis Coquelin. It was when these changes were made that we actually started to make something of the game.
So, it was therefore no surprise when Alexis Sanchez equalized 12 minutes from time. Mesut Ozil cross from the left landed at the feet of Alex Iwobi who took atouch before aiming at goal. His effort was parried by PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, but the ball rebounded mercifully to Sanchez who gratefully smashed the ball low into the left-hand corner of the goal to level proceedings.
Arsenal had the chance to take all three points when Alexis’ pass gave Iwobi an opportunity to give us the lead. His effort however was well save by Areola who parried the ball away.
At this point, both side appeared satisfied with a point but it seemed the referee was not done. A second yellow card for both Giroud and Veratti meant both will miss the second match day.
On an European night where Ospina looked the perfect candidate to take the blame if everything goes wrong, he turned out to be the one that gave rescued Arsenal when all else failed.