Rampant Rood-witten leave Gunners speaking Double Dutch
PSV Eindhoven handed Arsenal their first UEFA Europa League (UEL) defeat of the season, denying the Gunners the chance to seal top spot in Group A, at least for the time being. None of the last 11 away sides have kept a clean sheet in a UEL game in Eindhoven.
Having chalked up a six-year low four shots in their reverse 1-0 defeat last week, PSV were keen to make amends, and thought they had taken the lead within 20 minutes, but Cody Gakpo was caught offside before dinking over Aaron Ramsdale. Despite long spells of possession, Arsenal were finding chances hard to come by in a fairly evenly-matched contest. Xavi Simons had been posing problems for the visitors, and looked to have scored the opener on the stroke of HT following a tenacious run, but once again, an offside in the build-up handed the Gunners a reprieve.
The hosts were seemingly growing in confidence, and early second-half shots from Simons, Luuk de Jong, and Gakpo foreshadowed the game’s first goal. After regaining possession from an Arsenal throw-in, PSV worked the ball to de Jong, who shrugged off Rob Holding and laid off Joey Veerman to make it 1-0. Just minutes later the hosts had another when Ramsdale flapped at a corner, allowing de Jong to nod into an exposed net. Arsenal were playing in a mismatched kit due to UEFA regulations, and their second-half performance was matching that description to a tee. Incredibly, PSV had the ball in the back of the net for a fifth time, but yet again, the offside flag came to Mikel Arteta’s rescue, denying Gakpo for a second time.
De Jong’s HT introduction changed the game, and the Dutchman came close with two more headers as the game drew to a close. The visitors’ best chance of the half once again fell to Nketiah, but he was unable to live up to his usually prolific European standards. Victory seals PSV’s progression in the UEL, with the chance to potentially leapfrog Arsenal still possible in matchday six. As for the Gunners, a defeat is far from disastrous in terms of European progression, but a poor second-half showing will have done little to boost the mood in the dressing room following their recent Premier League draw with Southampton.