Arsenal’s performance left a lot to be desired as they drew 2-2 with a PSG side who could easily have inflicted a much more punishing scoreline against them.
The Gunners made four changes from Saturday’s draw in Manchester, with Olivier Giroud starting up top and Theo Walcott dropping to the bench. Alex Iwobi’s dynamism replaced Mohamed Elneny, whilst David Ospina and Keiran Gibbs kept their Champions League places.
Almost immediately there were danger signs for Arsenal. After six minutes, Meunier found space down the right and crossed to within a kitten’s whisker of Edison Cavani’s forehead – uncomfortably reminiscent of the Uruguayan’s early goal at the Parc des Princes.
Arsenal’s midfielders were flying into challenges with both intent and accuracy, Ramsey looking especially combative having struggled out wide at Old Trafford.
Marco Verrati was initially unable to dictate play from the base of midfield and PSG’s threat instead came from Meunier, who again went relatively unchallenged after 11 minutes before his cross was cleared.
Worryingly for home fans, Cavani found himself in acres of space 4 minutes later when a corner was whipped in to the near post and, in the 18th minute, the same man went incomprehensibly unattended to slide in a Blaise Matuidi cross and put the Parisiens 1-0 to the good.
The usually imperious Laurent Koscielny’s tracking of the striker was poor and the early warning signs had been neglected.
It was clear that the Gunners desperately needed to settle down and keep hold of possession, often forcing the ball forward when there were much easier options available.
Sanchez’s typically uncompromising work rate was a bright spark, yet Mesut Ozil cut a frustrated figure as his team mates made very little movement.
The Chilean floated a chip over the PSG defence in the 27th minute, although Carl Jenkinson was marginally beaten to the ball by ‘keeper Areola.
A minute later Ramsey had a penalty claim rightfully waved away. The Welshman was nevertheless making confident forward runs and was easily Arsenal’s most impressive tackler.
In the 31st minute, centre-half Marquinhos was the first man into the book after a cynical challenge on Alexis as the Gunners looked to break.
PSG were executing a near-perfect game plan, barely giving Arsenal’s ball-players a moment’s peace and dominating possession.
Then came Coquelin’s customary yellow card after tackle on Thiago Motta was deemed to be too high. The booking will see him suspended for Arsenal’s final group game in Basel.
The pattern of play was becoming repetitive and the Emirates faithful restless having seen Arsenal register zero shots.
Ramsey had an appeal for handball in the box turned down after 41 minutes and the replays showed Matuidi would have been hard-done-by if penalised.
When Carl Jenkinson skewed a cross high and wide you could almost sense the inevitable assertions that it ‘summed up Arsenal’s half.’
But however the home side had played in the first half, they were provided with a reset button when Alexis chopped inside and was brought down by Grzegorz Krychowiak and a penalty was given.
Form man Olivier Giroud stepped up to slot in and make it 1-1 with the final kick of the half – Arsenal’s first effort on target.
Neither side made changes at the break but Arsenal emerged with a higher tempo and increased determination.
However, the sloppy passing remained and Koscielny had no other option but to bring down Lucas Moura on the edge of the box. The Brazilian took it himself and sent a terrific curling effort crashing against the bar.
Chances for Arsenal were beginning to materialise, with Iwobi’s through ball almost finding Sanchez and Giroud’s goal-bound drive well-blocked.
Carl Jenkinson was bombing forward where possible and his intent was rewarded in the 60th minute when his cross found its way to Ramsey, whose shot was cleared but freakishly pinged into the net off Verratti and Arsenal suddenly found themselves 2-1 up.
PSG immediately looked determined to respond, with Cavani continuing to find space in behind Arsenal’s defence.
Hatem Ben Arfa came on and exhibited intricate footwork in the 72nd minute before Jenkinson got a crucial knee on the ball to divert Lucas’ cross away from a lurking Matuidi.
Arsenal’s reply was for Sanchez to play one of his near-trademark chipped passes towards Ramsey who just couldn’t get a toe on the ball.
The game was fairly end-to-end, but PSG’s slight ascendancy showed when Lucas Moura headed a corner into the net via a deflection off Iwobi to make it 2-2. The Nigerian was replaced by Granit Xhaka almost instantly.
Dangerman Cavani then surged in behind Arsenal’s defence yet again, but Ospina was equal to his attempted chip and stood strong.
Arsene Wenger’s desire was clear, sending on Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain for Coquelin and Jenkinson.
Cavani’s superb off-the-ball movement wasn’t going away, though. For PSG fans it was just a shame his finishing ability – or lack-of – continued to let him down as he headed wide from point blank range.
The game petered out somewhat and, as the final whistle sounded, Arsenal were left to rue a night where they were generally second-best and consigned to a second place finish in the group stages.
Disapppointing that we should have lost about 5-2 thanks to Cavani having the finishing ability of…me
Agreed. Another game which we were fortunate not to lose.
Enough of the “we would have lost that last season”. We need to start playing a whole lot better than we are. Full stop.
Our dip in form coincides with Ramsey coming back in to the starting XI. Torrid, turgid, sluggish play, porous midfield (when he plays in the center), a general lack of cohesiveness, top-heavy tripe. The unimaginative Arsenal we know so well. As much as I love Giroud, I’m afraid he contributes to the sluggishness as well. It’s not a surprise that some of our best football came when both Giroud and Ramsey were out of the side. Does Ramsey have a clause in his contract that says he must play whenever he’s fit?
Ramsey was very good tonight. The problem was Iwobi. He was dreadful – continually holding on too long, continually running into blind alleys, continually losing the ball. I won’t blame him 100% for the own goal, but really he should have know better than to try to head that ball when it wasn’t hit hard enough to trouble Ospina.
Is right back the Ox’s new position? He can certainly bomb on with the best of them and his throw-ins are better than Bellerin’s or Jenkinson’s, but … right back?
Absolutely spot on, ramsey is so one paced (similar to a gareth barry), he pops up everywhere but tends to get in the way of everything (look at some of the things tonight when he got into there area), I really think he is dreadful (not in a doesn’t work hard or doesn’t give 100 per cent and try), he just doesn’t suit our style and in fact unsettles us as a team. His passing back and sideways, slows down tempo or stops more flowing moves. Interesting because Xhaka who is not blessed with pace himself has a more positive… Read more »
I think the boss is trying to play Ramsey into form…..
Ramsey ruins our shape
Been waiting playing like this for a while now! Lucky not to lose!
Just wished Chamberlain came on earlier. I don’t know what he has to do to get more game time!
Sanchez has got to be rested now.
Chamberlain has been crap, more often than not, this season and ALL of last season. It shows how bad we are currently playing that people want him on earlier.
Thanks to immigration that serge aurier didn’t take part to test gibbs.
Why, just why did Wenger not sub Iwobi out 10 min earlier?? It was so obvious that he needed to go off.
same shit, different year
If we have 30 minutes more to play on the counter (as the opponent needs to attack)
and we also have two of our quickest players on the bench (… totally fit and relaxed)
while our players on the field/wings either totally exhausted or unexperienced
why the hell does Wenger wait 20 more minutes (plus a bloody equalisier) to make that substitutions?
So many years after I still don’t understand Wenger. That man is an enigma.
Could a substitution between the 64th and 77th minute help to see out the one goal lead and win the game?
I was amazed he didn’t put some fresh legs on. Half the players looked completely dead on their feet.
I knw he is not blind, he sees this things. I just wonder what goes on in his head.
I think I’ll just put ‘bollocks’…
Xylophone, xylophone fish
Pls remind me why we paid almost $40 Million to sit Granit Xhaka on the bench
Lucky to get a draw with one shot on goal. And that was the penalty. I think we are making progress in the CL, despite the final result being the same. But all this feels like very small baby steps. Efforts like the 3-2 win against Ludogorats seem wasted.
Thanks to Jenkinson Lucas Moura was unmarked and psg equalised
Would be interesting to see some stats regarding Ramsay today. A lot of his passes seemed to the take the momentum out of our play/attack and allow PSG to neutralise any possible advantage we could have had (much to the dismay of the home crowd). I doubt some of his choices were made out of instruction from the manager, instead just a man lacking in confidence and match sharpness. He seemed intent on playing it safe rather than taking a chance. Games like this are so often won and lost in the midfield, and whilst I’m not blaming Ramsay for… Read more »
We desperately miss Cazorla. No one else has his ability to help the defence bring the ball out. No coincidence that our poor form has come about since his injury.
Agree, Ramsey is not good enough for the starting XI. But Don´t upset blogs. He thought Ramsey was awesome today.
Blogs always gives Ramsey a pass because ‘E runs about a bit’,’never goes hiding’ and other nonsense. He’s not on form, not match fit, too gung ho to be in the midfield and we always concede with him in the middle. He’s not good enough to play the 10, can’t control the middle and we have better options out wide. But he’s obviously the boss’s favourite as he always tries to fit him in. I can understand if he’s in the form he was a few years ago but he hasn’t shown that since.
Ramsey was excellent today…
Here are those stats:
You do realise that Denilson always had amazing stats for Arsenal and was still dreadful. Coquelin had brilliant stats against united at the weekend and i don’t think too many thought he played well.
To call any player’s performance tonight excellant is weird. Arsenal were dreadful defensively and could’ve easily conceded 5. Poor going foward and only had one shot on target.
Ramsey was alright, one of our better players but that’s faint praise. Anyone trying to make anything more or less of his performance is very bias.
Everyone posting about Ramsey in the arseblog comments is biased either way. It is a group that drew not an individual.
I find people who strongly defend Ramsey and feel he gets too much stick odd. If you do think that why do you think so many Arsenal fans are frustrated by him? Why would we be biased against our own player?!
Yeah i thought Ramsey was very good today too, especially second half. Could have used him in the middle against United
I don’t get the Ramsey hate today, I thought he played well
Welsh Gooner here. Ramsey was so poor today I noticed Sanchez and Ozil started looking for different passes when Rambo was wide open. No fucking way does he deserve a starting spot in centre midfield right now
El Neny or Xhaka really should have started today instead of ramsey, as both have the same capacity for safe passes side to side, yet both are capable of running back to help defensively. When ramsey is in the side, he encroaches onto Ozil’s space and limits the german’s ability to play his game correctly.
Ramsey has more going forward than either of those 2, just needs to find his rhythm next to one of the other 3 without Santi available.
Barca here we come. We’ve got to beat them sooner or later surely.
You never know, maybe we’ll get a Leicester. But even then, considering how he went against Monaco, I wouldn’t be too confident
Wait sorry no we couldn’t, ignore that
Imagine if after the endless “Cavani to Arsenal” he actually was ours, with his movement and the quality he’d have behind, he could’ve been the answer to our striking problem
It’s PSG, man. There’s no way Arsenal can afford to buy anyone but cast-offs from PSG.
We were in for someone who could be a clinical finisher to put away all the chances we had been wasting till that point. You would have had us stump up top dollar for the lad who just proceeded to miss all those chances. It’s a different way of looking at it I will grant you…..
what about all those killer runs he was making that made our defenders look like chumps.. I know we view things with our Arsenal goggles on.. but all strikers miss chances.. but he creates more than enough with his positioning, pace and desire.. he is top class.. not shit.. if it makes you feel better calling him shit since we don’t have him, well good luck to you.. Arsenal has been poor.. I hope things improve soon
What chances? When did we last create a chance worth talking about in 5 games
Think we are lacking a bit of confidence. When we went for it at the start of the second half they couldn’t live with it. When we started holding off again to protect our lead we blew it. A few weeks ago we would probably have panned them.
The less said about the first half the better.
What I don’t understand…
If we have 30 minutes more to play on the counter (as the opponent needs to attack)
and we also have two of our quickest players on the bench (… totally fit and relaxed)
while our players on the field/wings either totally exhausted or unexperienced
why does Wenger wait 20 more minutes (plus an equalisier) to make those substitutions?
I guess we might still finish top. Either way, we’ll probably get a tough last 16 draw.
but Ramsey is a world beater in CM right?
Ramsey had a good game; I don’t get the point of these negative comments which have nothing to do with the game.
Had a good game? our midfield was dominated because Ramsey has no discipline and just bombs forward.
Coquelin was also forward a lot, to win the ball high up & then often didn’t get back to swap with Ramsey… More selective Ramsey bashing when clearly they’ve both been instructed to play box-to-box, and the dovetailing needs some working on for them to gel.
As much as I love the Coq, he doesn’t offer much penetration going forward.
He really didn’t have a good game. He was alright. Arsenal had all of one shot on target which was a penalty and we were poor defensively. No outfield player was good.
What’s Wengers obsession with Iwobi ?? Tidy player no doubt. Nice little passes and great touch. I get it. But where the fck is his penetration and end product ??
Neymar, Ribery, Hazard, Bale, Pires… That’s Iwobi’s position and his forward play isn’t anything close to those guys. At least with Ox – not everyone’s favorite- you get a fckin burst in the box and a cross. Iwobi is being carried by the team, not playing like a stand out player that position demands.
Motta and verrati made our midfield look like Sunday league level.They ran rings around Ramsey and couqelin.We can’t have them both together as neither of them can control the midfield.We need someone who can bring the ball out of defence(Santi) or who can pass the ball from deep(xhaka) and Ramsey does neither.
Ramsey was good, what are you talking about??
Starting to seem more and more like Wenger’s only clear plan for this season was built on Cazorla tying our 4-2-3-1 formation together. Now Cazorla’s not there I have no idea what the manager’s doing with this group of players, and when you see performances like tonight it doesn’t seem like he does either. Santi being out is no excuse, there’s more than enough talent in this squad to figure out something new. We have to take some risks now, or City, Chelsea and Liverpool could pull away quickly.
If we are going to persist with this style of play, we really need to be looking at a longer term replacement for santi. Ramsey isn’t it- and neither are the other central midfielders we have in the side at the moment. Isco is the closest thing to someone who could fill the Santi shaped hole in the side, but he’d command a monster purchase price. If we’re serious about winning anything this year, improvements must be made in January. Realistically we need a deep lying midfield playmaker, a right back, and a left wing forward to add the correct… Read more »
I don’t know why but I’m more disappointed in our performance today than the last two draws. I think it’s because I didn’t think we could play worse than the weekend but once again we were so underwhelming! As soon as we were 2-1 up we took our foot off the gas and let them back in
Was at the game – there was no gas and we were sitting back for about 10 minutes before their equaliser with Coq on a yellow.It was clear we needed more energy and it mystifies me why Wenger cannot be more flexible with his subs?
Personally thought that whilst Ramsey was committed , he really created very little from deep and does not knit play together with enough speed or fluidity to suit our style(such as it is).
Could not agree more.
Wenger’s strange team selections and his tendency not to make substitutions at the right time has been costing us points for a long time.
Tired of arsenal not turning up for big games, both mentally and tactically.
It’s on one guy.
Well we’ve played like utter shite against a very strong PSG team twice, at Old Trafford with Mourinho in charge and against an extra motivated europa league club and not lost once. Look at the positives
We’re fourth in the league, and set to finish second in our CL group.
Oh i’m aware of that but the crippling despair February won’t feel quite right without a bit of hope now
Second in the group. It’s that weird “away goals” thing again. Conceding 2 goals at home, little penetration (except for beginning of 2nd half), passing not sharp enough; I suppose a draw was a good result, but in the end, no different from a loss (unless PSG don’t win at home to Ludogorets, ha ha). Disappointing, not disaster.
At least it looks like we’ll avoid Bayern and Real in the next round. Probably get Barca.
I would rather play Barca than Napoli in the next round. It’s must more special. Especially with Hector and Santi back in the team
AW could have surmised that, once we were ahead on a PK and an OG, and weren’t posing much of a danger, and they were still threatening, it was time at 2-1 to hold them to the one goal, as 2-2 woud be effectively a loss. Put on Elneny for Ramsey, put on Nacho for Iwobi and move Gibbs up to Iwobi’s spot. But no, it was too early to make substitutions. Frustrating.
Assuming the other groups finish the way they are right now: If Arsenal win their group: Probability of Arsenal facing Benfica is 452/3501 (12.911%) Probability of Arsenal facing Bayern Munich is 587/3501 (16.767%) Probability of Arsenal facing Bayer Leverkusen is 546/3501 (15.596%) Probability of Arsenal facing Real Madrid is 761/3501 (21.737%) Probability of Arsenal facing Porto is 459/3501 (13.111%) Probability of Arsenal facing Sevilla is 696/3501 (19.880%) If Arsenal finish second: Probability of Napoli facing Arsenal is 506/3990 (12.682%) Probability of Barcelona facing Arsenal is 820/3990 (20.551%) Probability of Atletico Madrid facing Arsenal is 834/3990 (20.902%) Probability of Monaco facing… Read more »
Where did you get that from?
Impressive. Mind sharing your formulae?
I think there are only 2 teams in both groups that are clear favourite against us…
For anyone wondering how I come up with these numbers, I basically generate all sets of pairings between group winners and runner-ups, exclude all which contain a non-allowed pairing (teams from the same group or the same league). All these legit sets of pairings are equally likely, so I just count how many of them contain a certain pairing.
Also, forget strikers and wingers, our main focus has to be a Cazorla like player (my preference would be Isco) because he is irreplaceable. And no I don’t think Wilshere will do because what Wilshere can do with his far stronger left foot Cazorla can do with his left foot as well, and Cazorla is right footed.
Surprisingly, Real could still finish 2nd and Bayern have finished 2nd.. so the reality is there was as much chance of meeting a BIG club if Arsenal finished 1st or 2nd. so no biggy really.
same old sideways football, millionaire players content to stroll about with no impact. Tackles are to be avoided, pace and power sadly lacking.
Gotta feel for Iwobi the poor lad. First the missed shot in Paris then this deflection. Hopefully this spurs him into some good form
I’m certain we’d finish 2nd if they put us in a 1 team group
No, that’s Spurms.
It’s not Spurs but they would find a way to finish 21st if we finished 20th
Doesn’t matter the stage at which we face the ‘BIG’ teams. We still have to beat them at some point to bring that trophy home.
Onwards and Upwards…Come on you Gooners!
Same old same old! Very weak side. I cannot expect much from this team…..the boss was talking about intensity, i wonder where he saw that. Sometimes i wonder if it was the same game he saw. Even if we had won this game tonight, i really do not see us going much further.
Ramsey’s return and these performances are not a coincidence. I also hopes this settle the debate between him and Cazorla. Its not that he is a poor player, he just does not suit the style or system to start..Like Giroud…Off the bench at best..Great managers have to break the hearts of players sometimes.
People need to chill with Ramsey.
Last year it was Theo, now it’s Ramsey. Please be patient and maybe focus a little less on everything he does that isn’t great, and maybe, perhaps just maybe appreciate that he is a hardworking player. Personally I think he will find his form and be ever so great.
Good night, and remember spu*s will join manure with Thursday night European backyard league
No Cazorla, no win… Said it too many times and I’ll say it again. Stats on Ramsey are good, but the control of the midfield and creativity was missing completely. Cazorla is the engine of the midfield and without they are not able to organize plays to move the ball up. Ramsey, Iwobi, Gibbs, Mustafi, all have been poor this evening, and we are lucky to have drawn this… Barca/Dortmund, here we come (again).
Every year we are looking for this player or that player and then slagging off our own players and manager and it’s just boring. We are scared of losing players like ozil and Sanchez like they are our saviours but their previous clubs were happy to sell them to be replaced. We feed off the unwanted scraps of actual ‘big’ clubs and tell ourselves we are also big. We aren’t right now, the only part of us that is big is our revenue year on year. The manager and the board don’t help as we piss about getting told one… Read more »
well put. It certainly is ‘mediocre shit’ and any ‘fan’ who tolerates this crap year after year is not a real fan.
Because, we are a ‘big’ English club right?
Or are we not?
Are we happy to be 2nd, 3rd or 4th year after year after year? Can we tolerate this without protest?
Would other ‘big’ English clubs like United tolerate that?
Mourinho is a cunt but he is right on one thing, at least – Wenger is a specialist in failure (or at least has been for the last 10 years).
Disappointing to say the least
Ramsey played well? That moment when he made a backward pass and the whole of the Emirates groans. Woeful. Get fit Santi please ?
“the whole of the Emirates groans”… indeed… a.k.a the self fulfilling prophecy of the crowd at the Emirates – and increasingly on this blog (after a few of draws) unfortunately. “Urgh, Ramsey’s shit mate, watch him do something shit soon…. [insert here an arbitrary amount of time spanning from a few minutes to a few games] … [waits some more] … [loses ball]… I told you he’s shit”. Repeat cycle ad nauseam, now and then changing to a new scapegoat. Then win a few games in a row, Leninise history of your negative comments and hope nobody remembers your rash… Read more »
Ramsey’s just poor mate. We miss Santi. Not been playing well since he got injured. He helps Ozil tick. Ramsey has not been able to do the job, on the left in the middle, on the right! I’d love it if he could do the job of course. I just don’t think he fits this team.
I was a bit hasty last night because I got back from the game rather pissed. Apologies. I think Ramsey has the quality to become a very special midfielder, I really do think he can capture that purple patch of form (and then some) that he had years ago when he played in the middle alongside Arteta. Granted it was a very different team then, but Ramsey hasn’t been given the chance to make the role in the middle his own yet over a run of games either. On the right or left he is played out of position for… Read more »
Ramsey had PA of 89%, the remaining 11% was knife on throat. Almost got us slaughtered. Whenever we have Ramsey back on the starting eleven, more fucking points are dropped. Call it a coincidence or fact.
Disappointing result but not the end of the world. Tbh I’m more annoyed that we didn’t learn our lessons from the first game against them. They did exactly the same thing then as well – 3 ball playing centre-mids and then matuidi on the left, effectively making a four man midfield. Even Cazorla couldn’t get on the ball in that game, so we probably needed more than just him to win the game tonight. Sometimes we just need to accept that the other team is better at passing than us and that a two-man midfield isn’t gonna be enough. In… Read more »
In 2 games and 180 minutes of football we manage 2 attempts on target total of which one is a penalty. That’s just not good enough, in fact it’s a quite pathetic statistic. The worst thing is that we then have players and manager saying we deserved to have won. Why Iwobi plays ahead of Walcott or The Ox, I don’t quite understand. he’s a great prospect and a good player to have in he squad but I don’t think he should be starting games. He has zero goal threat and is lacking in confidence. I’d also like the lowdown… Read more »
Yet another lethargic showing from us. Same old i guess
That PSG team are pretty good, but I have to say, their keeper’s a bit of a tit…
We are all saying the same thing in different ways… the team has been abject for a while. The anger and despair is not about this result per sè but the recurrence of the same issues season after season, year after year, match after match. Why can’t we find solutions to the things everyone & his dogs can clearly see as a problem? Any form of negative talk about a player or the managers choices is seen as bashing!!! As a fan it’s our right to find positives but has anyone truly seen anything to be positive about other than… Read more »
Bright sides: Barca and Bayern look mortal this year, Spurs couldn’t even get out of a Europa League group, Cavani is fecking donkey that people wanted us to play 50m+ for, and November is almost over but somehow, incomprehensibly, we still haven’t lost a match.
If only Wenger could bring a really good midfielder in January to REPLACE Ramsey. He’s been average/bad for too long…..
we were shit once again, and lucky once again
The luck can only last so long…
Once again we came out with a draw, when performance was really bellow the level. When we scored for 2-1, we were on top of the game for a few minutes but then again they started to drift through our midfield, mostly due to Coq who just couldn’t commit 100% because of the yellow card. With pacey Verati in ther middle that will always invite trouble. I really don’t understand why Wenger didn’t take off Coq and put in Xhaka or Elneny when it was so obvious he can’t tackle with confidence anymore. I think this change would put us… Read more »
Hard to pick out a good player performance – just like Saturday. We have players demanding over £200k a week that don’t seem to turn up when we need them. What Graeme Souness said after the game on Saturday was spot on: top players turn up for the big games because they have character as well as ability. There is a marked lack of character in this Arsenal squad, aside from one or two maybe.