Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Report: PSV Eindhoven 1-1 Arsenal (inc. goals)

Result: PSV 1-1 Arsenal
Competition: Champions League
Date: 12 December 2023
Venue: Philips Stadion

Arsenal: Ramsdale, Cedric, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior, Jorginho, Elneny, Trossard, Havertz, Nelson, Nketiah

Subs: Raya, Hein, White, Saka, Odegaard, Jesus, Smith Rowe, Zinchenko, Rice, Nwaneri, Sousa, Walters

Yorbe Vertessen and Eddie Nketiah both found the net via the post as Arsenal and PSV drew 1-1 in an entertaining dead rubber in Holland.

Given the two teams had already secured their place in Monday’s last 16 draw it could easily have been a drab affair but both showed real attacking intent and had chances to steal the points in the closing stages.

In the end, a draw was probably a fair result.


As expected, Mikel Arteta made several changes to his starting line-up. Still, the fact he opted not to start any of the three academy players in the travelling squad was a cause of frustration for some supporters, who were particularly perplexed by the inclusion of Cedric at right-back. The Portugal international lined up in defence alongside Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba – two of three players to retain their places – and Jakub Kiwior. In goal, Aaron Ramsdale made his Champions League debut. Mo Elneny got his first start of the season alongside Jorginho with Kai Havertz, Leandro Trossard, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah making the attacking quartet. On the bench, Reuell Walters, Lino Sousa and Ethan Nwaneri waited patiently for their shot at a European debut. Emile Smith Rowe, back from injury, was another notable inclusion.

First Half

The first five minutes suggested the noisy home support might be lulled to sleep before the break. Both sides seemed happy to knock the ball back and forth without exerting any pressure. 

Soon enough though, PSV came to life. On 6 minutes, they sliced through the Arsenal defence before a teasing ball across the box required an emergency lunge by Saliba as Ramsdale came rushing out. Between the pair of them, they blocked a certain goa by van Aanholt. The danger wasn’t over. The loose ball was fired goalwards and Gabriel had to stick out a foot to deflect the ball over the bar. It was a brilliant block by the Brazilian. From the resulting corner, PSV headed over. 

The Gunners mounted a couple of breaks of their own but it was all a bit laboured and the best effort we managed in the opening 17 minutes was a Havertz header from a free-kick that went well wide. 

At the other end, Vertessen went much closer with his head, clipping the post as Ramsdale scrambled to his left. Bakayoko was the next to try his luck, cutting onto his left foot and arrowing a fierce effort just wide. 

Arsenal needed to move the ball quicker in the final third because when we did, spaces did appear. When Trossard found himself in space in the box, he probably should have pulled the trigger. Instead, he lofted a ball to nobody in particular. Elneny wasn’t so shy and ended a driving run with a fizzing low drive that came off the left post. 

PSV came back at us. A break by Saibari and Pepe led to the former shooting and Saliba making another important block. 

Four minutes before the break, Arsenal produced a moment of quality to take the lead. Nelson and Cedric combined down the right before the former fizzed a ball to Nketiah. The England international, who’d just fluffed a header from a Kiwior cross, took a touch to control before firing a ruthless left-foot finish through his marker’s legs and in off the post.  It was the striker’s first Champions League goal and he clearly enjoyed the moment. (GOAL 1-0)

Bakayoko forced Ramsdale into a save down to his left as the home side pushed for an equaliser before the Belgian hilariously handled in Arsenal’s box thinking the ball had already gone out for a corner.

Second Half

Arsenal didn’t really get going after the break and Vertessen had already dragged wide before he found an equaliser on 49 minutes. Our defence looked a bit ragged as Pepi pushed towards the box and his layoff was smartly finished, beating Ramsdale via the post. (GOAL 1-1)

Arsenal’s reaction was positive. We put our foot on the ball, knocked it around neatly and took the sting out of the game. Nelson continued to look lively, Havertz was tidy and Nketiah looked up for a second goal. He had a chance from a Cedric cross but squirmed a header into the side-netting.

An injury to Elneny on the hour mark sparked Arteta into a flurry of changes. The Egyptian, holding his hamstring, was replaced by Elneny Martin Odegaard, Ben White took over from Cedric and Rice came on for Saliba to take up a centre-back role.

The end-to-end action continued. Nelson hit the side-netting before Saibari beat Ramsdale only to see his effort come back off the post.

Kiwior had endured a torrid time against Bakayoko so the Pole was no doubt very pleased to see the winger taken off with 17 minutes remaining. He went on to have a goal ruled out for offside after heading in an Odegaard free-kick. VAR took a look and decided that Gabriel had interfered with play after making an early burst into the six-yard box.

The Gunners continued to enjoy the better of the closing stages but clear-cut chances were few and far between. Trossard fired over from range before Arteta gave Jesus and Smith Rowe late run-outs. Debuts for the teenage contingent will have to wait.

Both sides could have nicked it at the death. Til hit wide on the break for PSV before Trossard and Kiwior had late chances in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

All in all, a very decent showing from the Gunners in the group stages. It’ll be intriguing to see who we get in the next round.

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Well, that was interesting. Nelson, Kiwior, and even El Neny (before his injury) impressed me. I think we should be seeing Nelson more as a regular sub! I was a tad disappointed with Trossard, though. He should be using games like this to make his case to be a consistent starter. Having said that, this reluctance to play the kids is starting to jar on my nerves. One of the major selling point of this club is that we give the kids chances. That how Mr. Arsenal, Cole, Wilshere, Fabregas, Saka, etc all shot into limelight. Was it necessary to… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

Arteta is from the Guardiola school of thought where you buy the best players from elsewhere unless the kid from the academy has consistently proven to be a genius. He will eat more humble pie coz we have Duberry, Nwaneri, goal machine Obi Martin in our academy.

Brazilian Gooner

No it wasn’t, and I’m starting to believe that Saka would never be thrown into the team under Arteta, nor would Martinelli. Nwaneri is clearly a level above the youngsters when he plays for u23 and still doesn’t get a single minute, Walters was great in a pre season and we use a washed Cedric that has zero value to the future or present over him…


You guys don’t have a clue what you are talking about. Even the language you use, thrown into the team, play the kids, suggests that this is some one off piece of fun. Arteta and Arsenal want to develop these young players into regular professionals, hopefully for Arsenal. We play a system of football that blew Rice’s mind when he arrived it is so complex; sure, it’s fun to throw a 15 year old out there, but it needs to happen in a scenario that won’t cost us a game and won’t cost these young players any confidence. The Champions… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

How old was Fabregas when he first played for Arsenal and the Spanish national team? Was his confidence destroyed? He was even given the responsibility to shoot the last PK for Spain.


I think Fabregas was a little something special, and I think the game of football back then and Wenger’s “express yourself” (Madonna-esque of him, come to think of it) version of it is quite different from today and Arteta’s martial disciplined football.

We saw what happened to Saka and the penalty he was invited to take for England, and it can hurt. He is an exceptional young man, and a brilliant footballer, but not all youth players can be treated in that manner so early in their development. Arteta knows.

Group Captain Mandrake

There’s a reason why it’s kind of a big deal when a 16-17 year old breaks into the first team. It just doesn’t happen that often so I don’t think you can use Fabregas as an example because he’s a bit of an outlier.

Crash Fistfight

All of that is great and all, but why would it matter if we had lost that meaningless game?

I can maybe understand how Walters may lose confidence if he were to make a mistake that cost us a goal or something, but what massive impact could Nwaneri have had on the game that would break his confidence?


No game in the Champions League is meaningless, and Arteta wants the players to take immense pride in being back. He also wants this team to win every game they play — when you want to win the PL or the CL trophies, these days, you have to be near invincible. He’s breeding that mentality at the club; playing your hardest and accepting nothing less than a win isn’t a choice, it is your duty to the badge, every day. Our fans will catch up to that system of belief. Fans and pundits can be ruthless. Remember the week-long banter… Read more »


Not to mention I believe there is over 2m prize money up for grabs even for winning a qualifier


Well said sir


I was not expecting any academy player to start this game. However a few minutes towards the end would have been nice and encouraging for them. Even Man city started two academy players in their dead rubber game. And their style of football is as complex as Arsenal. Yes, you have to be careful with kids, confidence and all that, but sometimes you have to take a risk and give them a chance. And so far Arteta has not been good at that. Saka got his chance because at the time all left-backs were injured. Smith-Rowe got to show his… Read more »


Agree that Nelson was probably our best / most impressive player tonight. Would have loved to see the younger guys play. That said, CL is a Big Deal and starting them might detract a little from those who got their first CL starts, those who felt their careers were on the line, and those comming back from longterm injuries. They’ll have their day — and they will know they’ve earned it.

Red Cannon

Nelson should get more playing time than he does.

John McMorrow

Instead of who?


Certain players do not deserve to play for Arsenal. Elneny must go, I dont think he won more than two duels. Eddie should be playing for Leeds, he has not earned the right to jog and walk for 90 mins. Cedric should go. Trossard should learn to pass and read Kai’s runs. Gabriel had a terrible game. Not happy with the performance; we lost out on 2 million euros.

Les Doodis

Yep. And the grass was the wrong shade of green, the balls were too round, I nearly spilt my tea and it’s only Wednesday tomorrow. Damn this so called Champion’s League.


Eddie scored but his lackadaisical play gives opposing defenders so much space. How many times did Gabriel almost cost us the game? Cedric is a downgrade on Ben White, by far. Trossard was off today, he had at least 5 opportunities to pass Kai and didn’t, thus stifling our attack. Elneny must have won 1 duel, PSV were cruising in the middle. We were very mediocre.


How’s your day?


Awesome. I am sorry for expecting a lot from highly paid footballers, I mean professionals.

Fireman Sam

“The Egyptian, holding his hamstring, was replaced by Elneny”

So Elneny replaced himself? Must be some quantum effect.

Man Manny

A largely forgettable knockabout, that was. Kiwior had it rough with Bakayoko and must have heaved a huge sigh of relief when the winger’s number went up. Good to see ESR back on the pitch.
Nelson tried but the step down from Saka to him is pretty steep.
Back to business: Brighton next. However, I hope Gabriel has got all the mistimed lunges out of his system tonight.

Crash Fistfight

I thought Nelson was our best player, but maybe it’s me


I thought he was too, MOTM for me.


I thought Kiwior made a decent fist against one of the brightest talents in European football. Ask yourself if you’d have preferred to see Zinch back-pedaling in panic against those blistering runs?? He would NOT have coped half as well as Kiwior.


Arguably the worst rinsing was received by Trossard, who was poor almost throughout.

Santi’s Phonebox

He’s not a touchline winger, he’s a small space interior player. His best facilitating games he’s played through the middle.


That’s neither here nor there. He has played multiple poor games this season but not many people call it out. If he is as good as we all think he is he should be able to put in a decent performance wherever he is played.

Santi’s Phonebox

Gabriel’s brilliantly timed lunge stopped a goal.


Weird game for Nketiah, held the ball up well for a change but his layoffs after were atrocious. We definitely need a third striker.


Eddie took his goal really well – and, erm… well…. yep, that’s about it.
And therein lies the problem – he seems to have an infuriating knack of scoring a decent goal, just when you think Arteta may finally have seen through his lack-lustre all-round play and piss-poor work-rate off the ball.

Eddie can score, no debate – the 2 problems are (a) how often he does it and (b) the fact that he does precious little else.


He’s also young.

Man Manny

At 24?

John D

I look at this results in different ways. I get the importance of strong subs to try and keep momentum by getting back to winning ways, and the point was made that roughly 2.5 million worth of bonuses was at stake too. However, playing Cedric at right back really perplexed me. With his contract up at the end of the summer, and no where near the first team anytime soon, why not at least blood the young Walters in at give him some minutes? It’s not to say Cedric played terribly tonight, but in the bigger picture those minutes could… Read more »


Bit of window dressing for January I reckon.
His contract may be up in the summer, but anyone short a RB now might just give us a few quid in a month’s time.


2.5 million is quite a lot. It like a cup final except the trophy is a real live Rob Holding (from the waist up).


Cedric was nailed on to play. With current and recent injuries in the squad it’s just one White relapse till he’s playing in the prem.


Cedric is a nearly-man, fair enough – but his one-touch reflex bounce back to Reese was inch-perfect quality


Cedric is still in the pecking order and part of the squad. To play a kid in front of him, even if he’s going in the summer, tells him he will probably never kick the ball for arsenal again. Bad for the dressing room, that. The kids soaked up the atmosphere and might have got on in the last 10 if we had been 2 goals up.


Cedric gets a hard time on this site, especially and bizarrely from Blogs. He is a decent player, and last night showed he can still contribute. All the hate is just a bit odd, particularly for a guy who stood up for an academy player who was being picked on by a senior pro in training. He has no long term future at the club but people should cut him some slack.

Santi’s Phonebox

I had forgotten about that incident. Who was being the bully and who was the academy player?


The senior player was Lacazette, not sure about the academy lad. Noone else tried to intervene, so kudos to Cedric for sticking up for his younger clubmate.


Cedric was good and I won’t hear any different!


He went missing for the opposition’s goal…..

….yet again…

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Playing Ramsdale in a nothing game like this is yet another humiliating kick in the bollox from Arteta.


I like Hein but Ramsdale needs games.


Would have been more humiliating if he’d been left out!

SLC Gooner

Well, taking the view that he’s pretty much done at Arsenal absent a serious injury to Raya, playing him in a match in which he did well will help with the interest in him for transfers.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Very much looking forward to Ramsdale strengthening a rival and Raya continuing being average.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Haha! You know I loves the thumbs down guys! 😘
Here’s to Arteta continuing being proved right as his teacher’s pet continues his regular game errors. Woohoo!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

Santi’s Phonebox

Ramsdale didn’t think so, he was clearly enjoying himself on his debut.


Cedric’s gonna Cedric.

Heh, well that remark is like putting on an old suit that really needs chucking out….


In fairness, Q, his one-touch bounce-back to Reese was inch-perfect and set up the goal as Reese didn’t have to break his stride not even a millimeter.


Elneny replaced by Elneny shows what a warrior he is


Rubbish game but illuminated by two excellent goals. Eddie did himself no harm tonight, neither did Ramsdale.

Glad it’s over.

How’s Saliba?


Eddie got a very good goal – but did precisely nothing else (other than jog around listlessly and miss a few other chances_.
Which is kinda what he does – and therein lies the problem.


Sounds like bias. Eddie had lots of good involvements and a few bad moments.


What’s is the meaning of putting Jesus on the field in last fee minutes? Why don’t give those few minutes to youth player?

Santi’s Phonebox

I think you answered your own question.


Sliding interception by Cedric to leave Saliba with two to deal with…


I wonder who will replace Cedric next season. Can Reuell Walters sort his contract asap?

Perhaps his agent knows Cedric leaving would provide a huge wage saving for the club, so funds will be available.


could someone explain to me how kiwiors goal is ruled out for offside when its gabi who is in front?


Deemed to be interfering? But personally I think it’s an error and the linesman didn’t realise who’d scored the goal.


The official explanation is that Gabriel interfered with play by preventing a defender from making a challenge on Kiwior. Personally I don’t think the defender had the ghost of a chance of actually preventing Kiwior’s header, but by the letter of the law, it was unfortunately the correct decision.

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