(Dân trí) – In the final match of the Champions League group stage, which was more of a formality, Arsenal achieved their goal by earning a point away at PSV, securing their place in the knockout stage as the group leaders.
After the previous 5 matches, Arsenal had secured their spot in the Champions League Round of 16 as the group leaders, with a 4-point lead over the second-placed PSV. Meanwhile, the remaining ticket was contested between PSV and Lens, but the Dutch team had the advantage, needing only a draw to advance to the knockout stage.
Therefore, hosting Arsenal at home, PSV fielded their strongest lineup with the aim of securing a victory. In contrast, Coach Mikel Arteta only fielded a reserve team with 8 changes from the previous round to conserve energy for key players in both Champions League and Premier League matches.
The difference in strength allowed the home team, PSV, to quickly control the game and create numerous attacks towards Arsenal’s goal in the first half-hour.
In the 6th minute, goalkeeper Ramsdale had to dive to save Arsenal in a quick attack from PSV on the right wing. Unfortunately, PSV’s forward Ricardo Pepi failed to capitalize on the subsequent rebound, despite being in a favorable position.
In the 19th minute, Vertessen’s dangerous header hit the crossbar, saving Arsenal from conceding a goal. In the 22nd minute, forward Johan Bakayoko took a decisive shot from outside the penalty area, but the ball deflected off Arsenal’s post.
The failure to score from numerous attacks cost the home team, PSV. In the 42nd minute, in a quick counter-attack, Eddie Nketiah broke free to receive a pass from Reiss Nelson and calmly scored to beat goalkeeper Benitez, opening the scoring for Arsenal. The first half ended with a 1-0 score.
Entering the second half, the script of the first half repeated itself as PSV continued to exert significant pressure on Ramsdale’s goal.
In the 51st minute, Saliba made a mistake in judging the situation, and Ricardo Pepi immediately seized the opportunity with a well-placed pass to Vertessen, who slotted home to equalize for PSV.
The early equalizer helped the home team, PSV, continuously create turbulence in front of the visitors’ goal, but goalkeeper Ramsdale successively neutralized the home team’s attacks.
In the 81st minute, from a free-kick on the left wing, Kiwior rose high to head the ball into PSV’s net, but the referee and VAR determined that Gabriel was offside in the attacking phase. In the final moments, Arsenal fans had a scare when Gabriel missed the ball, and fortunately for the Brazilian player, Guus Til’s shot went wide in the face-off.