Arsenal 2 Paris Saint-Germain 2
Giroud 45 pen, Verratti 60 Cavani 18 Lucas 77

Arsenal were held in an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Emirates stadium, and with just one group game remaining, Paris Saint-Germain are in the box seat to finish top of Group A. The Gunners had fallen a goal behind after 18 minutes when Edison Cavani tapped in at the far post following a strong run from Blaise Matuidi. Olivier Giroud levelled from the penalty spot, the penalty awarded after Alexis Sanchez had his leg taken from under him by Grzegorz Krychowiak. Good second half pressure enabled Arsenal to take the lead when Marco Veratti struck past his own ‘keeper and the home side seemed in control and comfortable with the game at that stage. However, unable to clear substitute Hatem Ben Arfa’s corner the Gunners defence watched on in horror as Lucas – the shortest man on the pitch headed in via a late deflection off Alex Iwobi on the line.

The draw means that Arsenal will have to better the result that PSG achieve against Ludogorets when they take on Basel in Switzerland in a fortnight’s time to finish top of Group A, perhaps an improbable but by no means an impossible feat. It could and should have been more for the Gunners, but the visitors constant pressure and energy levels suffocated the creative instincts of Alexis and Mesut Özil, and that is never good for this Arsenal side.

On a night when Arsenal had to show their European quality, PSG turned up and showed what was required, after all they have had good nights in London with previous visits to Stamford Bridge.

Arsene Wenger once again gave David Ospina the nod in goal, with Kieran Gibbs starting at left back, while in the absence of the injured Hector Bellerin, Carl Jenskinson was entrusted at right back. He equipped himself very well in that role, supportive in attack and often with a hand of appreciation or sometimes a frustrating verbal volley from Alexis when he felt the wrong pass had been made.

Pressing from the front, Lucas and Matuidi in particular never let Arsenal build from the defence, with Verratti, Thiago Motta and Krychowiak following their lead from midfield.

That meant that Arsenal had to work even harder, but the PSG ‘keeper Alphonse Areola was virtually a first half spectator. It was a professional job, a game plan which seemed to be working. Unai Emery’s side then took the lead and it was hard to argue against the merits of their goal.

Cavani was at the far post to hit home from Matuidi’s cross. Arsenal’s attempts to strike back were stifled with the Ligue 1 side harassing and pressing at every turn. On the stroke of half time and Krychowiak’s attempt to avoid an Alexis side step earned Arsenal a penalty. Cavani seemed reluctant to release the ball and appeared to have a go at Aaron Ramsey. No matter as Giroud, as cool as you like struck past Areola, sending the PSG ‘keeper the wrong way.

The Gunners stepped up the pressure after the break and had their reward on the hour mark. Verratti got in the way of a goal bound effort as the ball came off him and beyond Areola. Arsenal were now 2-1 in the ascendency but PSG were not showing any signs of letting go, with Matuidi and Lucas – once on Wenger’s radar instigating the visitors offence.

Ben Arfa came on for Krychowiak after 67 minutes and ten minutes later, his corner enabled an unmarked Lucas to head in via an on the line deflection by the unfortunate Iwobi. UEFA accredited the goal to Iwobi. Wenger would later say that his player was very upset at his unwitting part in the PSG leveller.

Arsenal now had Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at right back with Theo Walcott in front of him. Both had replaced Jenkinson and Francis Coquelin respectively. Still they were unable to carve out a winner as PSG held firm and could have extended their lead through Cavani, who tried to chip Ospina when through only to see the Colombian make a diving save. Cavani then headed wide from Lucas’s cross. However PSG held on to the point and claimed a draw as well as top spot of Group Arsenal face the prospect of another year as group runners up, but will desperately want to avoid another last 16 elimination which Wenger’s man has suffered in the last six seasons.