Post-Match Report

Report: Arsenal 1-0 PSV Eindhoven

Xhaka celebrates against PSV

PSV Eindhoven -

Emirates Stadium
Europa League
Europa League
  Arsenal
      
                  Xhaka (70)
            
   crest
Arsenal
Xhaka (70)
1 0
  PSV Eindhoven
   crest
PSV Eindhoven

We booked our place in the knockout stages of the Europa League, with two games to spare, after a deserved victory over PSV.

Granit Xhaka scored the all-important goal that secured our fourth consecutive win in Europe this season, showing great technique to volley home Takehiro Tomiyasu’s right-wing cross.

The winning margin perhaps should have been greater, on a night when we had to show patience, after dominating possession and raining in more than 25 shots.

01:59

Highlights | Arsenal 1-0 PSV | Bitesize

 

Taking control early

As usual in the Europa League, Mikel changed more than half of his side for the game, but Gabriel Jesus kept his place up front, with Eddie Nketiah supporting him on the left.

Jesus was soon in the action, laying off a good chance for Xhaka inside the box that the midfielder dragged just wide.

Kieran Tierney – making his 100th appearance for the Gunners – blazed an effort over, Nketiah shot off target and Jesus himself saw an effort go just wide from outside the box in the opening 20 minutes.

PSV had not come within sight of Matt Turner’s goal in that time until Xavi Simons broke through from midfield and ran unopposed before firing harmlessly over from 20 yards.

But we continued to dictate the play and Fabio Vieira was growing in influence. His clipped pass into the box was just beyond the reach of Jesus.

We were still searching for that cutting-edge in the box. Saka looked to supply it after an excellent run, riding two challenges before releasing Nketiah, but his dangerous looking low cross was blocked.

 

Xhaka makes the breakthrough

We stepped up the intensity in the second half, and came close through Jesus and Saka after good build-up play.

Jesus then created a chance out of nothing, spinning his man superbly before sending a low shot towards the bottom corner. Once again though PSV keeper Walter Benitez was equal to it, and Nketiah’s first-time effort on the rebound was off target.

We were racking up the attempts now – 16 in the opening hour, compared to just two from the visitors.

Nketiah was next to go close. He superbly took a long diagonal pass on his chest, raced towards goal, and curled his right-footed shot wide of the upright.

At the other end Simons shot straight at Turner on a rare foray forwards for the Dutch, but eventually our perseverance paid off.

Substitute Martin Odegaard was involved, playing the ball into the feet of the overlapping Tomiyasu. His cross found Xhaka in a central position, and he steadied himself before sweeping home a right-footed volley.

It was his third goal of an impressive campaign so far, and was deserved reward for the pressure we had exerted on the visitors after the break.

We kept going in search of the second – Gabriel Martinelli tested the keeper before Saka drew yet another save from Benitez.

The second goal didn’t arrive though, as for the third time in the space of a week it ended 1-0 to The Arsenal.

 


What it means

    P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 4 4 0 0 7 1 6 12
2 PSV 4 2 1 1 11 3 8 7
3 Bodo/Glimt 4 1 1 2 3 6 -3 4
4 FC Zurich 4 0 0 4 3 14 -11

0

 

We have qualified for the knock-out stages of the Europa League with two group games to spare, but have not yet secured top spot in Group A. The draw for the knockout rounds will take place on November 7.

A win in either of our remaining two games will secure top spot and if we do finish top, we’ll go straight into the round of 16, which is played at the beginning of March.

If we finish second, we will face one of the teams that drops down from the Champions League in the play-off round in February.

 

What’s next

We head to the Netherlands next Thursday to face PSV away in the fifth Europa League group stage game, but before that we are away at Southampton in the Premier League this Sunday.

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