Granit Xhaka sends Arsenal through to the next round of the Europa

Arsenal have earned passage into the next round of the Europa League after sealing the win over PSV this evening.

The Gunners came quickly out the starting blocks like we have seen a number of times this term, and had 81% of the possession after the early exchanges (as stated on BT Sport’s coverage). Despite all our efforts and domination, the goal continued to elude us however, while our Dutch rivals were looking a little dangerous on the counter. Much of our efforts seemed to be going through Eddie Nketiah, who could not be kept under control, but he may well have been trying too hard.

Jesus did force Walter Benitez into an impressive save just after the 30-minute mark, but the majority of our efforts were going agonisingly wide, and we eventually went into the break level at 0-0.

The game became a little tetchy at times, with both sides being drawn into making untimely tackles and attempting to take shots on from distance, but the PSV keeper was being put to work all the same as we began to assert our dominance once again.

Saka also got a little adventurous as he attempted to disguise an effort on goal, only to fail to beat the defence, and the manager decided it was time to make some changes, bringing both Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard into the XI in place of Lokonga and Vieira.

It didn’t take long before we did pop up with the winner however, with Granit Xhaka finishing off a fine team effort when lashing home a right-footed effort into the bottom corner, and while the goal stood, we did have a fright soon after when Bukayo Saka looked to have picked up an injury, although he was deemed fit to continue.

Both defences deserve credit for their displays today, as does both Saka and Nketiah for standout performances also, but I can’t help but feel a little frustrated that our forward wasn’t able to mark his outing with a confidence-boosting goal.


Tags Arsenal v PSV PSV


  1. It was a total domination, but our finishing sucked. Now I’m worried Jesus and Saka will get too tired to start the game in Southampton

    And we can finally watch Gakpo and Madueke play against us. Gakpo was pocketed by Tomiyasu and Madueke’s abilities seem similar to Saka’s, especially his inside-cutting movements, strength and pace

    If we’re forced to sell Saka in next summer, I think we should explore the possibilities to sign Madueke. Gakpo’s height might be useful if he plays against small RB, but I think Martinelli and Nelson are better at dribbling

    1. Credit to our defense, I think that was the very first game of the season where Gakpo didn’t score or assist..

      Total domination but terrible finishing, let’s not make this a habit as last season we so often suffered from it.

      1. Tomiyasu did very well to shut Gakpo down. Hopefully our attackers intensify their finishing session before heading to Southampton

      2. I wasn’t impressed with Gakpo at all but, Tomiyasu, Tierney and Holding played really well. Sambi did some good stuff too.

    2. Same view here, madueke looked lively and dangerous….though marquinhos is good enough to fill in for Salah anytime….arteta seems to be using the same martinelli strategy for marqi, slowly integrating him into the team…

      Good game from the lads, not much stress and they should be fresh for the saints

      1. Marquinhos is skilled, but I think Saka and Madueke are pacier. Let’s see if our coaches can improve him as they did to Martinelli

        1. Gai, i don’t think Thierney has done enough to enter first 11 again he needs to improve defensively he was cut out of position severally and if not for the alertness of out defence and goal keeper PSV would have scored. All PSV attack came from Thieney wing. Hope Zichenko returns in time. I think Arteta will keep using using Tomiyasu against dangerous wingers in big games since he is two footed.

          1. Tierney should improve his understanding of the inverted LB role. I think he defended well, but I reckon Zinchenko to be better in tight spaces than Tierney and Tomiyasu

            1. Stop this Tierney bashing please….the huy was wanted by City in the Sumner…He’s quality Indeed and i am conviced that he will make this left back position his own sooner rather than later…..The same people who were bashing Xakha are now finding a New player to scape goat…Look at Granit now:ones of the best medfielder of the Prem….

    3. Playing Saka for 83 mins when we were 1-0 up by 71 mins was totally unnecessary. Our premier league standard is decreasing week by week and we are causing excessive fatigue to our important players. We have to trust Nelson in these situations and give him more minutes rathers than bringing him just to kill the time. Otherwise fatigeness and lack of creativity will deluge us taking away all our dreams

      1. Are you Saka’s nanny? He is still young and full of energy. The Arsenal staffs know better. Stop spoiling footballers. Saka rarely defends because Tomiyasu was covering. Xhaka at 30 been playing non-stop this season.

        1. @Mike Ram

          LOL at the nanny comment hahaha.

          On a serious note, I agree he can easily play 60-70 minutes on Sunday as well. Inaki Williams from Bilbao started almost 240 consecutive La Liga matches! That’s 6 years of starts without a miss!

      2. I agree Arsenal should’ve substituted him at that time. We need him fully fit to play against Soton

    4. GAI, why would Arsenal be “forced to sell Saka” given Arsenal is trying to build a competitive team for the EPL and Europe? Backward thinking!

  2. GAI, these are professional footballers and athletes, playing two games in four days occasionally shouldn’t be a problem.
    You need to believe that MA knows what he’s doing!!

    1. Ken, they’d better be fit if they’d like to play in Champions League next season. Hopefully Saka is okay

      1. Yes I hope Saka is OK Arteta should have sub him with Nelson much earlier. I also think Nelson should be allowed a Cameo against the Saints on Sunday to get him ready for EPL incase Saka needs a rest.

  3. We are NOT through to the next round yet, nearly but not yet.
    We need another point to get top spot and only the top team goes through automatically.

    1. I think when you do not understand a thing, it’s better you ask questions than to state it as if you know. Two teams qualify from each group, arsenal currently have 12 points, the person in third position has 4 points, with two games left. So even if arsenal looses the remaining legs and Bodo wins the last two legs, they won’t have up to 12, so even if arsenal fails to win first position, they can’t go beyond second, which makes them to qualify. Like I said, two teams qualify from each group.

      1. LMFAO

        “I think when you do not understand a thing, it’s better you ask questions than to state it as if you know”

        You should listen to yourself mate.
        Arsenal haven’t qualified for the next round yet. The only thing secured is the playoff round.
        Arsenal can’t afford to lose any of the last game if we want automatic qualification to R16.

        You see, Arsenal need at least a drawing the remaining 2 games to secure qualification.
        If Arsenal end up 2nd in the group, we ain’t qualified than to the next round, we only qualified to the playoffs with teams coming from the UCL.
        That’s why Arteta keeps saying we need to finish top of the group.

        1. I’m putting my hands up and admitting I was wrong. Obviously, I wasn’t aware of the new rule, that winners advance straight to round of 16, while the 8 runners up square up with the 8 teams from uefa champions league. I’m still following the old rules of every team playing round of 32 the last time arsenal played here in Europa league. For this, I admit I was wrong. Although, technically, IDKYIC is also correct, finishing second too qualifies you at least for a playoff, which is the next round. Finishing first only makes us skip it. To some extent, I feel better knowing we won’t have to play round of 32, which reduces some of our congested fixtures. Thanks GB and Eddie.

      2. Yes indeed Arsenal qualified for the next round but only the top team in the group gets automatic entry. The second will have playoffs with the CL dropouts to progress. That means more games.

      3. @Mike you are the one who does not understand as Eddie has also pointed out. If we finish second in the group we we do not go through unless we win a play off game against a team dropping down from the CL !

  4. Our attackers should have done better. We need to be finishing up teams quick to allow for the use of peripheral players in competitive matches.
    I am not use to drawing or losing games now. Win win win is our way.

  5. Can all youbters and I admit I was ome.
    Can we please applaud this guy.
    And give him an extension

  6. I was thanks God ones of the few on here to back Granit Xakha…..When you have the faith of Hitzveld Wenger Emery Arteta,Mourinho(wanted him the last summer same as klopp!!) You cannot be Bad…You have in the list above the cream of the european mangers ……

  7. I was also part of the people that wanted Xhaka out because he was not performing at a high level and he was too rash.

    I guess his age, maturity, Arteta’s tactical shift upfield with him have all worked wonders. Now, he is playing the best games of his life. And I love the player he is now. Long long may be this continue.

  8. Saka is making things look so easy. Hopefully he gets a day off next week at PSV and Nelson gets a full 90.

  9. The person I want to appreciate more is Matt Turner. I had some doubts about him, especially after watching his performance in pre-season. He might not be able to distribute accurate passes yet like Ramsdale, but he’s a top-notch goalkeeper, especially from what I saw in our last two Europa league games with him. He kept us in the game when PSV had those few chances they had before we finally scored.

    1. The key thing for me is that he stays sharp even when he has nothing to do for 70 minutes. There was a shot for Xavi Simon at around that point in the match that went through Gabriel and could have caught him out of he wasn’t switched on. Sign of a very good gk

      1. @Davi, to be candid, when I wrote this comment, it was exactly that point where he saved Xavi’s shot I had in mind. He was really idle almost throughout the match and boom, that shot came out from nowhere and in close proximity. How he managed to grab that ball, and not just punch it out, is beyond me. If he continues this way, we can finally forget about Leno.

        1. Agree, a lot of perfectly good gks would have parried that one away – I don’t think I’d have even blamed him if he’d done that tbh.

    2. Aye, Turner was very solid yesterday. I’ve had my doubts about him but if he keeps on like yesterday, he’s going to be great alternative for Rams.

  10. Thoroughly enjoyed the game. Total domination and I really don’t care whether it was 1-0 or 10-0 as we never had to get out of 2nd gear. We are becoming such a cohesive team and our passing and movement were sublime. We are now regularly making pretty good teams look very ordinary even without half our first team. Xhaka was imperious tonight even without the goal. Whilst a couple of players aren’t quite there yet it’s nitpicking to name names as collectively we have won 12 of our 13 games so far, excluding pre-season, and have been the better team in all but the Leeds game.

  11. Grate moment for us Gooners to rejoice as Arsenal beat PSV tonight at the Ems in the Europa League marchday no 4 to qualify for the competition’s knockout stage. I am delighted as the Gunners who totally dominated the match finally won it by a beautiful solitary goal scored by Granit Xhaka.
    So therefore, I congratulate the Gunners for this welldone job by them. And for their adding another win today to their winning streak in all competitions this season. And I am looking forward to them adding another win again to their commanding winning streak this season at St Mary’s against the Saints next Sunday’s afternoon in the Epl unfailingly.

  12. I cannot agree that NKETIAH “has a stand our game”! Not at all He was busy but his lack of ability to ge past his opponent was in stark contrast to Martinelli, who is in a completely different level of quality.

    Eddie is a hard working and promising player but it is clear he is not yet of the very high consistent quality he needs, to be considered a first team pick.

    I thought THAT was shown rather graphically tonight,

    1. Agree it wasn’t a standout game but he was OK. I noticed that he was usually close to the action when someone had a shot, ready for any rebounds, which is good to see considering he was starting on the wing. I wouldn’t expect him to play in a similar way to martinelli but I would have liked to see him moving more centrally at times to link with Jesus. That’s where he can be dangerous from a left wing position imo

  13. We should really consider this group won.

    Whatever happens with PSV next week, we have Zurich at home to get to a total of 15 points and a clear group win.

    The slightly annoying thing about our lack of goalscoring tonight is that the head to head results decide any tie, so PSV may put themselves in position to win a tie if they overturn the aggregate next week – that could put pressure on the Zurich game since 1 point would not be enough if PSV end up on 13 with the head to head in their favour.

    But… should we really worry about that? If we play the 2nd team next week and PSV do win by more than 1 goal, we can always play a strong team vs Zurich if necessary.

    So to me, winning the group feels like “job done” already. We could even play the U23s in Holland, give everyone a rest.

    1. I would go all out for PSV match and at least get a draw. That point will be enough to top the group and we can field fringe players in the Zurich match at home.

  14. What a performance although the scoreline does not reflect our total domination of the match. That said, I am very impressed with Tomiyasu, he kept Gakpo quite all game. He kept Salah quite against Liverpool. We are so lucky to have such a versatile and talented player in our ranks, great performance Tomi, keep it up.

    1. Agree wholeheartedly.One of the best defenders in the Premier League who can play anywhere in the back four.

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