PSG v Arsenal review – Alexis and Ospina save Gunners

Well that was lucky for Arsenal. Alexis Sanchez scoring late after Ospina making some top saves and Cavani missing sitters after scoring in the first minute gave the Gunners a barely deserved point but one which could be crucial as to who tops the group.

The best thing that I can say about that first half, from an Arsenal point of view, is that the home side did not capitalise on their dominance and add to the goal scored by Cavani in the very first minute. They could and should have done, as the Gunners were second best all over the pitch.

We were slow to press and sloppy in possession and the game should have been beyond us at the break but Cavani missed two golden chances in the final minutes. The decision to leave Giroud on the bench and use Alexis through the middle was not working.

Wenger waited another 15 minutes into the second half to bring him and Granit Xhaka on though and to be fair Arsenal were playing better. Once again PSG could have finished it but the decision to go with Ospina proved inspired as the Colombian produced a string of brilliant saves to deny Cavani and Di Maria.

And with a bout 10 minutes to go Alexis was on hand to pounce and smash an equaliser after Iwobi’s shot came back off the keeper. There were chances for both sides after that and still time for Giroud and Verratti to be sent off for second yellows. That could be a huge point at the end of the group stage.



  1. jeff says:

    We never stood a chance with this line up.

    Has anyone of you ever watched a game where Sanchez was effectiv as a striker?

    Leave two strikers on the bench and play a LW up front. #Wengerlogic

    Once Giroud came on Sanchez was a bit free to move around and bang scored. It was a winnabke game but a point will do…

    1. muffdiver says:

      wenger got this line up so wrong its unreal
      but at least he rectified the situation, now with girouds straight red ..what happens?

      david ospina deserves a run from that performance alone…incredible for someone whos not played for us to do that in paris

      i am happy with the smash and grab but we were so amateurish at times…the manager got this worng

      1. NY_Gunner says:

        That bad huh? Missed it. Was at The Old Vic. Gotta find some highlights…

        1. muffdiver says:

          proper smash and grab.

          the vic at waterloo? man i was just by there lol
          hell you doing at the theatre when theres a game on man?

          1. NY_Gunner says:

            My Dude. Sometimes you gotta sacrifice in order to get them skins in…

        2. RSH says:

          Yeah it was uninspired. One good chance and it was the goal. After that it was end to end. . Cavani had at least four easy chances he missed but ospina was also brilliant

        3. Arsenal007 says:

          The one thing Wenger got right 100% was Ospina starting.
          Sanchez was almost useless upfront until Giroud came in…bang, Sanchez scores.
          Ospina saved our blushes…Cavani would have scored 4 if he was more ruthless.

      2. Trudeau says:

        Can folks not give him some credit for having the cajones to start Ospina?

        1. RSH says:

          if he didn’t mess up everywhere else on the pitch, yes. Why is our best XI on after we make all our subs? 1st half was a complete waste of time for our attack. What was he thinking starting Alexis upfront, especially when Perez was just bought and you plan on playing counter-attacking football? Just don’t get it. Minute AW made the obvious subs we play better, not shocking. AW deserves no praise for absolutely getting the lineup wrong. He does one thing right and that’s it. Ospina made some wonderful saves but we’re also so lucky Cavani is complete trash as well because he also just completely missed one or two.

          1. rd_gunner says:

            Guys agree to what you are saying. But think of it. The boss never played Alexis upfront when Giroud was available last season. So there is definitely something that we do not know. And when Alexis starts up front the team must have had their instructions to do what needs to be done to make it effective.

            The issue is partly Alexis and also partly the fact that our midfield got streamrolled. I have never seen Ozil and Cazorla so ineffective.
            Very sure this experiment will stop as soon as Giroud becomes fully fit. The only reason I see for not starting Lucas is to not hurt this confidence. I am sure Southampton turned out to be very different than he thought.

            I will give my team the benefit of doubt this one time but this is clearly not good enough.

    2. Dee@ease says:

      Wenger’s tactics once again were not up to scratch it’s no wonder he can never beat top coaches like Pep,Ancelotti,Mourinho,Klopp etc.

      1. Budd says:

        He’s riding his luck from the start of the season. So far it worked somehow but one can wonder what if we had put in the field a team made by any other people but Wenger. Especially against Liverpool. Well, I can’t complain too much. It’s a draw in Paris. I’d bite your hand yesterday if you’d give me a draw and even more so now seen how sloppy we were.

  2. Juhislihis McLovin says:

    Comical performance! How the hell did we concede only once? And even scored? Football gods…

    Horrible line up, OX is a f’n disgrace. Anyone saw him smirking after he came off? Smirking after that performance? He should be training with the U18 squad.

    Ospina was nervous as hell but still managed some world class saves.

    We got point because PSG had the Uruguayan Cameron Jerome

    Summa summarum, horrible performance, great result.

    1. muffdiver says:

      cavanis speed an movement was amazing, his finishing …darren bent?

      1. Juhislihis McLovin says:

        So he’s a headless chicken without footballing brain!

        1. muffdiver says:

          …THEO WALCOTT


          1. RSH says:

            Oh boy…. Haha

    2. rd_gunner says:

      Yup I noticed it too. Looks like he has given up on himself (apparently Wenger hasn’t and starts with him)

  3. mobaygunner says:

    Ospina as earned the rest of the playing time in the group stage..thats a fantastic keeper proformance

    1. muffdiver says:

      totally agree

    2. RSH says:

      Agree. No bouncing the ball tho, heh ?

  4. Dee@ease says:

    Ospina put in a great performance,we have 2 class goalkeepers!

  5. sandziso says:

    Ospina man of the match

  6. gunnerup says:

    Worst performance in a very long time. Such poor passing. Such low motivation and effort to get the ball especially in the first half. Players running into each other. Wtf. From the beautiful silky smooth passing days of fabregas, flamini, Reyes, Hleb. To this dirty shet ball play. Wenger with 2 fit strikers plays Sanchez as CF!!!!
    Wel done Ospina.

    1. muffdiver says:

      pffft. not our worse performance, we ve had loads of crap games in past few years.

      this was ospinas night tho

      1. gunnerup says:

        It’s an exaggeration, and I Dnt remember worse of the top of my head given how dissapointing was. But yes in years there has been worse. But like for a start to a new and supposed exciting season u reallllllly expect more.

      2. RSH says:

        true. We’ve been crappier than today.

        1. gunnerup says:

          Guys. I did not say worst ever?
          I know that !!

          1. RSH says:

            oh sorry, wasn’t trying to have a go at you, haha

  7. ras911 says:

    Wenger please never start Sanchez upfront again, we’ve seen several times how much the game changes when he’s given freedom

  8. Godswill says:

    I think that was the worst Arsenal selection I’ve ever witness having fit players.
    I was almost convinced that it was a capital one match line up.
    Sanchez is not a striker please.

    1. DC Gunner says:

      He’d be fine if we were playing 4-4-2 or 4-1-3-2 with either Giroud or Perez.

      Xhaka Iwobi
      Nacho Kos Mustafi Bellerin

      Would be your 4-4-2 diamond, adjust Giroud and the 3 behind Ozil as needed for pace or size and strength. And yes, I know I left Santi out, he can use a rest once in a while. This could easily be

      Alexis Perez
      Iwobi Ramsey
      back 4.

      Arsenal could stand to shake up the standard formation once in a while, this is just one possible change. I am no expert, but i would wager one could create a “best 4-3-3” or “best 3-5-2” from Arsenal’s squad. And choose formations and players that best fit the opposition.

      A more flexible manager would do at least some of this.

  9. RSH says:

    Watford game still our only good game. But we pick up points so it could easily be worst. We needed to improve yesterday,

    1. RSH says:

      And ospina simply world class today. Take a bow son ?

  10. Uzi Ozil says:

    End to end stuff…. Sanchez is indeed a fighter. Special shout-out to Osssssssspina. Sanchez became productive when Giroud was introduced as he moved to his favourite position. Iwobi impressed me more than Ox. They exploited Monreals wing. Giroud… What was that. Red card again like last season. Perez please take your chance as we will see you start next games.

    Poor first half
    Encouraging second half
    One point fair enough..

  11. john0711 says:

    Ox should only pay cup games until he proves himself consistently

    very bad starting line up, Xhaka and santi should play when ever fit

    sanchez has to start on the wing

    we got away with one here maybe our name is on the last 16 lol

    1. muffdiver says:

      yep i was always on here fighting oxs corner.
      had enough with his inconsistency

      1. RSH says:

        Cannot stand Ox and Walcott. People complain about Ramsey, nooooo, this is way worse. They’re downright championship level players that are getting away with big salaries.

    2. rd_gunner says:

      Agree on the Ox part- just doesn’t do enough to be a starter. Arsenal missed a trick by sending Campbell on Loan. Campbell currently is a much better player than Ox

  12. GOONER NO.9 says:

    Gotta admit, we wasted money on Xhaka, why not spend the 30+mil on a striker of class early in the window before the price escalates, or that 17mil of perez plus 30 of xhaka and bid 50 for Lakaku, we still need a striker and the Sanchez experikent has to stop now its enough, I need more from ozil guys, I really do, ive always felt that, and I rate Coq over eleneny, xhaka, ramsey

  13. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Before I saw this lineup, I would have been happy with a point
    Actually overall I am okay with a point because a point away against PSG is
    a good result
    Big thanks particularly to Alexis and Ospina

    But why oh why didn’t Wenger put out our best 11
    I know we have a match in 4 days but it doesn’t make sense to me
    Wenger can justify Ospina because of how Ospina played. I won’t criticse him for that
    But Ox, Iwobi. No Giroud, Perez, Xhaka
    I love Alexis but up front is not his best position

    1. Fatboy Gooney says:

      Iwobi played better than most, he was tracking back and helping out in defence, Sanchez scored from his rebounded effort off the keeper and Iwobi almost scored the winner towards the end. As for Giroud, he was begging to be sent off from the moment he came on.

  14. Wilshegz says:

    Cavani is still a better player than Giroud.

  15. jonm says:

    Ospina playing for arsenal in 2014/15 season, best stats in PL by a long way. Outstanding performances for columbia in WC and copa america. Double saves against messi and aguerro. Rated by messi.

    I watched Ospina in WC before we were linked with him and was very impressed, he was making absolutely awesome saves. I was delighted when he joined us and he was fantastic in the 2014/15 season for us. I expected him to leave when Cech arrived, he is far too good to sit on the bench. However he has stayed, no doubt with the promise of playing in CL and cups. I was pleased he was playing today., unlike a lot on this site who criticised his inclusion in the team.

    We are very fortunate to have Ospina as our reserve goalie. He has to play in CL and cup competitions to keep him. Judging by his performance tonight that is a good thing.

    Ospina is our most underrated player.

  16. Skills1000 says:

    Wenger should tell his players to shoot more often. Cazorla did well today.

  17. sam-afc says:

    How we have come away with a point in Paris, I’ll never know….

    Had Wenger of started Giroud or Perez down the middle and kept Alexis out on the left we could well have won that game. We got let off lightly there. I’m praying Wenger won’t do that again. But I’m guessing he will ?

    Chamberlain once again about as much use as a chocolate tea pot. At least Iwobi had a shot on goal which led to the goal. These type of games are crying out for Joel Campbell.

    Ospina and Alexis thank you ????

    1. Arsenal_Girl says:

      I agree
      I was shocked when I saw the lineup
      Keeping out Giroud and Perez but playing OX with Alexis up front?
      Really bad lineup

      Ospina and defense was perfect selection
      But Alexis is best on wing
      Giroud and/or Perez are supposed to play up front

  18. Wilshegz says:

    and Mustafi totally messed up for the first goal, Cavani went up with no contest.

    1. RSH says:

      him and Koscielny several times were not backing each other up. They went for the same ball on one of Cavani’s missed chances. That partnership just isn’t there yet at all. Monreal also caught off guard with the fullback run right out the gates. Arsenal always like to start games slowly. Other teams don’t do that.

    2. ras911 says:

      Actually le Coq and Santi were at fault for the goal. They left Di Maria free in the middle which forced Bos to go up and mark him and this left Mustafi having to make a decision and readjust but it was too late by then

  19. samtz says:

    uninspired performance !!When will we enjoy watching our Arsenal?soo many issues to be sorted with this team,man we were very open at the mid,why cant cant we be compact?

  20. Fatboy Gooney says:

    When the team sheets were confirm, I did say that Ospina would have to play a blinder for us to have any chance in this game and with 4 top class saves in the second half he kept us in it.
    I’m trying to give Wenger the benefit of the doubt with his Rocky Balboa tactics, in getting battered for 11 rounds and then pulling out a haymaker out of nowhere to win it at the death. ? And it nearly would have worked if Iwobi’s angled low shot had a bit more pace on it.
    At the end of the night a draw was a great result for us, considering that we got battered for the majority of the game.
    Did anyone else notice that Giroud was begging to be sent off from the moment he came on? ? if you didn’t then watch it again, if you can. He was going in late with his challenges with a bit of afters, aswell as arguing with the ref.
    Also Wenger bottled out from bringing Perez on and changed his mind after Sanchez scored and played out for the draw by bringing on Elneny instead.

    All in all, a draw was a good result for us and with Basel drawing their game aswell, it made it even sweeter.

    1. ras911 says:

      Lol it’s true about Giroud and i think the French fans are to blame for this. I thought Arsenal fans were fickle but the French take the cup

    2. RSH says:

      People were saying Cavani is the new Giroud. Olivier said “wait a minute!”

  21. lucia says:

    I don’t know about anyone but for me the further ox is far from the first team the better.
    the guy is useless and to think wenger loaned out campbell is beyond me.
    a lot of people are blamng mustafi for the goal but the main culprit was monreal and koscielny..did you see where koscielny was when that cross came in, he was half way on the pitch and from that goal the game plan changed for both teams.
    i will criticize wenger for a lot of things he got wrong today but special praise for the change he made most notably ospina.
    but am happy he left iwobi on whom for me is better than ox and walcot combined.
    all in all a good point to start but giroud should be ashamed of himself.
    onto the next game coyg….

  22. stubill says:

    It could be a lot worse, we could all support Celtic lol.

  23. Okayblack says:

    I have said it time and times before now, Arsenal NEED A CHANGE IN MANAGER… We have a usable squad but Wenger can’t motivate these guys anymore! He’s been saying same things to same players for a long time, its boring! We need a new Manager!
    How do U explain leaving Lucas/Giroud in the bench to play Sanchez as striker? U can’t be playing Coquelin & Santi, its sluggish, U play Xhaka/Santi, Xhaka plays long balls, and can start an attack but Coquelin doesn’t.
    It was a STEAL of a point today, but on another day, we would be embarrassed!
    I SENSE OZIL IS NOT HAPPY… I fear the Worst with his Contract talks!!!!!
    Weldone Ospina!!!!!!

  24. Wilshegz says:

    and what about Walcott? he wasn’t even on the bench today.. why?

  25. Wilshegz says:

    when are we finally gonna see Cech;Bellerin,Mustafi,Koscielny,Monreal; Xhaka,Cazorla; Alexis,Ozil,Walcott; Perez start?

    1. jonm says:

      Not in a CL or cup game, Ospina will play in those. That must be the deal to get him to stay.

  26. Benjas24 says:

    The only person that will understand Wenger at the moment is Robert Mugabe.

    Fans were laughing at Mourinho over the weekend because they love you but you stabbed them in the back with your ridiculous line up.

  27. jonm says:

    Chelsea won the champions league by winning games they should have lost. Manu under SAF in the PL regularly won games they should have drawn or lost, and drew games they should have lost, its what champion do. But champions also win most of the games they should have won.

    Arsenal have been lucky in the last two games, the concern is that we have only had one game where we played well, and that was against watford. We now need a run of good solid performances and not let our luck in the last two games cloud our judgement.

  28. Ronny331 says:

    The Southampton game messed it up, Wenger planned to rest the big names then had to bring them on to chase the game. Still they didn’t play from the start so rather than sub them on why not start strong and lock up shop if in a good position with the subs that started tonight. Wenger loves to make things difficult for himself, the players and the fans!

  29. Ronny331 says:

    Feels like we got a massive serving of lady luck tonight the type arsenal rarely see 🙂 ps how much do you reckon Wenger bunged cavanni before the game? Can he really be that cra*? 🙂

  30. Ronny331 says:

    @wilshegz. Wenger said walcott didn’t travel due to a minor knee strain.

  31. Ronny331 says:

    Yes physio room shows 5 injured. Walcott and Ramsey down as to return 1709.

  32. sylvainwiltord says:

    &%$%& me come on here pleased with the result can’t believe the comments total negativity unbelievable.if giroud starts psg with fresh legs play higher up the pitch from the back because we can’t counter effectively with giroud so made sense for Perez to start but after sat performance wenger prob felt Sanchez was the better option until Perez settles in made perfect sense in my eyes . We got a point away from home in Europe against a very good team which gives us a great chance to win the group imo. Football manager bunch of helmets

    1. jonm says:

      That would explain wengers thinking, play defensively and counter, do not put too much pressure on perez at this stage. Early PSG goal messed it up.

  33. HA559 says:

    Ox is so lazy and wasteful, what does Wenger see in him, honestly.
    He takes the credit for Ospina today by saying ‘I have th eadvantage of seeing them in training’.

    Thats okay but what does Ox show in training that is so good?

    Xhaka would’ve been perfect for this game. You know he has the best long ball passes of any Arsenal player, better than Ozil. He could’ve sprayed the ball from deep in the midield for effective counter attacks.

  34. rkw says:

    Wenger needs to play our best 11 in string of games only way to build a team likes of iwobi ox coq Walcott Ramsey ok for league and fa cup but none close to quality needed to challenge top teams … Truth is this psg team would not be in contention in EPL … But point will do

  35. The Dom04 says:

    I knew a guy that bought a car, a Lexus,
    He was an Arsenal star, Alexis.

  36. janamejayen says:

    I can understand Arsene selection of alexis and giroud but definitely not having OX in starting line up after his poor performances in the chances given and leaving theo who performed better than him out of squad.

    Alexis playing up front I guess is something to do with his ego of being equal to messi and suarez and his intention or demand to prove it playing upfront that is also tied to his contract situation. Wenger is trying to convince him to sign by playing him upfront. That is costing the team.

    Bigger issue though is ease with which PSG was able to slice open arsenal defence and go one on one multiple times. There were good few cases of misunderstanding, inability to deal with goalkicks playing a high line and allowing PSG through on goal on few occasions.

    And if strategy is to press and play high, one can defend against good passing teams only by sticking to their players close not occupying empty spaces. They will find out one player or the other and before these players occupying empty spaces narrow him he will find out another.

    One has to stick to the free players and force the passer go backwards. Then hit on counter when you rob the ball. this is also the only way you can see ball more with guardiola teams otherwise he will have 4 options for the passer you cut the angle in 2-3 they will move quickly using the other.

    The tactics was completely wrong which led to the slicing open easily.

    1. janamejayen says:

      Okay got the issue with walcott. then giroud should have started upfront and alexis on wing instead of ox. other games can be used for contract. it was clear giroud was angered and frustrated at being on the bench in Paris. Result – from first foul involving him, he having a go at ref and it was clear the possibility of what happened at zagreb last yr could happen again. And it happened again.

  37. butters says:

    I think its understandable why Juventus paid 80 million for Higuain. Cavani today misses 4 easy chance, Higuain would have slotted that. Sure thats almost 40 million more expensive, but that 40 million is whats the difference between clinical striker and good striker.

    There really isnt much clinical striker left in the market

  38. ali davidson says:

    Oh wenger,wont you ever imagine what will happen when you combine perez and xhaka in a game? I really sure it will greatly work in a quick counter game,as xhaka is an incredible long passer while perez is a fast forward. Ive ever seen perez played before,and i think xhaka will work well with him. Please, at least try to use this strategy, i am very sure we will get a deserve win,not by luck. Trust me!

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