PSV have beaten Arsenal 2-0 in Holland to claim a head-to-head advantage in their Europa League, with one match left to play.
It was quite an even opening, with our rivals not dominating possession but looking dangerous in attack, and we were under threat early on, but thankfully VAR went in our favour.
I’m not sure if I’m being biased, but I felt like we were the better side in the opening 45 minutes, despite having to be saved by VAR a second time when Xavi Simons twisted up our defence before lobbing Aaron Ramdsale, with our finishing and final ball hampering us from gaining the lead.
We came out in the second-half brightly too, but around 10 minutes after the break we saw the ball cross into our goal for the third time, but there was no more help from the officials. Joey Veerman finished off a fine team move, which originated down the right before the overlapping runners came through the middle to open us up a little too easily, and things just got worse from then on.
We replaced Odegaard and Lokonga straight after the goal, but that didn’t stop us from conceding again shortly after, with the opening goal’s creator Luuk De Jong turning goalscorer, heading into the open goal after Ramsdale rushed out to miss his attempted punch-out.
I’d love to say that our players brought a positive reaction to being behind, but Gabriel Martinelli seemed to lose his head, picking up an unnecessary yellow card for his actions, and with our best efforts failing to really test goalkeeper Walter Benitez.
The frustrating thing now, is that we go into our match with Zurich next week needing a win to secure top spot in the group, knowing that we must face Chelsea days later in the Premier League, and must decided where our priorities lie…
Do you think we had to name a stronger line-up today in order to avoid next week’s potential drop into second-spot, or should we have taken the opportunity to rest more players and just concentrate on our league matches given we have already secured qualification to the next round?