UCL: PSG v Arsenal [Review]
The UEFA Champions League (finally) returned for the 16/17 season tonight with the group games kicking off. We figured the Group A match between PGS and Arsenal at the Parc des Princes would perhaps be the most exciting fixture to cover.
The game was certainly not boring. In the first half PSG were dominant and hit the ground running with Cavani scoring only 44 seconds into the game. Arsenal's attack was poor to say the least and they failed to make a single shot on target. This was mainly due to the fact that Alexis Sanchez was deployed in a false 9 role whereas usually he is most effective playing on the wing.
By the end of the first half you were left wondering how PSG had not put the game to bed with Arsenal being so passive. PSG should have capitalized more however they were unable to do so notably due to Cavani missing several good chances despite scoring a goal early on. In the 2nd half PSG decided to play more conservatively and allowed Arsenal the possession they tend to thrive under. They did so in the hopes that they could score a 2nd on the counter-attack but quite arguably this backfired.
In the 62nd minute Wenger gave up on playing Sanchez in the false 9 role and brought on Giroud allowing Sanchez to convert to his preferred left-wing spot. After this Arsenal became much more fluent in attack and eventually this led to Ozil creating the magic needed for Iwobi to have a shot which rebounded into the feet of Sanchez, who then buried the ball into the back of the net.
After scoring Arsenal went a little more defensive and played to end the game in a draw however before being able to do so there was a little bit of extra drama with Giroud being given a 2nd yellow for a foul on Marco Verratti. Verratti was also given a red with the referee perhaps viewing Verratti as being responsible for Giroud hitting the deck after him.
Despite the game ending in a draw, the result has to be much more worrying for PSG. With the departure of Ibrahimović, Cavani is now really their only striker and a lot of pressure will be on his shoulders in the UCL. PSG's wingers play more so as creators and so you could argue that unless Cavani gets back to his Napoli form then they are going to really struggle for goals outside of the French league.