Iwobi gaffe holds back Gun­ners

Own goal gifts Parisians in Lon­don

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International -

LON­DON/ Paris St Ger­main put them­selves in the box seat to en­ter the Cham­pi­ons League knock­out rounds as Group “A” win­ners af­ter an Alex Iwobi own goal earned them a point in an en­ter­tain­ing 2-2 draw at Arse­nal on Wed­nes­day.

Arse­nal, who like PSG had booked a last 16 spot, looked set to fin­ish top of their group for the first time since 2011 af­ter Marco Ver­ratti’s com­i­cal own goal on the hour.

But they were de­nied when Lu­cas’s goal­bound header in the 77th minute was de­flected past David Ospina by Iwobi.

Edin­son Ca­vani, who put PSG ahead as he had done in Paris in Septem­ber when the sides drew 1-1, wasted sev­eral chances to earn the French cham­pi­ons vic­tory late on.

It means PSG have 11 points from five games, the same as Arse­nal, but have a su­pe­rior headto-head cour­tesy of away goals. They will guar­an­tee fin­ish­ing first if they beat Lu­do­gorets in their fi­nal fix­ture, when Arse­nal go to Basel.

Arse­nal man­ager Arsene Wenger was philo­soph­i­cal after­wards, say­ing fin­ish­ing sec­ond would not nec­es­sar­ily be a bur­den for his side who have lost in the last-16 stage six sea­sons in a row.

“At the mo­ment we are 90 per­cent to fin­ish sec­ond,” he told re­porters.

A point was no less than PSG de­served as they started and fin­ished the game stronger than Arse­nal, who are un­beaten in all com­pe­ti­tions since los­ing to Liver­pool in Au­gust.

“It was a ter­rific per­for­mance,” their coach Unai Emery, de­prived of de­fender Serge Aurier af­ter Bri­tish au­thor­i­ties re­voked his visa fol­low­ing an as­sault conviction, said.

Thi­ago Motta had far too much time to pick a pass that sent Blaise Ma­tu­idi clear and his invit­ing low cross was swept home by the slid­ing Ca­vani for his 16th goal of the sea­son.

Giroud tucked in a spot kick past Alphonse Are­ola. Ver­ratti made it 2-1. Arse­nal then sat back and PSG equalised when Lu­cas’s pow­er­ful header was turned in by Iwobi.


Arse­nal’s Alex Iwobi scores an own goal and the sec­ond goal for Paris Sain­tGer­main .

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