Arse­nal down to se­cond in Group A af­ter draw with Paris Saint-Ger­main

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Arse­nal have dropped down to se­cond place in Group A af­ter be­ing held to a 2-2 draw by Paris Saint-Ger­main.

A win for Arsene Wenger's side would have en­sured that they would take their place among the seeds when the draw for the knock­out stages is made next month, but a late own goal from Alex Iwobi left the Premier League side fac­ing the prospect of fin­ish­ing as run­ners-up.

Arse­nal can still fin­ish in first spot should they beat Basel in Switzer­land and PSG slip up against Lu­do­gorets but they are likely to face tough op­po­si­tion when they find out who awaits them in the last 16.

Dur­ing the se­cond half against Manch­ester United on Satur­day af­ter­noon, Arse­nal scored with their only shot on goal and his­tory re­peated it­self dur­ing the open­ing 45 min­utes on Wed­nes­day night.

Paris Saint-Ger­main were not ex­actly re­lent­less in their bid to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties in North Lon­don but min­utes af­ter Thi­ago Silva had seen an ef­fort cleared off the line by Kieran Gibbs, they got them­selves in front.

Af­ter Blaise Ma­tu­idi had been set free down the left-hand side of the penalty area, he crossed for Edin­son Ca­vani who slid in at the back post to tap home from three yards.

It was a goal which should have led to a re­sponse from the home team but they toiled against the French cham­pi­ons and it was PSG's own do­ing that they did not reach half time with a one-goal ad­van­tage. Af­ter Gre­gorz Krychowiak had brought down Alexis Sanchez in the penalty area, Olivier Giroud stepped up to fire his spot kick into the cor­ner to get his team back on level terms against the run of play.

The same pat­tern of play con­tin­ued af­ter the restart be­fore PSG came ag­o­nis­ingly close to re­tak­ing the lead when Lu­cas Moura's 25yard free kick hit the cross­bar with Ospina beaten.

That near miss was soon fol­lowed by Arse­nal tak­ing the lead in the most for­tu­itous cir­cum­stances as Aaron Ram­sey's shot was blocked by Silva be­fore the ball ric­o­cheted off Marco Ver­ratti and headed into the bot­tom cor­ner from 10 yards out.

For the fol­low­ing 15 min­utes, the Gun­ners did an ef­fec­tive job in sti­fling the visi­tors but as the game en­tered the clos­ing stages, PSG found an equaliser when Moura's header was de­flected into his own net by Iwobi.

It left Arse­nal re­quir­ing a goal to stay at the top of the group but the in­tro­duc­tions of Theo Wal­cott and Alex Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain only led to PSG ex­ploit­ing their hosts at the back.

In the space of a cou­ple of min­utes, Moura cre­ated two op­por­tu­ni­ties for Ca­vani but af­ter squan­der­ing a one-on-one chance un­der no pres­sure, the Uruguayan glanced a header wide of the post when it looked eas­ier to score.

How­ever, as Arse­nal tired dur­ing the clos­ing stages, it mat­tered lit­tle as PSG com­fort­ably held on to leave their fate in their own hands when they face Lu­do­gorets in Paris in two weeks' time.

Bay­ern stunned by tena­cious Ros­tov

Two months af­ter beat­ing FC Ros­tov 5-0, Bay­ern Mu­nich lost to the tena­cious Rus­sian club 3-2 in a Cham­pi­ons League match played in mi­nus-5 de­grees yes­ter­day.

Bay­ern strug­gled to deal with Ros­tov's rapid coun­ter­at­tacks as well as a never-say-die spirit which brought it back from 1-0 down to claim ar­guably the most fa­mous win in the club's his­tory.

Bay­ern had al­ready qual­i­fied but will now fin­ish se­cond in Group D un­less group leader Atletico Madrid loses to PSV Eind­hoven later Wed­nes­day. Ros­tov was al­ready elim­i­nated, but can reach the Europa League.

Bay­ern's Dou­glas Costa scored the open­ing goal in the first half, blast­ing the ball into the roof of the net af­ter Ros­tov de­fender Ce­sar Navas failed to clear prop­erly.

Ros­tov striker Sar­dar Az­moun showed the skill which has seen him linked to top clubs around Europe to draw level eight min­utes later, just be­fore half­time.

Arse­nal’s man­ager Arsene Wenger

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