23 Nov 2016

Champions League: PSG dent Arsenal's top spot hopes in fiery encounter

Paris Saint-Germain turned the tables on Arsenal, fighting back for a 2-2 draw at the Emirates that probably feels more like a loss for the hosts. Lucas Moura headed in an equaliser that gave PSG control of their Champions League group and left the Gunners staring at the likelihood of another tough matchup in the round of 16.

While PSG were the better team for much of the night, it was an opportunity missed for Arsenal, who somehow found themselves leading 2-1 in the second half. PSG took an early lead through Edinson Cavani, but Arsenal came back through Olivier Giroud's penalty and an unlucky own-goal by Marco Verratti.

That lead never felt safe, though, and Lucas was left wide open to meet a corner in the 77th minute and head it past David Ospina to bring the visitors level. With both teams tied on points atop Group A, it means PSG now have a better head-to-head record because of away goals scored, after a 1-1 draw between the sides in Paris.

PSG will rue their handful of wasted chances to put the game away before conceding an equaliser, and an Arsenal win here certainly would have been harsh on the visitors. The French champions also had the better chances for a winner, with Cavani's late diving header floating just wide, but it will be Arsenal that are left frustrated from this result.

Having been outplayed for much of the first half, the Gunners still found a way to respond when Alexis Sanchez was tripped in the box just before the break and Giroud calmly converted from the spot.

Arsenal started the second half much brighter and went ahead after a period of pressure on the visitors' goal. Marquinhos was forced to clear the ball after a scramble in the box but only managed to hit the ball straight at Verratti and had to watch as it pinballed into his own net.

It meant Arsenal had scored twice from one shot on target, and while the lead didn't feel entirely deserved, Arsene Wenger will rue their failure to defend it.

The Gunners had been desperate to finish top of the group to boost their chances of ending their round-of-16 hoodoo by securing an easier opponent. But while PSG could still trip up against Ludogorets in the final round, the Gunners will likely be welcoming another European giant to the Emirates soon.

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