"A stroke of genius" - How the media reacted to PSG 1-1 Arsenal
After Arsenal came from behind to snatch a late point against French Champions PSG in last night’s Champions League opener, we had a look at how the media reacted to the game.
The Gunners began the match dreadfully, conceding after only 47 seconds to an Edinson Cavani header.
Cavani had several chances to finish Arsene Wenger’s side off, but missed major opportunities including an open-goal after taking the ball around David Ospina.
Arsenal were much improved in the second half, and earned their reward when an Alex Iwobi effort was parried only for Alexis Sanchez to tuck into the corner.
It could have been even better if Iwobi had finished his chance when put clean through late on, but never-the-less the Gunners will be delighted with a point.
This was how the media reacted to the game:
The Sun’s Mark Irwin wrote:
“The size and strength of the PSG team was reminiscent of Arsenal of ten years ago – when they used to challenge for the Champions League.
Arsenal have huge expectations of Alex Iwobi and it isn’t hard to see why. The young Nigerian is a star in the making.
It is more than 16 years since Arsenal last failed to qualify from the group stages. This result means they could even top their table before making their traditional exit in the last 16.”
While Martin Samuel at the Mail Online wrote:
“Played the best football, had the best chances, were without doubt the better team, failed to win.
Somehow, having been second best by a distance all night, Arsenal came away with a point, and in doing so achieved one of their strongest results in Europe in recent seasons.”
Both writers were adamant that a point gained by Arsenal in the circumstances is a massive point, and it is hard to disagree, with the Gunners putting themselves in a good position to top the group for the first time in a long, long time.
Some writers were more concerned about Wenger’s line-up. John Cross wrote on the Mirror online:
“Last season, the gamble left Arsenal facing an early Champions League exit.
This time, David Ospina’s heroics kept them in their opening group game away to Paris Saint-Germain and, in the end, it proved to be a stroke of genius.”
The Colombian goal-keeper made his first start of the season in a match where it was highly expected that Petr Cech would continue in goal. Ospina made a string of world-class saves to deny Cavani in particular, and looks set to stay in goal for Arsenal’s next Champions League game. The rotation policy in terms of the goal-keepers, looks reminiscent to what Barcelona did last year.
Over on Fox Soccer, Aaron West was also concerned about Wenger’s decision-making:
“Some of his choices on the night made sense, but Wenger’s team selection is still a source of consternation and just plain frustration.”
As-well as the goal-keeper, Granit Xhaka and Olivier Giroud, as well as Lucas Perez were all left on the bench.
Barney Ronay, writing for the Guardian, just summed-up the night by saying it was just the same old Arsenal:
“This was still a missed opportunity for Arsenal in the Champions League. This was Arsenal in the Champions League. This was Arsenal. Arsenal with heart and spirit. But make no mistake, PSG were here for the taking.”
It is clear that this is a useful and well-fought point for the Gunners in their quest to win the group, but it seems there are plenty of questions to be answered, in particular regarding team selection and how to become more ruthless.
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