Match Today: Arsenal vs PSV Eindhoven 27-10-2022 UEFA Europa League
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Arsenal needed just one point to seal first place in Group A of the European League with a match left, and Arsenal boarded a plane to the Netherlands to face PSV Eindhoven on Thursday night.
Arsenal are five points ahead of their second-placed Dutch counterparts, who could be left to fight for second place. While Xavi Simmons in particular has shown glimpses of his exciting potential at the Emirates Stadium, PSV Eindhoven have never faced Arsenal at their north London home, and Rod Van Nistelrooy would be relieved to see Arsenal win with just one goal.
Granit Xhaka's first right-footed goal for the club separated the two teams in the 70th minute of the match, meaning PSV Eindhoven can only top Group A in an exceptional set of circumstances - winning both of their last two games against Arsenal. and Bodo Glimt while also hoping that Mikel Arteta's team would slip away at home to FC Zurich in the final round.
Arsenal vs PSV Eindhoven
While PSV Eindhoven's away misfortunes carried over to the Eredivisie where they lost 4-2 to Groningen at the weekend, the equation for success at Phillips Stadium saw the hosts win five goals and draw one of their last six matches in front of their fans in all competitions.
A place in the playoffs should now be the target of Van Nistelrooy's team, who can secure second place with a point if the score in Bodo Glimt's match with Zurich goes its way, but the Dutch powers were not warm. This game is perfect.
The Netherlands side have also scored in each of their last 10 Europa League games at home, although they will need to improve their pitiful tally of just four shots in the Emirates - their lowest in a continental match since 2016.
PSV Eindhoven vs Arsenal
Arsenal struggle to kill matches while a good goal is nothing new, and this lack of ruthlessness costed Arsenal dear ones during their trip to Southampton, who limited Arteta's men to just one stroke before returning for the well-deserved equaliser.
Xhaka followed up his goal against PSV Eindhoven with another lethal shot into the roof of the net - with his right foot again, no less - but the weary Arsenal side were held back by a second-half equalizer from Stuart Armstrong as their lead was on top. Cut to two points.
Having also struggled to assert his dominance in the 1-0 wins over Bodou Glimt and Leeds United, that result could be said to be coming for Arsenal, who can take comfort knowing they are already guaranteed to finish first and second in Group A and just need a draw in Holland to finish the lead.
That 1-1 at St Mary's at least extended Arsenal's unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions, and the North London giants have posted a net ripple in each of their last 16 Europa League games away from home, but there may be a hint of Fears creep in as the ruthless fixture schedule rears its ugly head. Arsenal have failed to win on their last two visits to PSV Eindhoven - losing 1-0 in the 2006-07 Champions League Round of 16 after a 1-1 draw in 2004-05 - and could One can only hope that football takes center stage rather than repeating the fan turmoil that marred last week's Emirates match.