Arsenal 2-2 PSG: Gunners at a disadvantage in race for top spot after draw
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 24/11/16 6:32am
PSG are in pole position to finish top of Champions League Group A after a 2-2 draw at Arsenal on Wednesday night.
The result means a win for PSG in a fortnight at home to Ludogorets will secure top spot regardless of overall goal difference, as the French side scored two away goals to Arsenal's one in their head-to-head clashes. Arsenal go to Basel on the final match day.
Edinson Cavani gave PSG the lead early on from close range at the far post, before Olivier Giroud levelled from the spot with Arsenal's first shot on goal in the last minute of the first half after Alexis Sanchez had been fouled by Grzegorz Krychowiak.
Arsenal went ahead in fortuitous fashion after the break, Marco Verratti directing the ball into his own net after some pinball in the PSG box.
Lucas Moura equalised for PSG with an unmarked far-post header from a corner with 13 minutes remaining, the ball deflecting off Alex Iwobi's head as David Ospina dived to save the ball.
Despite Cavani having two glorious chances to win it, the French side were happy with a draw.
Arsene Wenger started Giroud for only the second time this season, with Sanchez also making the starting XI at the Emirates despite doubts over his fitness.
PSG dominated the first half in possession, and were nearly ahead after 16 minutes as Thiago Silva's bundled effort from a corner was cleared off the line by Kieran Gibbs.
Arsenal were carved open two minutes later as PSG took the lead, Blaise Matuidi feeding Cavani at the far post to convert after the Gunners' high line was caught napping.
The French side continued to dominate the ball throughout the half without creating many clear-cut chances, and were made to pay in the final minute of the first period.
After giving the ball away to Mesut Ozil to allow Arsenal in, Krychowiak then fouled Sanchez in the penalty area after the Chilean's quick feet stumped the Polish midfielder.
Giroud stepped up, sending Alphonse Areola the wrong way for his fifth goal in five games.
Lucas hit the bar with a 25-yard free-kick after the break, before Arsenal went ahead on the hour mark.
After Sanchez looked to follow up on Aaron Ramsey's fluffed effort, the ball cannoned off Verratti and past Areola, who had no chance.
Arsenal began to retreat as the game wore on, and PSG got their leveller from a corner, as the unmarked Lucas' goalwards header was deflected into the goal by Iwobi. Arsenal stopper Ospina looked to have the effort covered before his team-mate's unfortunate touch.
Cavani had two fine opportunities to win it, first lobbing the ball into Ospina's hands when he was put through on goal, before glancing a header inches wide from eight yards out after Lucas' superb right-wing cross.
Unless Ludogorets can get a result in Paris, Arsenal look to be heading for a tougher last-16 fixture for the sixth time in seven years.