Analysing Wenger and Arsenal’s salvaged point in Paris

A night where things started out so wrong in Paris ended in a decent result for Arsenal after a late Alexis Sanchez strike meant they shared the points with PSG in the opening game of the Champions League.

Paris Saint-Germain were ahead after 33 seconds after an Edinson Cavani header beat keeper David Ospina. The French champions dominating the remainder of the half and Cavani missed a number of chances to increase his side’s lead.

Arsenal dominated the majority of the second half, playing at a much higher tempo and with greater intent to their game from front to back, however PSG always looked a threat on the counter with Cavani once again failing to put away chances presented to him.

It was with just under 15 minutes to go that the Gunners came up with their best move of the night with Mesut Ozil finding Alex Iwobi who’s blacked shot was put in by Alexis Sanchez.

There was further action though as Olivier Giroud and Marco Verratti were both sent off for an altercation off the ball in stoppage time.

Much talk will surround the Arsene Wenger’s team selection, despite gaining a point at the home of their main rivals for top spot in the group, many will ask the questions as to why there was no Petr Cech? Why did he start Sanchez up front with Giroud on the bench? Why doesn’t he start £30m summer signing Granit Xhaka?

For any side to gain something from the Parc des Princes, it would have to be deemed a good result considering PSG have lost only one of their last 39 home games in European competition (W25 D13), and that was against Barcelona in April 2015 (1-3).

But could’ve it been more if manager Arsene Wenger was more bold in his team selection?

The decision to opt for David Ospina ahead of Cech would’ve bemused many of the travelling Arsenal contingent especially if you take into account what happened in the early games of Arsenal’s last group stages matches where Ospina was at fault for goals in both of the opening games. Yes, he did play well and kept the Gunners in the game on a number of occasions although it’s time Wenger sticks with a side rather than reshuffling to keep players happy.

Cavani found himself in bundles of space between Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi, who knows if Cech was there, would it have happened?

They’ve paid £30m for a player yet Arsene Wenger insists on keeping him on the bench. After being rested against Southampton on Saturday many expected the Xhaka to start in the French capital.

The decision to start Alexis Sanchez up front while you have Olivier Giroud and Lucas Perez is another peculiar decision from the Arsenal chief. Despite scoring, it was a poor performance on the whole from the Chilean who seemed lost when playing as a loan striker, it was only until he was moved out to the left flank where we started to see what he’s capable of.

Naturally the Arsenal number seven does tend to drop deep and play with the midfielders however it meant there was no focal point in the central attacking area, when Giroud came on he was a presence and although the Frenchman didn’t set the world alight, his playing style helped the likes of Alex Iwobi, Mesut Ozil and others to play.

A draw in Paris is not the worst of results, you would expect Arsenal and PSG to beat Basel and Ludogorets meaning it could all come down to Matchday five when the two sides meet again in London.

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