Arsenal alarms bells start to ring as PSV take advantage of shaky form

 (AP)
(AP)

There have been some concerning performances from Arsenal in recent weeks and this display in Eindhoven will have raised yet more alarm bells.

The Gunners went into this match knowing that a point would secure them top spot in their Europa League group, and with that a bye to the last-16 of the competition.

They left Eindhoven, however, soundly beaten as PSV ran out 2-0 winners on a night when they could have scored more. Three more times the Dutch side found the net, only for the offside flag to save Arsenal.

This was a dismal display by Arsenal, who looked just as lacklustre as they did against Southampton last Sunday - when they drew 1-1.

They started this season playing with great energy, blowing teams away with their attacking prowess, but this performance was blunt and turgid.

And it has given PSV a glimmer of hope in their quest to somehow leapfrog Arsenal and finish top of Group A. If the Dutch side beat Bodo/Glimt away next week - and Arsenal fail to win - they’ll achieve that aim.

PSV knew they had to win here to keep alive their slim chance of topping the group, but they did not come out with the gung-ho approach you’d expect. Instead Arsenal dominated the ball in the first half.

It was all, however, very flat as the game meandered along with the Gunners having possession but no penetration.

PSV, in contrast, made the most of their time with the ball and they twice had it in the net, but both efforts were ruled out for offside. The first game after 19 minutes, with Cody Gakpo chipping Aaron Ramsdale after racing through.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The forward was just a fraction offside and it was the same case moments before half-time when Xavi Simons had thought he’d scored. The 19-year-old danced through the Arsenal defence, who were too weak, but winger Anwar El-Ghazi was offside in the build-up.

That was a left-off for Mikel Arteta’s side who, other than Gabriel Martinelli skying a volley over the bar from 12 yards or so, created very little.

Arsenal couldn’t say they hadn’t been warned in the first half after PSV twice had the ball in the net.

The Gunners, however, did not learn from that and within 18 minutes of the second-half PSV had the ball in the net twice more, only this time they counted.

Both came from poor defending, with the first one involving substitute Luuk De Jong rolling Rob Holding and teeing up Veerman to score. The second came eight minutes later as Ramsdale came to punch for a corner. He got thin air and De Jong headed home into an empty net.

 (AP)
(AP)

Arsenal were rocking after that and Arteta was going for the broke, taking off Albert Sambi Lokonga, Martin Odegaard and Holding for Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey.

The Gunners were ragged, though, losing their shape as Simons terrorised them with his dribbling and footwork in twice spaces.

Gakpo had the ball in the net, only for the offside flag to save Arsenal, and then De Jong headed just wide. Ramsdale was being kept busy too, making a number of good saves to keep it at 2-0.

At the other end, Arsenal were creating very little and when they did they couldn’t make it count. Eddie Nketiah had a great chance late on, but that skewed tamely towards the goalkeeper and summed a night to forget for the Gunners.