Arsenal suffered its first UEFA Europa League defeat of the season on Thursday as offensive struggles continued. Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven thoroughly defeated the Gunners, 2-0. Second-half goals from Joey Veerman and Luuk de Jong sank the Premier League club.
While the defeat will surely be disappointing to Arsenal, it already secured a spot in the knockout round of the competition. The Gunners are also still top of Group A at the moment, two points ahead of PSV. Arsenal can finish the group stage in first with a win next Thursday at home to FC Zürich.
Nevertheless, the performance in the Netherlands is a worrying trend for the Premier League leaders. Poor performances tell the tale in the Gunners’ last five matches in all competitions. Since beating Liverpool on Oct. 9, Arsenal managed just four goals over these five games. Remarkably, the points still show up.
The team’s defense has been earned results in recent weeks. However, the Gunners were leaky at the back all night against PSV. On the scoresheet, PSV only scored twice. However, PSV had the ball in the net on two other occasions. both came back due to VAR deeming the plays offside. Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale repelled three of PSV’s five shots on target. Yet, he is culpable for PSV’s second on the night.
Arsenal shows offensive and defensive struggles
Head coach Mikel Arteta was clearly unhappy with his defense during the match. He substituted three of his starting four defenders. William Saliba was the only outfield player in the back line to play a full 90 minutes.
The Gunners will look to bounce back with a home league match against Nottingham Forest on Sunday. The newly promoted side have only racked up eight total goals in the Premier League so far, while they have also allowed 23. Forest currently sit bottom of the table.
Home matches against two struggling clubs could be exactly what Arteta and company need to steady the ship. Manchester City is just two points behind Arsenal in the table.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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