Arsenal vs PSG: Gunners miss Santi Cazorla as November bites
Third consecutive draw highlights importance of Spanish midfielder in Arsene Wenger's squad
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger conceded his side had lost some of their "winning momentum" after they gave Paris Saint-Germain the upper hand in the race to finish top of Group A in the Champions League.
"We have not lost, but we have lost a winning momentum a little bit. But we played against a good team," said Wenger afterwards, although he shied away from describing recent results as a stutter, despite the fact the team once again find themselves running out of steam as the weather turns colder.
"It is Arsenal's third consecutive draw but, more worryingly, it continues their dip in form since Santi Cazorla suffered an Achilles tendon injury in October," says Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph. "November is historically the month during which Arsenal have suffered their worst results under Wenger."
The Gunners have struggled without Cazorla, agrees Barney Ronay of The Guardian. "This is an unusual late-Wenger Arsenal," he writes, "an Arsenal with an Arsenal-shaped hole at its heart. There is plenty of fight here. But without Santi Cazorla, their smallest, slowest, most gifted ballplayer, the passing carousel has for now stalled."
Arsenal have finished second in their group in five of the past six seasons and have exited the competition in the first knockout round every year since 2010.
They came from behind to take the lead at the Emirates on Tuesday, but then allowed PSG to draw level. The resulting 2-2 score means that if the two sides, who both have 11 points, finish level after the final group game in two weeks, the French champions will come out on top thanks to their two away goals.
The silver lining is that Bayern Munich have been confirmed as the second-placed team and Real Madrid will also come second if they fail to beat Borussia Dortmund in a fortnight. That would mean the Gunners could not be paired with either side in the last 16.
Arsenal vs PSG LIVE: Gunners frustrated as Iwobi own goal makes it 2-2
FULL TIME: Arsenal 2 PSG 2
Arsenal look destined to finish second in their Champions League group for the fifth year running after PSG came from behind in a thrilling second half at the Emirates to earn a share of the spoils.
If the first half was a dour affair the second was anything but as both sides went for it from the start.
Having spent most of the first 45 minutes on the back foot and been lucky to equalise on the stroke of half time, Arsenal were far more positive after the break and took the lead after an hour.
The goal was a scrappy affair, as Ramsey's shot was deflected in the box and ended up cannoning in off Verratti.
PSG redoubled their efforts after that and eventually scored an equaliser of their own when a corner to the far post was headed goalwards by Lucas and deflected past Arsenal keeper Ospina by the unfortunate Iwobi on the line.
But it could have been worse for Arsenal. Cavani squandered two more excellent chances in the final minutes, and substitute Jese also had two efforts blocked as the visitors pushed for a win.
As it is the French champions are in control of Group A. The two sides are level on points and if they remain so after the final group games in two weeks time it is PSG who will top the group, courtesy of their two away goals at the Emirates.
93 mins: The final whistle
That's full time, and Arsenal are left frustrated after a game of fluctuating fortunes ends with the scores level.
90 mins: Stoppage time
We will have three minutes of stopage time. Arsenal need a goal to regain control of the group. But it is PSG pushing for a winner, as Koscielny makes a brilliant block to deny Jese.
89 mins: Lucas off
Jese comes on an immediately has the ball in the Arsenal box, but his shot is blocked. This game shows no signs of letting up.
85 mins: Hell for leather stuff
This is harum-scarum football now, with both sides going for the win. It's like the final seconds of a rugby match as PSG try to launch a counter attack from their own corner flag, with a series of one-twos.
It breaks down and suddenly it is Arsenal who are applying the pressure but Ramsey is penalised in the box.
And the penny may have dropped for PSG who suddenly seem to be slowing the game down with some injury 'problems'.
82 mins: Cavani again!
How many chances does Cavani need to score? The Uruguayan sends a diving header inches wide after yet another PSG counter attack. That was his third chance in as many minutes.
79 mins: Cavani through!
What were Arsenal up to there? Cavani starts a run in his own half and goes through on goal... he is clear but tries to chip Ospina as Koscielny gains on him, but the keeper collects.
Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are on as Arsenal go for the win.
As it stands PSG will finish top of the table if these two teams end with the same points, on account of away goals.
77 mins: Iwobi off
The unfortunate Iwobi comes off to be replaced by Xhaka for the final 15 minutes.
76 mins: GOAL! ARSENAL 2 PSG 2
Arsenal cough up an equaliser from a corner, as Lucas heads home at the far post. What a poor goal to concede. Lucas got a free header that came off Iwobi who was on the post.
74 mins: Arsenal chance
Great pressing from the Gunners almost hands them a third goal. Verratti is bullied off the ball by Giroud and a lovely ball to the far post from Sanchez is just beyonf Ramsey. That could have ended it!
At the other end Ospina shows bravery to collect a low cross at the feet of Cavani.
72 mins: Jenkinson to the rescue
Sanchez is caught in possession on the edge of the box by Verratti, but Jenkinson does well to clear the ensuing cross with his knee and take the ball away from the onrushing Matuidi.
Arsenal are sitting deep and letting PSG come onto them here. They could live to regret that.
68 mins: Calm heads needed
Things are getting a bit frantic, and Arsenal are in danger of being sucked into a slugging match. They need someone to put a foot on the ball and let them get their breath back. At the moment they are trying to match PSG blow for blow, but they don't need to.
65 mins: PSG fight back
It's wave after wave of PSG attack at the moment, but Arsenal get a breather as they clear a corner, only for PSG to break again, but Cavani is offside.
Hatem ben Arfa is on for PSG, with Krychowiak making way.
63 mins: Cavani penalty appeal
PSG are not lying down here. Cavani gets goalside of Koscielny and may have been clipped by the frantic Gunners defender as he raced into the box. He went to ground, but the referee was unimpressed as Ospina mopped up.
That was dangerous as the PSG striker got behind the Arsenal defence.
60 mins: GOAL! ARSENAL 2 PSG 1
Arsenal are in front after an own goal by Verratti. That was as un-Arsenal a goal as you can imagine.
The Gunners attacked and Ramsey's scuffed shot was deflected away from danger and into the path of Varratti who was running towards his own goal and he was horrified to see the ball ricochet into the net.
57 mins: End to end
It's all getting a bit end-to-end! First Iwobi's ball into the box is cleared by Marquinhos. PSG counter and Cavani almost goes through, then Arsenal attack themselves and Marqinhos is in action again, blocking a shot from Giroud. It's a totally different game.
55 mins: Verratti booked
Another PSG player is booked for a tug on Sanchez as Arsenal break. This time it is Verratti, but Arsenal cannot capitalise as the free kick into the box is cleared.
54 mins: Off the bar!
Lucas fires in the free kick and it hits the woodwork! He sent it a long way to the right of the wall and it bent back a huge amount to strike the top of the bar with Ospina nowhere. That was a big let off!
53 mins: Koscielny cock up
Arsenal's captain blots his copy book as Lucas robs him of the ball 40 yards out and the Gunners defender hauls down the PSG man and is booked.
The free kick is in a dangerous position 30 yards out...
51 mins: Arsenal in ascendency
The Gunners are playing with so much more zip in the second half and the crowd have recognised it. Still no chances, but at least they look like the home side.
46 mins: We're back underway
PSG kick off in the second half. The French side must still be smarting from the Arsenal equalier. It was Arsenal's first and only shot on target in the first half.
It's the same team as in the first half but the Gunners seem energised and are already attacking with more purpose and pressing harder in midfield.