In their final group-stage match of the UEFA Champions League, Arsenal clinched the top spot in Group B with a 1-1 draw against PSV Eindhoven. Already through to the last 16 as group winners, Mikel Arteta opted for a rotated squad, providing opportunities for fringe players like goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Eddie Nketiah opened the scoring for Arsenal just before halftime with a well-taken goal, firing into the bottom corner after an assist from Reiss Nelson. However, PSV responded in the second half as Yorbe Vertessen found the net with a curled shot off the post, securing a point for the Dutch side.
The match lacked the usual intensity of a continental contest, with both teams already qualified for the knockout stages. Despite making eight changes from their Premier League loss to Aston Villa, Arsenal’s disjointed performance saw them struggle against PSV’s lively attack.
While the Gunners had opportunities to secure a late victory, a disallowed goal and missed chances kept the score level. Jakub Kiwior’s header was ruled out for offside, and PSV’s Ismael Saibari hit the post, denying either side a decisive goal.
Arteta expressed overall satisfaction with Arsenal’s return to the Champions League group stages after a six-year absence, highlighting the positive competition despite a team with limited experience in the tournament. The Gunners finished the group stage with 13 points, four ahead of PSV.
The match also featured some notable performances, including Nketiah’s first Champions League goal and Ramsdale’s composed display in goal. Arteta utilized the opportunity to experiment, introducing academy players on the bench, although they didn’t see playing time.
Looking ahead, Arsenal awaits the knockout stage draw scheduled for December 18th. With the group stage format bidding farewell, next season’s competition will expand to 32 clubs, with 24 advancing from the new group stage.