3 standout Arsenal players from PSV Eindhoven draw

  • Arsenal and PSV played out a 1-1 draw in the final game of their Champions League group
  • Mikel Arteta fielded a heavily rotated starting 11 but didn't hand out any starts to the teenagers in the squads
  • Eddie Nketiah scored the only Gunners goal from a Reiss Nelson assist.

PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal FC: Group B - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal FC: Group B - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Arsenal travelled to the Netherlands to take on PSV Eindhoven, a team that has not lost a game at home in over a year.

There was very little at stake for either team, with both managers making changes to rest their main players. The match wasn't particularly heated, but it was a great chance for fringe players to show that they deserve to play on Champions League nights.

Eddie Nketiah broke the deadlock just before half-time after a nice Arsenal move. PSV then equalised early in the second half. It looked like Jakub Kiwior had stolen the win right at the death with a header but Gabriel Magalhães was offside and interfering so the goal was ruled out.

It was far from a scintillating game but there were a few worthy performances. Cedric Soares played surprisngly well, Aaron Ramsdale had a good game and Jorginho linked up play well in the midfield.

3 Standout Arsenal players from PSV Eindhoven draw

Let's take a look at the three best Arsenal players on the night.

1. Reiss Nelson

UEFA Champions League 2023/24PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal FC
Nelson was a bright spark in Eindhoven / ANP/GettyImages

Arsenal's best player by a comfortable margin.

Reiss Nelson is never given a lot of game time but he was handed his first Champions League start and the Hale End graduate made the most of it.

His dribbling and awareness were very good; carrying the ball confidently out of danger. He exploited both tight and open spaces and he was a nuisance to PSV for the entire time he was on the pitch.

It was a smart display by Nelson but he also seemed liberated on the pitch, trying to make something happen every time he had the ball.

He created the goal, playing a lovely one-two with Cedric before finding Nketiah in the penalty area.

For me, it was a performance that proved he should be given more game time. At a time when Leandro Trossard's level seems to have dropped slightly, he should be the first winger brought on when Gabriel Martinelli or Bukayo Saka need to be subbed off.

2. Eddie Nketiah

I looked at Nketiah's performance with great interest. Not always the best off the bench, the striker usually does well when he starts.

That was the case against PSV, where he scored the only Arsenal goal of the night with a lethal left-foot finish off the post. It was a textbook striker's goal: touch then bang, and I'd love to see more of it from Nketiah.

Outside of the goal, I thought he had a very encouraging game. He linked up very well with Reiss Nelson and the pair found themselves with good passes several times. The link-up with Trossard wasn't as good.

Sometimes, Eddie can be quite selfish. This is a good trait for a #9, to a certain extent, and I think it was to the right extent in the game. He was annoyed when other players shot instead of passing to him, but he would also shoot in the same situation, which is what great strikers like Harry Kane do.

Overall, it was his goal and his link-up with Nelson that impressed me on the night.

3. William Saliba

I wasn't too happy seeing William Saliba's name on the team sheet because an injury to the Frenchman would be disastrous at the moment (like the Sporting game last season).

However, with very few defensive options and Arteta's constant desire to win, I understand why Wilo started. Thankfully, he was subbed off after the 60th minute but only after showing why he is a Rolls Royce defender.

His highlight of the game was undoubtedly that last-ditch tackle right at the six-yard line. From behind, he somehow managed to get his leg in to tackle the ball and prevent a certain goal.

He was fantastic in possession, completing 56 out of 58 passes. I have noticed recently that he is happier playing long balls too. If he can properly get the hang of those passes, then Arsenal will add another weapon to their... arsenal.

I don't know if Arteta genuinely had a long-term plan for Saliba when he was sent out on loan, but if he did, then it has paid off already so much and will continue to as long as Saliba is at the club. What a player!