Sanchez salvages point for Arsenal against PSG in Champions League game


Alexis Sanchez salvaged a point for Arsenal from their limp Champions League opener at Paris St-Germain.

Edinson Cavani glanced PSG ahead after 42 seconds and should have had a hat-trick before half-time, firing wide after rounding David Ospina before slipping to fluff a simple finish.

Sanchez rifled in the rebound from Arsenal’s first shot on target.

Alex Iwobi might have had a late Arsenal winner before Olivier Giroud and PSG’s Marco Verratti were sent off.

Substitute Giroud was brought on to enliven a tame attacking display and picked up two yellow cards in his 27 minutes, the second for an altercation in which Italian midfielder Verratti also picked up a second yellow.

The Gunners were often exposed by the pace of Cavani, Angel di Maria and Serge Aurier and relied on their Colombian goalkeeper Ospina – preferred to Petr Cech – to keep them in it.

Iwobi’s low shot was tipped away by Alphonse Areola after Sanchez’s equaliser, while PSG would have had a 94th-minute winner had defender Marquinhos not wastefully headed wide from close range.

Anything more than a point for Arsenal would have been harsh on PSG, who outperformed their Premier League opponents but failed to take their chances.

Spanish manager Unai Emery replaced Laurent Blanc as Paris St-Germain boss this summer after winning a third straight Europa League title with Sevilla.

Blanc had just secured a second successive domestic treble – PSG won the league by 31 points – but failure at the Champions League quarter-finals for the third year in a row led the owners to show their ruthless side.

The Qatar Investment Authority bought a controlling stake in the French club in May 2011, and have since financed a net spend of almost £500m on transfers, but the return they crave – success in Europe’s premier club competition – has eluded them.

Emery has already had to fend off questions about pressure and expectation after losing one and drawing another of his first four games – and this will feel like an opportunity missed.

Arsenal produced some slick interplay in front of goal but failed to produce many dangerous moments and looked shaky at the back. By the time Sanchez brought them level by firing home after Iwobi’s shot was parried out, they could easily have been two or three behind.

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