Perfect no more, Arsenal suffered their first defeat in Europa League this campaign, falling to PSV by a 2-0 result on Thursday. PSV had the ball in the back of the net five times during the match as their counterattack picked Arsenal apart, but it was Ruud van Nistelrooy's introduction of Luuk De Jong that made the difference. The former Barcelona striker assisted Joey Veerman's goal in the 55th minute before scoring one of his own after being fed by Cody Gakpo in the 63rd minute.
The defeat is only Arsenal's second in all competitions but despite taking 15 shots in the match, the Gunners failed to make PSV worry about the match. Losing doesn't hurt Arsenal much as they've already qualified for the knockout stages of the tournament but it does mean that Arsenal can't win the group until the final day of play. PSV have earned a spot in the next round as well due to Bodo/Glimt losing 2-1 to Zurich.
This is the first moment of worry for Arsenal as they've now failed to win in two matches. It both shows how excellent their previous performances have been but also how quickly the top spot in the Premier League can slip through their fingers if Mikel Arteta can't keep things fresh. One of the few things that he has been criticized for is not rotating as much as he should as with matches coming thick and fast, key players have been slightly leggy as of late.
Nothing should be taken away from PSV in the match though as they're an excellent side doing their best to stay within striking distance of Ajax in the Eredivisie. They were able to withstand Arsenal's attack in their last match, 1-0 loss, before van Nistelrooy tweaked things to be more effective in the home tie.
De Jong was able to draw Arsenal's defense into a trap before playing the ball to his teammates to make them pay with the gamer winner:
Third time lucky for PSV against Arsenal. 💥— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) October 27, 2022
Luuk de Jong finds Joey Veerman and he buries it. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/aVvo8kNWY7
These defensive mistakes saw Rob Holding withdrawn from the match but it's where teams can make Arsenal worry in matches. As shown by the fact that this is the Gunners' second defeat in all competitions, it's hard to pull off. But when the other team to defeat them was a Dutch-influenced side in Manchester United, they could see more teams attack and defend against them like this moving forward. We saw the hosts soaking up pressure defensively while staying organized and using de Jong's movement to pull their defenders out of position.
Now is a time when Arteta will need to show that he can make adjustments when needed to continue the quest for silverware.