In front of a raucous Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, it was an end-to-end opening to the game as a throw-in down the left full-back channel was flicked on by Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard into the six-yard box but we were able to clear the danger through Sergio Ramos inside the opening five minutes. Nyland then produced a brilliant save eight minutes into the contest to deny Martinelli after the Brazilian had been played through by his countryman but the Norwegian stood firm to propel the strike and prevent an early breakthrough for the away side. Up the other end, Ocampos went close to turning a low cross to the near post in the best chance of the opening ten minutes of the game. The pressure continued down the right flank and good combination play between Navas and Lukebakio, saw the fullback overlap and then deliver a teasing cross into the box but En-Nesyri was just unable to get a head to the ball as it drifted over the Moroccan’s head.
Midway through the half a mistake from goalkeeper David Raya’s clearance saw the ball fall to Ocampos who played the played on first time looking for Lukebakio but the Belgian couldn’t adjust his feet in time and the Spanish keeper was able to recover from his mistake. In a game that swung both ways, Buyako Saka had a goalbound effort blocked. The chances continued to come and a break out of defence from Gudelj won a throw-in up the pitch. From the throw in an excellent turn from Boubakary Soumare in the middle of the pitch who started the game very strongly, then Ocampos looked to loft the ball delicately over the Arsenal defence but no player could get on the end of the attempted ball. As added time approached, we had our best chance of the whole half as Ramos intercepted a pass on the halfway line and strode forward. He passed the ball off the Ocampos who in turn released En-Nesyri through the middle but the Moroccan striker dragged his shot agonisingly wide of Raya’s far post from the edge of the six-yard box. It was to prove a sucker blow as on the stroke of halftime the away side then went up the other end of the pitch and scored on the counterattack through Martinelli who raced clear after a pass from Jesus.
Arsenal made it two eight minutes into the second half when Jesus unleashed an unstoppable curling shot into the top corner to give them a two-goal cushion. Alonso then made his first chances of the night in a bid to find a way back into the game as Erik Lamela and Mariano came on for Lukebakio and Sow. Almost instantly Acuña drove up the pitch and forced a corner. From the Rakitic corner, Gudelj rose highest at the near post to crash in a vital goal and give us a lifeline. A fantastic cross-field switch from Rakitic then found Ocampos, who was enjoying himself down the left flank as he knocked the ball back inside for substitute Mariano who then had an acrobatic attempt blocked from close range.
As the game entered the closing stages William Saliba nearly put the game to bed from a corner that the Arsenal defender glanced wide from close range from substitute Leandro Trossard’s corner. As we turned up the pressure a quickly taken throw in from Juanlu was cut out by Declan Rice who was alert to the danger. Mariano got his head to a looping ball but couldn’t generate the power to trouble Raya. It would set up a grandstand finish. Juanlu delivered a teasing ball that Raya somehow managed to tip over his own crossbar. In the end, it would prove to be the last chance as a long ball from Acuna was plucked out of the air by Raya to seal our fate and leave us on two points from our opening three UEFA Champions League group stage matches.