Arsenal were beaten to a 1-1 draw by Dutch league leaders PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday, but the Gunners remain top of Champions League Group B.
The pressure was off because both teams had already qualified for the last 16, and Arsenal, in particular, appeared to be lacking competitive bite at the Philips Stadion.
PSV has been the side to beat in the Eredivisie this season, winning all 15 of their games and setting up a 10-point lead over nearest opponent Feyenoord.
And it was the Dutch who had the better start, a clever play down the right slicing open the Gunners’ defense only for striker Ricardo Pepi to miss from close range.
Arsenal manager Mikael Arteta made eight changes from the squad that lost 1-0 to Aston Villa in the Premier League the previous Saturday, and the Gunners lacked organization and penetration up front.
With smooth interplay, PSV produced many first-half chances, and Belgian international striker Yorbe Vertessen hit the post with a stunning header that had Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale beat.
With over half an hour gone, Arsenal’s first significant chance came with a speculative attempt from Egyptian international defender Mohamed Elneny that fizzed just beyond the post.
However, two minutes before the halftime, the London team took the lead when striker Eddie Nketiah was afforded too much space in the area and struck a low shot into the corner.
Arsenal won by one goal against the odds.
PSV have only lost once this season, to Arsenal, who thrashed them 4-0 at the Emirates Stadium in the reverse fixture, despite scoring an astounding 52 goals in domestic play.
They were back on level terms less than five minutes later, when another through-ball split the Arsenal midfield and Vertessen curved his effort brilliantly past Ramsdale.
Ramsdale kept his team in the game with a superb stop from Moroccan international Ismael Saibari as the hosts continued to swing the ball around with confidence.
The Gunners were denied an undeserved victory after Jakub Kiwior’s thunderous header on 82 minutes was ruled out for offside.
And PSV missed a golden opportunity to win it at the death, with Guus Til dragging his shot wide after being put through one-on-one with the keeper.
While both teams pressed hard, neither would have been dissatisfied with a dead-rubber draw that puts them both in the hat for the last 16.