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Paris welcome Arsenal on opening night

Published: Monday 5 September 2016, 14.00CET
Two of Europe's most illustrious names face off on matchday one when Arsenal's unbeaten record in France will face a stern examination at Paris Saint-Germain.
Paris welcome Arsenal on opening night
New Paris coach Unai Emery ©AFP/Getty Images

Tournament statistics


Goals scored18
Possession (%)54
Total attempts125
on target48
off target42
against woodwork5
Yellow cards17
Red Cards1
Fouls committed104
Fouls suffered102

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)
Published: Monday 5 September 2016, 14.00CET

Paris welcome Arsenal on opening night

Two of Europe's most illustrious names face off on matchday one when Arsenal's unbeaten record in France will face a stern examination at Paris Saint-Germain.

Two of European football's most illustrious names meet on matchday one when Arsenal FC defend their unbeaten record away to French clubs with a visit to Paris Saint-Germain.

Previous meetings
• The sides' only previous meeting came in the semi-finals of the 1993/94 European Cup Winners' Cup when George Graham's Arsenal edged through 2-1.

• The line-ups in Paris on 29 March 1994 were:
Paris: Lama, Llacer (Bravo 46), Ricardo, Sassus, Colleter, Fournier, Guérin, Le Guen, Ginola, Weah, Valdo.
Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Bould, Adams, Winterburn, Jensen, Selley, Davis (Keown 83), Merson, Smith (Campbell 83), Wright.

• A 1-1 draw in the French capital, in which Ian Wright's first-half goal was cancelled out by David Ginola for Artur Jorge's team, set the Gunners up for an aggregate victory, secured by Kevin Campbell's seventh-minute winner at Highbury. Arsenal went on to beat Parma FC 1-0 in the final.

Match background

• The French champions, who have Unai Emery in charge after replacing Laurent Blanc in June, lost 3-2 on aggregate to Manchester City FC in last season's quarter-finals. It was the fourth successive year they met defeat at that stage.

• The teams drew 2-2 in Paris but Paris were beaten in the return, unable to repeat their success against another English opponent in the round of 16. A 2-1 win over Chelsea FC at the Parc des Princes was matched by the same score in London.

• In Group A Paris had set high standards, scoring 12 goals and conceding only one in an away defeat at Real Madrid CF.

• Two home wins in the group – and a 0-0 draw with Madrid – helped maintain their impressive record on their own soil. In a run of 39 home European games (25 wins, 13 draws) since losing to Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage, Paris have lost only once, 3-1 against FC Barcelona in the 2014/15 quarter-final first leg.

• Their 2-0 matchday one home victory over Malmö FF 12 months ago reacquainted Paris with the opening-night winning habit: they have won five of the last six such fixtures in European football.

• The Parisian club have played 17 matches against English sides with the record W4 D6 L5. At home it is W3 D3 L1.

• Emery's last encounter with English opponents, in May, brought him a notable success, guiding Sevilla FC to the UEFA Europa League crown for a third year in a row with a 3-1 win over Liverpool FC.

• In their 19th successive group stage campaign the Gunners will be hoping to break their round of 16 hoodoo: they have fallen at that stage in each of the last six campaigns.

• They began last season with a 2-1 defeat at GNK Dinamo Zagreb, the second successive year they had lost on matchday one after a run of ten unbeaten such fixtures (winning eight).

• In the 2014/15 round of 16 second leg, their last encounter with a French side, they won 2-0 at AS Monaco FC through Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey but it was not enough to rescue the tie after a 3-1 defeat at home, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scoring. It did at least preserve their record of never losing to Ligue 1 opposition in France, where their record reads W8 D3 L0.

• Arsenal have won seven games in succession across the Channel while Wenger's record against clubs from his home country with the Gunners is W11 D4 L3. Arsenal have lost three of their last four European away games; before that they had met defeat only twice in 11 games on the road.

• The Gunners lost the 1995 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final to Real Zaragoza at the Parc des Princes, former Tottenham Hotspur FC midfielder Nayim scoring a famous long-range winner in the final minute of extra time.

Coaches and player links
• Wenger, a former RC Strasbourg defender, started his coaching career at AS Nancy-Lorraine and Monaco, in France.

• Olivier Giroud was Ligue 1 top scorer when Montpellier lifted the French crown in 2011/12.

• Also played in France:
Laurent Koscielny (EA Guingamp 2004–07, Tours FC, FC Lorient 2007–10)
Petr Čech (Stade Rennais FC 2002–04)
Francis Coquelin (FC Lorient 2010/11)
Mathieu Debuchy (LOSC Lille 2003–13, FC Girondins de Bordeaux 2016)
David Ospina (OGC Nice 2008–14)
Yaya Sanogo (AJ Auxerre 2009–13)
Jeff Reine-Adélaïde (RC Lens 2014/15)

• Played in England:
Ángel Di María (Manchester United FC 2014/15)
Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle United FC 2010–14, Hull City AFC 2014/15)

• Players who have played together:
Blaise Matuidi, Alphonse Areola & Mathieu Debuchy, Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud (France)
Jesé & Santi Cazorla, Nacho Monreal, Héctor Bellerín (Spain)

• Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott scored as Arsenal won 2-1 at Olympique de Marseille in the 2013/14 group stage. Ramsey also scored in Arsenal's 1-0 victory at the Stade Vélodrome in the 2011/12 group stage.

Match facts

Paris Saint-Germain
• Paris were 11 matches unbeaten (French Super Cup included) before going down 3-1 away to Monaco on 28 August. It meant that, for the first time in 16 months, PSG did not have at least a share of the Ligue 1 lead.

©AFP/Getty Images

Layvin Kurzawa has been in fine goalscoring form

• Defender Layvin Kurzawa has scored four goals already this season: one in the Super Cup, two in Ligue 1 and his first for France in the 3-1 friendly win against Italy in Bari on 1 September.

• Edinson Cavani scored twice in Uruguay's 4-0 victory over Paraguay on 6 September, as the Celeste moved top of South American qualifying.

• Marquinhos, an Olympic gold medal winner with Brazil this summer, scored an own goal as his country beat Colombia 2-1 on 6 September.

• Paris clinched their fourth French Super Cup in a row on 6 August by beating Olympique Lyonnais 4-1 in Klagenfurt, Austria. It was Unai Emery's first silverware with the club.

• Blaise Matuidi was the only Paris player in France's UEFA EURO 2016 squad. He featured in every game as the hosts finished runners-up.

• Ángel Di María and Javier Pastore were in the Argentina squad beaten on penalties by Chile in the Copa América final on 26 June in New Jersey, United States.

©Getty Images

Arsenal won at the third time of asking in 2016/17

• Arsenal opened their Premier League campaign with a 4-3 loss to Liverpool – the second season running they have been beaten at home on the first day of the season.

• Calum Chambers, among the scorers against Liverpool, has since joined promoted Middlesbrough on loan for the rest of the season.

• The Gunners were held 0-0 at champions Leicester City in their second game this term.

• Santi Cazorla opened the scoring in the 3-1 win at Watford FC on 27 August; the Spain midfielder missed nearly six months of 2015/16 with a knee injury. He also converted an added-time penalty to beat Southampton FC 2-1 on Saturday.

• Mesut Özil, who scored Arsenal's third against Watford, also found the net for Germany in their 2-0 friendly defeat of Finland on 31 August. New signing Shkodran Mustafi played throughout the latter game and made his club debut against Southampton.

• Another summer acquisition, Granit Xhaka, was sent off late on as Switzerland beat European champions Portugal in a FIFA World Cup qualifier on 6 September.

• Olivier Giroud registered for France in the 3-1 friendly win against Italy on 1 September – he has seven goals in his last ten international appearances.

• Captain Per Mertesacker is not in Arsenal's group stage squad because of a knee injury.

Last updated: 10/09/16 18.26CET