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Opinion: Controversial PSG Right-Back Aurier Showed Arsenal What They’re Missing


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Serge Aurier, the PSG and Ivory Coast right-back must be a nightmare to manage.

Only last season he had a major fall out with former coach of the Parisians Laurent Blanc, with the club suspending him on the grounds of making homophobic remarks towards the boss and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in an online Q&A.

Aurier certainly owed PSG for keeping him on their books, and he repaid some of that faith with a masterful display of marauding full-back play against Arsenal in the Champions League.

Very rarely is a right-back the star of the match, but Aurier was unquestionably the best player on the field at the Parc des Princes last night.

Aurier’s first minute assist for Edinson Cavani’s goal was the result of an excellent forward run down the right and a perfect ball for the striker, bisecting Laurent Koscienly and Shkodran Mustafi.

But Aurier, himself a former Arsenal transfer target, was tactically critical for the entire match. Almost all of PSG’s attacks came from the right hand side, and when the Parisians needed a goal to restore their advantage, it was to the Ivorian that they turned to.

Numerous runs deep into Arsenal territory, often well-acknowledged by Angel Di Maria and matched by fine Aurier crosses, created great chances for PSG.

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 13: Alex Iwobi of Arsenal and Serge Aurier of PSG in action during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal FC at Parc des Princes on September 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Hugging the touchline, the 23-year-old was also instrumental in PSG’s play through the middle. By spreading the field of play and taking the Gunners’ left-back, Nacho Monreal, with him, Aurier allowed Marco Verratti the space to play his penetrating forward passes through to Cavani between the Arsenal defenders.

The ex-Toulouse man was exceptional throughout. The great Cafu would have been proud of such a performance.

Daniel Rey, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

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