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Xavi Simons absolutely ran the show against Arsenal, he's a special talent

Josh Lawless

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Xavi Simons absolutely ran the show against Arsenal, he's a special talent

19-year-old Xavi Simons was the star of the show as PSV Eindhoven beat Arsenal 2-0 in the Europa League.

Ruud van Nistelrooy's side scored twice in the second half through Joey Veerman and Luuk de Jong, the latter capitalising on an error from Aaron Ramsdale in the 63rd minute.

But Simons, who has been known by many football fans for a few years now, was comfortably the best player on the pitch.

In the first half, he jinked his way through Arsenal's backline in exquisite fashion before slotting past Ramsdale - only for the goal to be disallowed for an offside in the build-up.

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This was a feature of Simons' game all evening though, as he displayed fantastic footwork to weave in and out of defenders.

He was the one always making things happening for PSV, playing with no fear. His work-rate and energy levels were seriously impressive and so too was his decision-making on the ball, regularly playing the perfect pass for his teammates.


Simons completed 100 per cent of his dribbles, had 10 passes in the final third and also contested 13 duels - the most of anyone on the pitch.

It was a complete performance and one that earned him a standing ovation when he was replaced by English youngster Noni Madueke in the 80th minute.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

The midfielder returned to his native Netherlands in the summer, turning down a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain in search of regular football after just 11 appearances

He penned a five-year deal with PSV and has settled in rapidly, scoring 10 goals and registering four assists in all competitions.

Simons is a former Barcelona academy player but after the Arsenal win, he laid into the Blaugrana in a honest post-match interview.


"Believe me, at Barca they don't do much work in the gym. They work with the ball, but not in the gym," Simons told ESPN.

"When I arrived at Paris Saint-Germain, I found the differences. At PSG they worked in the gym.”

Simons, who can speak four different languages, has caught the eye of Dutch boss Louis van Gaal, who has named him in his preliminary World Cup squad.

And Simons has admitted it would be a "dream" to participate in the showpiece in Qatar.

"I think I made a good decision by going to PSV. I'm very happy, I think you can see that," he said post-match.

"I will give everything and then it is up to the national coach to decide. It is a dream to participate in go to the World Cup. Who doesn't want to play a World Cup? But first PSV."

Featured Image Credit: BT Sport

Topics: Xavi Simons, PSV, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona

Josh Lawless
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