The Gunners were humbled 3-2 to Olympiacos at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night in what was the Greek side’s first-ever victory on English soil after 12 failed attempts, but fingers were pointed at Ospina for a costly mistake.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the club can still qualify for the second round of the UEFA Champions League.
Most of the post-match questions were targeted by Wenger’s decision to drop goalkeeper Petr Cech in favour of David Ospina for a must win game. He was unusually curt with his answers.
“You can not select a team by making a poll before the game and get everybody’s opinion”.
Wenger went on to say that Arsenal was exposed defensively because they were attacking and going forward, which is an unacceptable excuse at this level.
Olympiakos, who had lost their last five Champions League away games and their last six in all European competition took the lead against the run of play when Felipe Pardo’s 32nd minute shot was deflected by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain past Ospina. I hope not because the Olympiacos team was hardly recognisable from the last time we played. I do not have to sit here and give you any explanation about every decision I make.
“Petr Cech had a slight alert before the game at Leicester. I didn’t want to take a gamble”. He’s said to have accused his players of lacking the passion and desire to win big games and isn’t happy with the work-rate, intensity and attitude of his players.
Now, Arsenal require big performances and two results in their double-header with Bayern Munich.
That blase answer is unlikely to appease the Arsenal fans, who now face the likelihood of spending the early part of 2016 trailing round the more remote footballing outposts of Europe in the Europa League, provided they can recover to finish third in their group.
With both games looking quite crucial, Wenger will be frustrated with the lack of options that he has and is now being punished for the lack of activity in the summer transfer window. This is a must win game for the Gunners given their failure to see off Dinamo Zagreb in their first game in Croatia, leaving them without a single point.
“I think our defending, especially in set pieces, is where we really need to get better”.