ARSENE Wenger insists that his Arsenal team can still qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League despite suffering a shock defeat against Olympiacos last night (Tuesday). “We know it will be a hard game, how big a team Arsenal are and respect them, but we believe in our own strengths and are ready for a strong game“, said the former Sporting Lisbon coach, who took charge in Athens over the summer.
The Gunners were the favourite to go through the next round alongside Bayern Munich, but the defeat leaves them with no points from two games.
Arsenal legend Bob Wilson has slammed Arsene Wenger for not fielding Petr Cech in last night’s Champions League clash against Olympiacos.
“I do not have to sit here and give you any explanation to every decision I make”.
Mertesacker told the official Arsenal website: “We lacked that concentration and it is not understandable why we drifted and did not do the job we are used to doing”.
The goal was hardly against the run of play – Arsenal had looked unsafe, particularly on the counter-attack, but the contest had been an even one until that point and although the deflection was crucial this was not a freak goal in any way. “We played at Zagreb, Chelsea, Tottenham and Leicester. Tonight is the first game we have played at home“.
Alexis Sanchez gave Arsenal hope with a 65th-minute header only for Alfred Finnbogason to restore Olympiakos’s lead within a minute.
They will be without centre-back Laurent Koscielny against Manchester United on Sunday, however, with the France global now expected to be out until after the worldwide break with a feared hamstring tear. It could have happened to Petr Cech as well.
“We had a bit of bad luck as well”. You are capable to judge it and I leave you to do that.
Olympiakos, whose 12 previous visits to England since 1965 had all ended in defeat, scored as many goals in the match as they had managed in the last 50 years on English soil.
A corner from the right was cut back to the edge of the penalty area, where Pardo drilled in a low shot, which took a massive deflection off the heel of Oxlade-Chamberlain and flew past Ospina. I make the selections for the team and I am responsible for them.
The Gunners pulled a goal back to make the score 2-1 in injury time in the first leg – then promptly rushed forward like lemmings in search of an equaliser, only to concede the decisive third goal that effectively put them out.
“Bayern, as everyone knows, are a great team, that have won the Champions League very recently and have the ambition of doing so again“.