Saturday, March 24, 2018

Wenger defends Ospina selection after Olympiacos defeat

SoccerNews in English Premier League 29 Sep 2015


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has defended his decision to select David Ospina over Petr Cech in Tuesday’s 3-2 defeat to Olympiacos in the Champions League.

Wenger’s decision to select the Colombian for the Group F clash backfired spectacularly as Ospina dropped the ball over the goal line from a corner to put Olympiacos 2-1 up.

Theo Walcott had cancelled out Felipe Pardo’s opener and, while Alexis Sanchez levelled after the break, Alfred Finnbogason struck the winner just a minute after the Chilean’s equaliser in an enthralling contest.

Having suggested a calf injury had kept Cech out pre-match, Wenger told BT Sport afterwards: “A goalkeeper can make a mistake but it doesn’t explain why we lose.

“That can happen, it happened to Petr Cech already [this season], you have to accept that.”

Wenger claimed that an inability to stay tight at the back following Sanchez’s equaliser was to blame for his side’s defeat – with back-to-back losses making hopes of progression appear gloomy with consecutive fixtures against Bayern Munich to come.

“[Qualification] is still possible but it’s difficult to swallow losing a game like that,” he added.

“It was a combination of a lack of defensive concentration, good defending from Olympiacos and also bad luck as well.

“They had four shots on goal and we conceded three, it’s difficult to swallow. I felt it was a typical game where you dominate but you have to absolutely be focused and not make the task more difficult.

“At 2-2, we gave them another goal straight away and if we stay at 2-2 for five minutes more we win the game.

“It took a while to get into the game because we had a very intense game on Saturday but the second half was the turning point.

“We put effort in but everything went against us tonight.”


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