Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Champions League: Defiant Arsene Wenger says Olympiakos defeat isn't a knockout blow for Arsenal

By Staff Reporter

Published 30/09/2015

Getting his kicks: Alfreo Finnbogason scored the winner
Getting his kicks: Alfreo Finnbogason scored the winner

Arsene Wenger believes that Arsenal can still qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, despite losing their opening two group games for the first time ever.

The Gunners fell to a 3-2 defeat against Greek side Olympiakos at the Emirates Stadium last night, after going down to Dinamo Zagreb in their opening fixture a fortnight ago.

With back-to-back games against Bayern Munich - who have scored eight goals without conceding in their first two matches - coming up next, the Gunners, who are bottom of Group F, are facing a tough task to make the last 16, but Wenger is confident they can do it.

"It is still possible of course to qualify, but it is difficult to swallow losing a game like that," he said.

"We lost it on a lack of defensive concentration and bad luck. They had four shots on goal and we conceded three goals.

"The turning point at 2-2 was when we gave them a goal again straight away. If it stays 2-2 for five minutes we win the game."

Wenger knows that he will come under fire for the latest shambolic defeat his side have suffered this season but the Arsenal boss refused to discuss his reasons for picking Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina ahead of regular No.1 Petr Cech.

Prior to the match, Wenger had said the fixture was must-win for his team. Ospina spilled the ball over the goal line after failing to deal with a corner in the first-half to give Olympiakos a 2-1 lead.

Asked if he regretted the decision, he said: "That is always the simple thing.

"Ospina played 19 games last year, and kept 14 clean sheets, and last week at Tottenham he had a fantastic game.

"No keeper is mistake-free. It could have happened to Petr Cech as well, that's just a part of it."

Pressed on the reasons behind the decision, Wenger added: "I don't give you why I decided, I do not have to give you any explanation about every decision I make.

"A goalkeeper can make a mistake - that doesn't explain that we lost the game. It happened to Petr Cech already this season (against West Ham)."

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph