Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football European

Arsenal need to wake up, says Djourou

Defender Johan Djourou has said Arsenal must "wake up" after a shock 2-0 loss to Braga left their Champions League progress in the balance.

Two late breakaway goals from Matheus condemned the Gunners to defeat - after they had been harshly denied a penalty as Carlos Vela was booked for diving having seemingly been tripped by Alberto Rodriguez.

Djourou focused on his own team's failings, though, and told Sky Sports 2: "It's crazy.

"We had the game under control and two counter-attacks and silly, silly mistakes - we can be disappointed because we should have won the game easily, it's very hard to take.

"A point would have qualified us so it's a shame to concede goals like that, I just cannot understand. We have to look again, that shouldn't happen. It was a lack of concentration, the team needs to concentrate and do better than that.

"The team needs to know that now we have to wake up, it was a big wake-up call.

"We have a big game against Partizan and we have to win that to qualify for the knock-out stage."

Manager was angered by the display of the officials, hitting out over both the non-award of the penalty and a foul on Emmanuel Eboue in the build-up to the first goal which left his side down to 10 men.

"We are going through a period where we have bad luck, we had Eboue kicked off the park without any punishment and we also had the penalty turned down," he told Sky Sports 2.

"What was the fifth official doing? We have another proof that it is absolutely useless, this system.

"Then when we were 10 against 11, we made a mistake at the back, there was a minimum of communication and that's where we were punished."

Injuries added to the pain of the defeat as, in addition to the loss of Eboue, captain Cesc Fabregas' fitness problems resurfaced in the second half.

"It is a hamstring injury - on the other leg - so it's difficult to predict how long he will be out for," Wenger continued.

"Eboue will be out for a few weeks because he took a very bad tackle, unpunished. It is a medial knee ligament injury."

The Gunners now need to beat Partizan to be sure of progressing from the group and their manager admitted: "It is a concern, but we'll make it."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph