Arsene Wenger admits the own goal conceded by David Ospina last night in the disappointing Champions League loss to Olympiacos ‘could have happened’ to first choice goalkeeper Petr Cech, who watched on from the sidelines according to Sky Sports.
The Gunners went into the must-win tie with a strong starting XI, however the omission of the Czech international caught many supporters by surprise. According to the Gunners boss, Ospina has more than earned his right to play between the sticks in such a vital tie after an impressive debut season last term.
Things couldn’t have gone any worse for the Colombian at Emirates Stadium however after he failed to deal with a tricky cross, carrying the ball over his own line. It was chalked down as an own goal and the Gunners were trailing once more heading into halftime at 2-1.
“I make the decisions and the selections for the team and am responsible for it,” Wenger told the media in the wake of the 3-2 loss. “And I know many things that maybe you do not know and that you ignore.
“You cannot select a team by making a poll before the game and get everybody’s opinion. Ospina played 19 games last year, kept 14 clean sheets, last week at Tottenham he had a fantastic game. No ‘keeper is mistake free. It could have happened to Cech as well, that’s part of it.”
“I don’t give you why, I do not have to sit here and give you any explanation about every decision I make. You are capable to judge what I do and I leave you to that.”
“He [Cech] had a slight alert before the game at Leicester, I didn’t want to take a gamble, but it’s not because of that that we lost the game. It’s a farce.”
One simple fact that you cannot ignore is how good Petr Cech was against Leicester and in almost every game this season since his high-profile move from Chelsea. Despite conceding two goals at the weekend, Cech still made a series of vital saves and is clearly our undisputed number one goalkeeper. In a game that clearly would leave no margin for error, Ospina has made a mistake that has probably stemmed from a lack of sharpness considering his lack of regular action this season and it has cost us dearly.
Arsene Wenger is solely accountable for this and now we are sitting bottom of Group F with the slimmest of chances of progressing to the next round. Our defensive unit hardly covered themselves in glory either, we can only hope Laurent Koscielny’s hamstring injury is not too serious. Results will need to go our way and we will also need to somehow overcome the bang in-form Bayern Munich.
A mountainous task awaits.