Veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech has come to the defence of under-fire teammate David Ospina following the latter’s howler during the game against Olympiacos. While defending from a corner, Ospina somehow contrived to drop the ball over the goal line after catching it, gifting a free goal to the opposition. We ended up losing the game 3-2, and much of the criticism after the game was directed at the Colombian; and at manager Arsene Wenger for deciding to pick Ospina over Cech.
Wenger has angrily defended himself, stating that he has full confidence in the ‘world-class’ Ospina; and also highlighted that Ospina’s mistake was not the turning point of the game. The manager instead pointed to the third goal that we conceded, blaming the players for relaxing too much after scoring a goal and failing to form up defensively (via Arsenal.com).
It appears that Cech agrees with this view, as he revealed to TalkSport. Speaking during an interview yesterday, Cech said, “The biggest blow was we allowed them to score one minute later after coming back to 2-2. This was where the game was decided.
“We probably went too much with emotion instead of going back to basics after that goal.”
As anyone who watched that third goal could testify, it was schoolboy defending from the Gunners. Gabriel seemed unaware of where the ball was; and Mertesacker simply could not keep up with the attackers. This is a much more serious issue than Ospina’s own-goal, because that was an individual mistake, while the defensive lapse in the build-up to the third goal was the fault of the team as a whole.
Cech will surely return to the starting lineup tomorrow, and is likely to retain his starting spot against Bayern Munich in the Champions League as well. However, if our defence continues to be this leaky against the likes of Lewandowski, even Cech will not be able to save us from an embarrassment.