David Ospina ‘world class’ as goalkeeper plays key role in Arsenal’s draw at Paris Saint-Germain
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described David Ospina as “world class” after the Colombian goalkeeper justified his selection in Tuesday’s Uefa Champions League draw with Paris Saint-Germain with several decisive saves.
Ospina, 28, was beaten by Edinson Cavani’s header inside the opening minute at the Parc des Princes but foiled the French champions on several other occasions as Alexis Sanchez’s late leveller ensured a 1-1 draw in the Group A opener.
“I have two world-class goalkeepers and I know we have enough matches to give both of them games,” Wenger said. “If you cannot play them you cannot keep world-class goalkeepers who don’t get games.”
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Arsenal’s wobble in the Champions League at the start of last season, with surprise defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos that almost condemned them to an early exit, was partly attributed to Wenger’s decision to play Ospina in goal.
Ospina made one calamitous error in particular that gifted a goal to Olympiakos, but against PSG he rescued Arsenal with numerous interventions to deny Cavani and Angel Di Maria.
“Ospina was very good and he will have shown tonight for those who doubted him that he is a good goalkeeper,” Wenger said.
“When he played in the Champions League last season he made an error and everyone came down on him, but he has put things right.”
The question now is whether Ospina keep his place for Arsenal’s next Group A game at home to Swiss side Basel in two weeks, and Wenger suggested that he will.
“We have rules that the ‘keepers know. That’s why it is important to have clear rules from the start, and when that changes I inform them,” the Frenchman said.
“We can always change our minds. It’s down to performances and on what he has delivered tonight he has the right to claim to play in the next Champions League game.”
It was far from a vintage Arsenal performance but the draw in what was on paper their trickiest fixture leaves them in a good position to top the group, something they have not done in the Champions League in five years.
“PSG were good. They were determined, aggressive, quick on the break, and applied very strong physical pressure,” Wenger said.
“But even in the first half when we put together a few passes we felt we could be dangerous. We created chances in the second half and it is a good point for us.”
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Published: September 14, 2016 04:00 AM