Wenger under fire as Arsenal flop in the Champions League once again
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has endured too many miserable Champions League nights in his enduring spell as Gunners boss - but few have been as desperate as the Tuesday night's 3-2 home defeat against Olympiacos.
On a night when Wenger decided to leave out Petr Cech in favour of David Ospina after he claimed his first choice keeper had a calf strain, the move backfired horribly as the stand-in turned in a nightmare display.
Wenger had warned his side they already faced a must-win tie following their opening Group F loss at Dinamo Zagreb, but they are now facing a huge fight to qualify for the last-16
The Gunners were behind against the run of play on 32 minutes when a low shot from Felipe Pardo deflected off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and although Theo Walcott netted a quick equaliser, Arsenal found themselves trailing again when Ospina, chosen ahead of Petr Cech, dropped a corner over the line.
Alexis Sanchez levelled on 65 minutes, but Arsenal hit the self-destruct button once more as Olympiacos immediately scored through substitute Alfred Finnbogason to give the Greeks a first win in England at the 13th attempt.
"It is still possible of course to qualify but it is difficult to swallow losing a game like that," said Wenger.
"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 is we give them a goal again straight away. If it stays 2-2 for five minutes we win the game.
"A goalkeeper can make a mistake that doesn't explain that we lose the game. It happened to Petr Cech already this season [against West Ham]."
Arsenal are now bottom of the group, and face a daunting double header against leaders Bayern Munich, with Arsenal great Ian Wright among those suggesting Cech should have started the game.
It came as no surprise that the reaction to Arsenal's defeat was greeted with venom on Twitter by Wenger's detractors:
Sack Wenger. Hire Klopp. Do it now. #afc— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 29, 2015
Waits ten years to sign a decent keeper. Puts him on the bench for the Champions League. pic.twitter.com/vttH95an2z— Paddy Power (@paddypower) September 29, 2015
Ospina had a Lionel Blair 😱 what's he doing!! 😡— Ray Parlour (@RealRomfordPele) September 29, 2015
Arsene Wenger is genuinely making me fall out of love with Arsenal. His decisions, his tactics and his excuses are beyond baffling. #AFC— James Dodd (@JamesDoddUK) September 29, 2015
Wenger has GOT to be sacked man— Sean (@seanb84) September 29, 2015