Wenger losing control over Champions League progress


Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Fulham v Arsenal - Craven CottageIt was a night to forget for Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal squad as they slumped to their second European defeat this season.

The Emirates was stunned as the Gunners fell short and were defeated three two by Olympiacos. The result now sees them at to the bottom of group F and with a match against Bayern Munich next round their European fortunes don’t look promising.

The past four seasons has seen Arsenal make it out of the group stages, however, this campaign Arsene Wenger’s men have been left disappointed after mistakes have cost them victory.

Their first match against Dinamo Zagreb saw the Gunners go down to 10 men after Giroud was dismissed for two yellow cards. Although the Gunners managed a late conciliation goal for Theo Walcott The Gunners looked dejected all game, eventually losing their opener two one.

Their build-up to this match had Arsenal in good stead as they side managed consecutive victories against North London rivals in the English League Cup and a five two victory to end Leicester City’s undefeated run.

With all the momentum behind them Arsenal entered the fixture confident knowing that Olympiacos was yet to taste victory in England.

Despite the hosts going behind in the 33rd minute from a deflected goal, Walcott levelled up the match two minutes later. Giving Arsene Wenger’s men a chance at their first group stage win this season.

They were handed a cruel blow to their chances as a seemingly routine collect from a cross was dropped over the Arsenal goal line by David Ospina, which gave the Greek side the lead once more.

After that mistake negativity started to creep into Arsenal’s game as they looked to slump back into the same dejected performance that cost them victory against Zagreb.

Although, they were handed a lifeline as Chilean Alexis Sanchez scored his first European goal of the season, continuing his impressive form after a hat trick against Leicester City the past weekend.

It wasn’t to be Arsenal’s night, however, as they fell behind once again.

Defensive shambles in the backline saw Finnbogason score the third and final goal for Olympiacos as they claimed their first victory on English soil and in the group stage.

Arsenal’s disappointing night was further dampened with an injury to Laurent Koscielny, as the French defender was withdrawn with an injured hamstring. He now joins Arsenal’s long injury list and is in doubt for the weekends match against top of the table Manchester United.

The Arsenal boss could not help but voice his disappointment after the defeat, saying that it is ‘difficult to swallow’ losing like that and that his side lost from defensive lapses and bad luck.

Regardless of whether luck had any part to play in Arsenal’s defeat, the Gunners need to turn their European fortunes around quickly if they have any chance of qualifying for the next round.

With quality Arsenal possesses in their side they should be asserting their dominance in group F along with Bayern Munich. Yet, as it stands they are three points behind Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos. They are also six points off table leaders Bayern Munich.

Matchday three of the European Champions League see the Gunners play against the dominant Bayern Munich who is yet to concede this Champions League campaign.

This leaves Wenger with much to ponder about in the upcoming weeks, as Arsenal need to turn their campaign around.

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