Mark Lawrenson hits out at Arsene Wenger for dropping Arsenal star
Mark Lawrenson says Arsene Wenger made a mistake by not playing Petr Cech against Olympiacos
Mark Lawrenson has criticised Arsene Wenger for not playing Petr Cech during Arsenal’s Champions League clash with Olympiacos on Tuesday night.
David Ospina started in goal for the Gunners and was at fault when he fumbled the ball over the line as the visitors made it 2-1 at Emirates Stadium before half-time.
The Greek side eventually triumphed 3-2 to leave Arsenal with no points from their first two games and bottom of Group F.
And former Liverpool man Lawrenson was less-than-impressed by Wenger’s decision not to play summer signing Cech during the game.
Lawrenson told BBC Sport: “If you are the Arsenal manager, you’ve just signed a goalkeeper, it’s the first time in a long time you’ve had a top goalkeeper, you’ve had David Seaman and Jens Lehmann, now you’ve got Petr Cech, you have to play him.
“Cech is the best keeper, and it was imperative they won at home tonight, with Bayern Munich coming up. To concede three goals at home to Olympiakos? Who have never won a competitive tie in England?”
Theo Walcott’s low finish cancelled out Felipe Pardo’s opener, before Ospina fumbled the ball over the line to hand the visitors the lead heading into half-time.
Alexis Sanchez headed in an equaliser in the 65th minute but, just 59 seconds later, Alfred Finnbogason poked the visitors ahead once again.
Arsenal lost their Champions League opener 2-1 in Dinamo Zagreb earlier this month and still have Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich to play twice in the group.