Champions League

Arsenal bids for 2nd win in CL

2012-10-02 09:14
Arsene Wenger (AP)
London - Arsenal will be aiming to dispel concerns about its defensive strength when it hosts Olympiakos in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Arsenal's unbeaten start to the season ended on Saturday when Chelsea capitalised on weak and uncertain defending at set pieces to win 2-1 in the Premier League.

It's an area where Arsenal appeared to have improved this campaign but manager Arsene Wenger was highly critical, saying the defending was "unacceptable" and lacked authority.

Germany centre back Per Mertesacker could be recalled in place of Laurent Koscielny, having been dropped for the Chelsea game despite his good early-season form, as Arsenal and Olympiakos meet in the Champions League group stage for the fifth match in four seasons.

"I think there is some psychological damage," Wenger said of the Chelsea loss. "What is important is the personality you show in a big game, and that is where in some areas we were not at the level."

After opening with a 2-1 victory at Montpellier on match day one, another win two weeks on will put Arsenal in a solid position to secure a top-two finish and qualify for the knockout stage for the 13th season in a row.

German team Schalke is also in a strong position after beating Olympiakos 2-1 away in its opener and now faces Montpellier at home.

If Arsenal's defense is to be breached on Wednesday, it is likely Rafik Djebbour will be the player to do it. The Algeria striker has scored a league-high six goals in Olympiakos' five straight opening wins in Greece's top division, which have lifted the team to first place in the standings.

However, with key striker Kevin Mirallas having been sold to Everton in August and experienced Swedish defender Olof Mellberg also recently leaving the club, Olympiakos may not have the quality to seriously challenge Arsenal and Schalke in the group.

Roy Carroll, the former Manchester United and West Ham goalkeeper whose career has been rejuvenated by leaving the Premier League to play in Greece, could face a busy night.

"My last United appearance was against Arsenal, in the 2005 FA Cup final, when they won on penalties," the 35-year-old Northern Irishman said. "It's frightening to think they've won nothing since. Trophies are expected at a club of their stature.

"But we are top of the Greek league with five straight wins and playing well. There is a lot riding on it for us, me especially. I have waited a long time to play at one of English football's top venues again, and I intend making the most of it."

Arsenal will be without France midfielder Abou Diaby, who is out for a minimum of three weeks - according to Wenger - after hurting his thigh against Chelsea.

Schalke heads into the match against Montpellier following a disappointing 2-2 draw with promoted Fortuna Duesseldorf on Friday, when the 2011 Champions League semi-finalists squandered a two-goal lead.

"We have to forget about the Duesseldorf game as quickly as possible and concentrate on the Champions League," midfielder Jermaine Jones told the Bundesliga website. "We have to learn from the game because such mistakes are ruthlessly exploited in the Champions League and you get punished even more."

Montpellier's start to the defense of its French league title isn't going smoothly, with the team in the bottom half of the standings even after a 2-0 win at Nancy on Saturday.

Read more on:    arsenal  |  champions league  |  arsene wenger  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!

 
 

Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
Fixtures
13 September 2016
FC Bayern München v FC Rostov, Allianz Arena 20:45
Barcelona v Celtic, Camp Nou 20:45
Benfica v Besiktas, Estadio da Luz 20:45
Manchester City v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Etihad Stadium 20:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Napoli, Kiev Olympic Stadium 20:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Arsenal, Parc des Princes 20:45
PSV v Atlético de Madrid, Philips Stadion 20:45
FC Basel v Ludogorets Razgrad, St Jakob-Park 20:45
14 September 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v CSKA Moscow, BayArena 20:45
FC Porto v FC København, Estadio do Dragao 20:45
Club Brugge v Leicester City, Jan Breydelstadion 20:45
Juventus v Sevilla, Juventus Stadium 20:45
Lyon v Dinamo Zagreb, Parc OL 20:45
Legia Warsaw v Borussia Dortmund, Pepsi Arena 20:45
Real Madrid v Sporting Lisbon, Santiago Bernabeu 20:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Monaco, Wembley 20:45
27 September 2016
CSKA Moscow v Tottenham Hotspur, Arena Khimki 20:45
Sporting Lisbon v Legia Warsaw, Estadio Jose Alvalade 20:45
Leicester City v FC Porto, King Power Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Juventus, Maksimir 20:45
FC København v Club Brugge, Parken Stadion 20:45
Sevilla v Lyon, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 20:45
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid, Signal Iduna Park 20:45
Monaco v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Stade Louis II 20:45
28 September 2016
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Barcelona, Borussia-Park 20:45
Celtic v Manchester City, Celtic Park 20:45
Arsenal v FC Basel, Emirates Stadium 20:45
FC Rostov v PSV, Olimp-2 Stadium 20:45
Napoli v Benfica, San Paolo 20:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Paris Saint-Germain, Vasil Levski National Stadium 20:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Bayern München, Vicente Calderon 20:45
Besiktas v Dynamo Kyiv, Vodafone Arena 20:45
18 October 2016
CSKA Moscow v Monaco, Arena Khimki 20:45
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Tottenham Hotspur, BayArena 20:45
Sporting Lisbon v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Jose Alvalade 20:45
Club Brugge v FC Porto, Jan Breydelstadion 20:45
Leicester City v FC København, King Power Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Sevilla, Maksimir 20:45
Lyon v Juventus, Parc OL 20:45
Real Madrid v Legia Warsaw, Santiago Bernabeu 20:45
19 October 2016
FC Bayern München v PSV, Allianz Arena 20:45
Barcelona v Manchester City, Camp Nou 20:45
Celtic v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Celtic Park 20:45
Arsenal v Ludogorets Razgrad, Emirates Stadium 20:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Benfica, Kiev Olympic Stadium 20:45
FC Rostov v Atlético de Madrid, Olimp-2 Stadium 20:45
Paris Saint-Germain v FC Basel, Parc des Princes 20:45
Napoli v Besiktas, San Paolo 20:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.