Wenger still hopeful over Europe but wants Premier League focus

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Ever the optimist, Arsene Wenger isn’t ruling out Arsenal qualifying for the knock-out stages of the Champions League, but has warned his team against a European hangover with a North London derby on the horizon.

The Gunners can still go through but it’s out of our hands. We must beat Dinamo Zagreb in the next game and hope that Bayern Munich beat Olympiacos. A draw in that game will ensure qualificaion for both those sides.

If the Germans win, however, we can go through by beating the Greeks by two clear goals.

“There is still a chance to qualify,” said Wenger after the game. “Olympiacos have to lose here, we have to beat Zagreb and then we will see when we play Olympiacos away. It’s a small chance but it is a real one.

We have to realise with that kind of performance that we had today that our chances are minimal. No matter what percentage we have, we have to dig in for the chance to qualify.

And with a crucial Premier League fixture at the weekend, the manager is looking for his team to respond to disappointment as they have done already this season in the wake of poor results.

“We now have to focus on the Premier League on Sunday and bounce back with a different performance because we are in a good position in the league. It’s important that we realise what we did today and we know that.

“We have to analyse it and not be too negative. That’s top-level sport. You can understand that you have to be strong enough to face a performance like tonight. It was not good enough and we will have to focus on the next game.

“We live in a world where you have to face reality.”

Reality, such as it is, sees Arsenal level with Man City at the top of the Premier League table. City also play at Sunday, away at Aston Villa – and we’ll be hoping that new boss, former Gunner Remi Garde, can do us a bit of a favour.

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MTZ
MTZ

I’m still not sure why everyone kept going on about how we needed a point against Bayern, or why our chances have now diminished. Our chances have barely been affected. The only difference it makes is whether we have to win by 1 or 2 goals against Olympiacos.

The only situation where this isn’t the case, is if Bayern doesn’t beat Olympiacos, but come on.. unlike us, they don’t implode on a regular basis. They’re the best team in the world right now, and they’ll stomp Olympiacos into the ground.

Anonymous Physicist
Anonymous Physicist

Well, surely winning by two goals is a lot harder than winning by one goal, especially since Olympiakos isn’t the easiest away game in Europe. Their Champions League home record (group phase and further only) reads W29, D11, L12, despite the fact that they usually won’t have been one of the higher seeds for the draw. The last three times we went there (09-10, 11-12 & 12-13) we lost, as did Juventus and Atletico last year, Manure the year before, and so on.

Also, even though Bayern are used to playing games they don’t need to win and winning anyway (unlike most teams in England), Olympiakos getting a point at their place isn’t impossible, and knocks us out immediately.

MTZ
MTZ

Bayern won 3-0 away to Olympiacos, and now they’re going to play them at home. They’re going to roll over them like a freight train. There’s a tiny, tiny chance for Olympiacos to get a draw, but that chance is insignificant compared to our chances at winning away against Olympiacos, which was always a requirement after we lost at home to them.

I agree that winning in Greece won’t be easy, as Olympiacos is a decent home side, and 1-0 is certainly easier than 2-0, but it’s hardly the massive difference people make it out to be.

Let me put it this way: Getting 2-0 against Olympiacos is a lot easier than getting a draw away against Bayern, so the claims that this was a point we needed is simply false. If we end up winning 1-0 (or 2-1), we’re not going to look back and go “ooh we blew at the Allianz Arena”, because that’s just not the case.

Anonymous Physicist
Anonymous Physicist

Olympiakos won away to us, and their home record is miles and miles better than their away record. Are they going to roll over us like freight train at home?

I’m not trying to say we’re doomed or anything, but if you’d told Olympiakos in advance that with two games to go all they would have to do to qualify was avoid losing to us at home by two goals they would have snapped your hand off. Again, Bayern may have beaten them at their place, but last year they won all three their home games in the group phase, including against Atletico and Juventus.

Man Manny
Man Manny

When we qualify (which I know we will), we will look back to that massive game we won against Bayern. What if we had drawn or lost that game? We would be out already as we speak so kudos to the boys for keeping the dream alive.
We will beat Olympiakos by a 2 goal margin or more; I see a repeat of Monaco away. I have noticed that this team has that backs-to-the-wall mentality.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Everton do not say, it is normal to be beaten 5-1 by Arsenal. If you are top of PL (on points), you do not accept to be a midget in front of the leader of Bundesliga. Can we say that we had a very bad game as the manager is saying and just look ahead ?

Highberry
Highberry

What really racked me off was right at the start, just before kick off Lewandowski and two other bayern dickheads moaning to the ref about how long Özil’s pre match prayer was lasting. They scored more goals and have more points but with pricks like that in the team I’m soooooooo glad I’m a gooner.

Lapo Gooners

so why do you think that we would surely beat zagreb next?

if we lose, will you wank in public as a forgiveness?

dholio
dholio

I’m sure as shit that we will beat Zagreb at home and Bayern will do likewise vs the Greeks. That sets up a great final match day 6 in Athens. Still in our hands!

Scott P
Scott P

No dead rubbers this year, that’s for sure.

Pedant
Pedant

Big game against an ‘S Club’ (ie Stoke, Spurs, Southampton and Swansea) we did badly against last season.

If we win we are well placed, have an easier run of games coming up before City and Southampton. If we can’t raise ourselves for Spurs we won’t deserve to have a chance in the league. Let’s hope they leave everything on the pitch and win.

mourinho wicked half-brother
mourinho wicked half-brother

We need to beat olympiakos by a two goal margin regardless of the bayern margin of winning against them. It’s head to head in the champions league if the tie on points

Ozil's eyes
Ozil's eyes

Can i remind wenger that he does not need to wait for January to sign a new medical team. Its not Financial restrictions and lack of signings but a combination of poor medical practice and constant injuries that has limited Arsenal chances of winning trophies.

Eissek
Eissek

We brought in a new fitness manager just last season.

Misog
Misog

What a load of bolox

heihaci
heihaci

not enough quality in the squad to compete in the CL

Lapo Gooners

tell that to the board.

GunnAlex
GunnAlex

In my ideal world, We’d get a 2 goal lead against Zagreb, hold them at arms length untill the 80th minute.
Bouldy gets on his phone, has a look at the score. If Olympicacos look due a point. We bring on Owen Goalez and point him at Cech.

Scott P
Scott P

Imagine that scenario where neither team wants to go into Europa, so one scores an own goal and gets the ball from kickoff while the other team races back and tries to prevent another own goal so they can score one of their own…

Özorlexisey
Özorlexisey

This is the best opportunity for us to win the title as every other team is playing average.So, Let’s give our best shot.#YAGUNNERSYA

Alagba
Alagba

Is our third jersey jinxed or doomed or something? Guess it was the third jersey we wore when we were beaten 3-0 in the capital one cup?

Gooner1886
Gooner1886

If we can’t beat Olympiakos by 2 goals we don’t deserve to be in the competition, let’s not kid ourselves that’s it’s a tough game. They are a poor side by any standards and we should be able to batter them, no excuses

Nwanga ifesinachi

my focus now is Tottenham match, the big question now is if we can do it, I mean win the day again? I see draw coming, if God is on our side we can still grab the points

the only sam is nelson
the only sam is nelson

Bergkamp is most definitely on our side, so three points it is

Merlin's
Merlin's

Not to sound childish but I’m not too phased about yesterday – that’s the best team in the world, they have beaten Wolfsburg and Dortmund with the exact score line, back to winning ways come Sunday. #COYG!

Automatism
Automatism

We shouldn’t let the likes of Ozil, Giroud & especially Alexis to play in the next international break, tbh. Don’t know how, but we shouldn’t!

Keeping our main players from the red zone is the only way we can keep our full of injuries squad to keep competing at the highest level. At least until January, when most of the injured players are coming back.

It’s clear to me fatigue & injuries are the two only reasons for our performance last night. Technique & skill wise we are as good as any great teams in Europe! But with 9 players injured (correct me if I’m wrong), it’s gonna be hard to keep the stamina to last thru a season.

WengersWife
WengersWife

I couldn’t give a toss about the champions league. Seriously, the premiership is the holy grail.

Lapo Gooners

wengerswife left him to get away from his holly altar of ego.

Ex-Priest Tobin
Ex-Priest Tobin

We’ve lost so many players to injury and more pain is to come. Every year there is a collapse due to injuries and we all know that this is the start of this year’s. We aren’t winning the league this year.

Mark
Mark

The concern with most isn’t that we get top 2 in our group, but that we don’t get 3rd and have to deal with the Europa league. We lost 3-2 to Olympiakos at home so I believe (assuming we win at home and they lost at Bayern) we either need to beat them by two or more at their place or win 3-2 or 4-3 to get 2nd. Is that correct?

Here are the tie breaking rules from UEFA for the Group stage:

a) higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the
teams in question;
b) superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams
in question;
c) higher number of goals scored in the group matches played among the
teams in question;
d) higher number of goals scored away from home in the group matches
played among the teams in question;
e) if, after having applied criteria a) to d), two teams still have an equal
ranking, criteria a) to d) are reapplied exclusively to the matches between
the two teams in question to determine their final rankings. If this
procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria f) to h) apply;
f) superior goal difference from all group matches played;
g) higher number of goals scored from all group matches played;
h) higher number of coefficient points accumulated by the club in question,
as well as its association, over the previous five seasons (see
paragraph 9.02).

gammhunn
gammhunn

I almost broke my brain trying to figure out point b) and point c) until I realised it’s entirely possible for more than two teams ending up on the same points total.

Alexstratz
Alexstratz

If our name was “Real Madrid” or “Barcelona”, would you be that worried about winning against Zagreb and scoring 2 against Olympiacos? It’s now or never to become a big club. I’m sure Bayern will beat Olympiacos btw. They aren’t officially qualified yet and big clubs don’t fool around.

Lapo Gooners

will you beat your meat if you think we surely will win against zagreb next and lost instead?

Stringer Bell
Stringer Bell

You seem to have an obsession with masturbation sir.

Lerpy
Lerpy

Wtf?

That goes for your other two comments too.

Cazorla smile
Cazorla smile

What’s wrong with you Lapo.. so much teenage angst.. calling people kids in other posts.. whats wrong my fellow gunner?

Coq au Vin
Coq au Vin

Why do we need to win by two CLEAR goals? Goals are a binary event: They either happen or they don’t which is to say they are given or not by the referee. A goal is a goal. It is not a clear goal or a murky goal or good goal or bad goal… We need to win by two goals. End of.

260589
260589

a 3-4 to us would also do

JD
JD

The (lack of) reaction to that humiliation last night is a perfect example of what is wrong at this club. It’s only the champions league, right?

Stringer Bell
Stringer Bell

They beat Barcelona 7 nil last year. We beat them at home 2 nil and lost away 5 1, not sure there’s to much wrong to be honest.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Like I’ve said before, we WILL qualify. Whenever everything is threatening to turn to shit for him, Wenger suddenly manages to pull out a big result or two. Olympiacos are crap and will get hammered by Bayern Munich in the next round; and we should beat the worst team in the group, Zagreb, at home.

All we will then have to do is go to Greece and win by two goals – which we will do. The Wenger-worshipers will then hail the dawn of a new era – until we get hammered again in the last 16 – Just like we alway do.

But don’t worry: we’ll qualify for it again next year – and then do this all again.

Lapo Gooners

agreed mate.