This week, there were high hopes that Arsenal will perform well in the Champions League. Unfortunately they lost to Olympiacos – their own goal by David Ospina contributing to their loss. Even though Alexis Sanchez tried to restore their status, a minute later Olympiakos swiftly scored another goal and put them on the lead. Here are some of the reactions from the players regarding that game:
“This is one of the greatest away victories of Olympiacos. We played a very good game, especially during the first half. There were many spaces and we took advantage of this and we are happy. However, we have to keep going, nothing is decided yet. We still have matches ahead of us and following this victory, we are looking at the second place in the group”. – Kostas Fortounis
“We scored three goals against Arsenal which is not an easy task at all. Olympiacos learned to withstand the pressure; it’s of course the result of team work. We learned to “sacrifice” things for each other and this victory on English soil is a major success for Olympiacos. We came at Arsenal’s home to play football and not park the bus. This was the key to our success. We not only tried to defend, but also to counter-attack as fast as possible in order to score.” – Esteban Cambiasso.
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Chelsea on the other hand had performed well in their previous match against Tel-Aviv. However, this week they narrowly lost to Porto 2-1. Commenting on the overall performance, manager Jose Mourinho said that the game was ‘a good performance with two ridiculous mistakes,’.
Former Arsenal player Thierry Henry feared the worst regarding this and added that the gap is closing very fast. Speaking to The Sun, Henry said “there is a real danger that the Premier League will soon lose one of its Champions League places because our European results have been so unimpressive”. In the 13/14 season the Premier League teams got only as far as the semis. This season, it is feared that they may drop out in the group levels.
Here are some of the questions that have been raised so far:
Do the clubs rather go for younger talent rather than honed talent?
This PL season has had the most expensive transfers such as Kevin de Bruyne (£55m), Raheem Sterling (£49m), Anthony Martial (£36) and Nicolas Otamendi and Christan Benteke for (£32) respectively. Should these clubs have rather signed up Sergio Ramos or Karin Benzema rather?
Are the PL teams strained from the physical intensity and competitiveness of the Champions League?
Read an in-depth analysis about this here