Thursday 14 December 2017

Gabriel: ‘We need to focus on United and forget Euro woes’

Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista and Laurent Koscielny in action
Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista and Laurent Koscielny in action

Arsenal need to get over Tuesday’s Champions League loss to Greek side Olympiakos Piraeus and focus on getting three points on Sunday when they host table-toppers Manchester United in the Premier League, the team’s defender Gabriel has said.

The Gunners are fourth in the league table, three points behind United after seven games, and will look to get their season back on track after three defeats in last five games. “We have to rest, work harder, and then on Sunday come back and have a good game,” Gabriel said.

“We just need to be calm. We have to work hard and focus on putting in a good performance (against Manchester United),” he added.

The Gunners have lost their opening two group matches in the Champions League and are bottom of their group, six points behind leaders Bayern Munich, who they have to play twice.

Gabriel said he was confident the Gunners can advance from the Champions League group stage for a 16th straight season.

“We can still qualify. We have a very strong team, with some very good players. We now have to try to win the remaining matches in the group,” the 24-year-old Brazilian said.

Meanwhile, television presenter and Arsenal fan Piers Morgan has launched a stinging criticism of Wenger’s decision not to field goalkeeper Petr Cech in Tuesday’s defeat to Olympiacos.

“In the summer, we signed one player. We were the only team of any substance in Europe who didn’t sign a single outfield player,” he told talkSPORT.

“He (Wenger) put all his chips on Petr Cech, a very, very good goalkeeper who has won the Champions League, who is our most experienced Champions League player. So, what does he do? In a game that Wenger described as must-win, he dropped him. Why in a game that you have to win would you drop your only world class player?”

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