Arsene Wenger was left feeling vindicated by his surprise selection of David Ospina as the goalkeeper pulled off a string of saves in Arsenal’s Champions League draw with Paris St Germain.
The Colombian was not expected to start at the Parc des Princes, but was drafted in ahead of Petr Cech and performed admirably, eventually winning his duel with PSG striker Edinson Cavani, who had headed the hosts ahead inside a minute.
Ospina made a number of crucial stops to prevent Unai Emery’s side extending their lead before Alexis Sanchez struck with 12 minutes remaining to seal a 1-1 draw.
But of greater significance to Wenger, in addition to a positive result from a tough opening away trip, was the performance of his goalkeeper.
“I have two world-class goalkeepers,” Wenger said.
“I can give them both games. If they do not play, you can’t keep two world-class goalkeepers.”
Ospina came in for heavy criticism last season when he was drafted in for the opening two Champions League games as Arsenal lost to both Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos.
But Wenger hinted he was likely to stick with the Colombian for the visit of Basle in their next Champions League outing.
“We have a rule that the keepers know (when they will play),” he added.
“It’s important to have clear rules like that. They know what the rules are for the season. If they change, I’ll tell them.”
Asked if Ospina would only feature in Europe, Wenger replied:
“I’ll not answer that question. It’s down to performances.
“On what he delivered tonight, he has the right to stay in the team for the next Champions League game.”
While Ospina was brilliant, the only reason that they left Paris with a point was because of the performance of PSG striker Edinson Cavani. Cavani scored one, but missed four other chances that any other top striker would have taken.
While the 1-1 scoreline looks good for Arsenal fans, the defensive frailty that the team showed against Liverpool was there for everyone to see on Tuesday night. If Arsene Wenger does not fix his defensive problems soon, this is going to be a bitterly disappointing season for Arsenal fans.