Arsene Wenger does not expect Dinamo Zagreb defeat to be overturned

Published: Monday 19th October 2015 by The News Editor

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accepts there is little chance of his side’s Champions League defeat away to Dinamo Zagreb against a “doped” opponent being overturned.

The Gunners host Bayern Munich on Tuesday night bottom of Group F following loses in their opening two European ties.

Dinamo Zagreb recorded an unexpected 2-1 victory on September 16 in Croatia, where Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud had been sent off.

Afterwards, it emerged Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Arijan Ademi had failed a drug test.

The 24-year-old, who played the full 90 minutes, is now subject to UEFA disciplinary proceedings and is set to have his B sample tested, the result of which has not yet been made public.

If that is positive also, then Macedonia international Ademi – who also played in the 5-0 defeat away to Munich on September 29 – could be face a suspension. However, there are no sanctions against clubs from governing body UEFA unless two or more players fail doping tests.

Wenger has been left less than impressed by the whole saga.

“We didn’t perform well in the first two games, we were a bit unlucky as well, having watched the games again,” he said.

“When I saw that the players of Zagreb were doped… when you don’t play at your best and your opponent is doped, it is difficult.”

Wenger continued: “Well the rules are the rules and I cannot change that. I don’t think the result is really under any threat.

“We have to wait now to wait and see what comes out of the second (doping) control (test).”

Wenger is expecting a response from his side on Tuesday night as they look to haul themselves back into contention for qualification following some impressive domestic results since losing 3-2 at home to Olympiacos.

“We are always accused of something. The thing is today you are always told what you have not done. Sometimes people forget what you have done,” Wenger said, responding to more criticism of his side not producing results against the so-called lesser sides.

“In 2015 we are the team that has taken more (Premier League) points than everybody else, and we are still accused of being inconsistent.

“But in Europe it’s true we have been poor in our first two games, so that is what we want to correct.

“I must say we have our backs to the wall and we play against a top, team team, so I can understand the scepticism of people, but we have to prove them wrong.”

Wenger knows Arsenal must shackle in-form Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, who has plundered 15 goals in his last seven appearances for club and country.

“First the best to combat him is for us to have the ball, and after that you have to be shrewd with him,” said Wenger, who has defender Gabriel available again following illness.

“Inside the box he is outstanding, because his technique, his finishing, his movement inside the box, that is where we need the experience of (Per) Mertesacker and (Laurent) Koscielny to deal with that because that will be one of the important things on the night.”

Wenger will not allow his squad to be over-awed by the achievements of Bayern, who have knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League in the last 16 stage for the past two seasons.

“We don’t look at the history. We look at the potential performance on the day, that is what we try to do. After that the history doesn’t play the game,” he said.

“What will decide the game tomorrow is the performance we produce, and that comes from if we believe that we can do it.”

Published: Monday 19th October 2015 by The News Editor

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