Arsenal players shocked by Arsene Wenger's decision to play David Ospina over Petr Cech

The Gunners fell to a disastrous defeat which leaves their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread

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The Independent Football

Arsenal players including Petr Cech were reportedly surprised at Arsene Wenger’s decision to start with second choice goalkeeper David Ospina against Olympiakos in the Champions League.

The Gunners were humbled by their Greek visitors, falling to a disastrous 3-2 defeat which leaves them bottom of Group F after two matches, with the Columbian dropping a corner into his own net at 1-1.

According to the Daily Telegraph, it is believed that Wenger was fulfilling a promise he had made to Opsina to play him in a host of prominent matches over the season in the days which followed the signing of Cech from Chelsea for £11m in the summer.

The Arsenal manager responded furiously to questions about his controversial decision on Tuesday night, referring to “things you don’t know about” before citing a “slight alert” for Cech before the Premier League match against Leicester City on Saturday.

Wenger is now under intense pressure from supporters to start the Czech goalkeeper against Bayern Munich later this month while the 33-year-old is expected to return for the visit of Manchester United on Sunday.

Meanwhile the North London outfit are also wary that each loss in Europe sees them lose out on €1.5m (£1.11m) per match.

Clubs are guaranteed €12m (£8.84m) for reaching the group stage of the competition but Arsenal’s inconsistent form has already cost them £2.22m with a further £4.05m at stake.

Merely reaching the round-of-16, a path Wenger has successfully chartered in each of the past 15 years, is then worth at least €5.5m (£4.05m), with the bounty rising through the knock-out phases all the way up to €15m (£11.06m) for the eventual winners.