Analysing David Ospina's world-class performance for Arsenal against PSG

It caused all sorts of debate in the BT Sport studios before kick-off, but David Ospina’s inclusion in the Arsenal starting 11 was certainly justified in the end. His man-of-the-match performance kept PSG; and Edinson Cavani in particular, out of the game and was a major role in allowing the Gunners to come back and secure a well-fought 1-1 draw.

After the match, Arsene Wenger described the Colombian as world-class, and said he is set to start at least the next Champions League game, with Petr Cech once again sitting on the bench.

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Ospina couldn’t have had a worse start to his first Arsenal performance of the season. Within 45 seconds, Cavani was peeling away, celebrating with his team-mates in-front of the Parisian crowd. The critics looked justified, as Wenger stood on the edge of his technical area, frowning with his hands on his hips.

Within 10 minutes, Ospina has his first real chance to show his worth. An Angel Di Maria corner swung beautifully towards the net, in what could have been a goal to send all the wrong headlines straight at the keeper. Instead, the Colombian acrobatically clawed the ball away not just from the goal, but from any danger of an incoming PSG player.

Your Club's MISTREATED Player This Season.

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The ‘keeper’s passing ability seemed to be an improvement on Cech. Ospina looks more of the modern day Guardiola style goal-keeper, if anything – confident in his abilities, quick off his line and with an eye for a good pass. He exhibited just this when the Arsenal defence left him in no-man’s land late in the first half. Cavani, who after passing the keeper, flung his effort wide. In truth, it was just a lack of composure from Cavani more than anything else.

In the second half though, the usual second choice keeper came into his own in a simply brilliant five-minute spell. First, he denied Serge Aurier by going down to smother the ball as the right-back went to put it past him. Second, he was quick to go down and parry Cavani, when he was through on goal. Finally, he clawed a Di Maria effort over the bar after failing to find his defenders with a Claudio Bravo style pass.

The best of the lot however came on the 79th minute. Cavani was played through again, and Ospina stood up to the final seconds before going down and clawing the ball away. It was a vital touch and won Arsenal a point. Second choice keeper in the league, but there was no denying that last night he deserved to be second choice to no-one.

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One area of potential weakness was from set-pieces. As Marquinhos came close in stoppage time to win the game, it was clear to see that Ospina doesn’t offer the aerial presence that Cech does, but he certainly makes up for it with his shot-stopping, speed off the line and ability and self-confidence to play the ball. It might be a big call, but there could even be a decision for Wenger to make on Saturday, against Hull City in the league.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Emrah Partal

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