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Almunia backs Arsenal despite glitch

Published: Wednesday 28 November 2007, 14.26CET
Arsenal FC goalkeeper Manuel Almunia still believes his side can win Group H despite Sevilla FC scoring three times to breach his clean sheet record in the section.
Almunia backs Arsenal despite glitch
Manuel Almunia (left) lost his clean sheet record at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 28 November 2007, 14.26CET

Almunia backs Arsenal despite glitch

Arsenal FC goalkeeper Manuel Almunia still believes his side can win Group H despite Sevilla FC scoring three times to breach his clean sheet record in the section.

Arsenal FC goalkeeper Manuel Almunia refused to let despondency rule his analytical mind after Sevilla FC scored three times to breach his clean sheet record in this season's UEFA Champions League and put the Andalusian side in control of Group H.

Optimistic
Although the Spaniard was bitterly disappointed at the result and seeing three goals fly past him, especially as many of his Spain-based family had travelled to watch the match at the Ramón Sanchéz Pizjuán, he remains optimistic about Arsenal's progress. "Right now I'm upset, very upset, but I still reckon that Sevilla will struggle to go to [SK] Slavia Praha and triumph because it's a very tough place to carve out a win," he said.

Homeland return
"This means that if we can defeat [FC] Steaua Bucureşti, and I believe we can, then our fate is back in our own hands. We badly want to win the group and I can't disguise my disappointment that we didn't get a result here in Seville," Almunia added. "For me it's not important that I was coming back to Spain to play as Arsenal's first choice keeper – although I'm upset that so many of my family came to watch me and we lost – it was only important for Arsenal to win."

High tempo
Almunia also pinpointed where he felt the London side had lost their way against the UEFA Cup holders. "I thought that we played very well to get on top of the game in the first part of the match but we lost a little bit of control after they equalised and I think it's true that we didn't match the aggression of their play after that," said the Arsenal stopper. "We all know that if you don't match Sevilla in their tempo and their will to win, then you are lost. I'm sad to concede three goals from a professional basis because until now I think we have been playing unbelievably well in defence. Now it's simply time to start again."

Last updated: 28/11/07 13.27CET

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