Ospina keen to seize chance after Arsenal heroics

"He showed what he's about tonight," said Arsène Wenger after David Ospina banished some painful UEFA Champions League memories by helping Arsenal snatch a point in Paris.

David Ospina challenges Paris striker Edinson Cavani
David Ospina challenges Paris striker Edinson Cavani ©AFP/Getty Images

Déjà vu with a difference. That was the story of David Ospina's night as the Arsenal goalkeeper went from potential fall guy ahead of the matchday one meeting with Paris Saint-Germain to the man who did more than most to secure an unlikely 1-1 draw.

To say that eyebrows were raised when the team sheets were printed out would be putting it lightly. By picking the Colombian custodian ahead of Petr Čech, Arsène Wenger was revisiting a failed experiment from last season, when Ospina was entrusted with the gloves for Arsenal's opening UEFA Champions League tests.

Two defeats in two games later and the Gunners were flirting with elimination, while Ospina was being singled out for a high-profile error in the 3-2 home loss to Olympiacos. By the time Bayern came to town on matchday three, Čech was back between the posts – with Ospina said to be carrying an injury.

Highlights: Paris 1-1 Arsenal
Highlights: Paris 1-1 Arsenal

Whereas many coaches would have permanently shelved the idea right there and then, Wenger is as stubborn as they come. A big fan of his back-up keeper, the Frenchman is anxious to grant him playing time, and he was rewarded with a decisive display as Arsenal gave themselves a platform to challenge for top spot in Group A.

"We all try to make the most of every chance," said Ospina, having been quick off his line to deny both Edinson Cavani and Serge Aurier, and also tipping over a goalbound Ángel Di María corner. Helpess to keep out Cavani's headed opener with just 44 seconds gone, his efforts paid dividends when Alexis Sánchez later equalised.

"This was a good match to show what I can do," continued the 28-year-old, after only being told he would be back in the firing line on the morning of the game. "I have to keep on working and make the most of every moment I get to play."

David Ospina was in the thick of the action in Paris
David Ospina was in the thick of the action in Paris©AFP/Getty Images

"Tonight he showed his detractors, those who doubted him, that he is a very good goalkeeper," explained Wenger. "Last year he made a mistake in the Champions League and everyone jumped all over him. He showed what he's about tonight. I have two world-class goalkeepers. If they do not play, you can't keep two world-class goalkeepers."

If Ospina looked right at home on the Parc des Princes pitch, in many ways he was. Put that down to six years with Nice before he joined the Gunners in 2014, and it was in excellent French that he professed his love for the country. "It's my second home and I adore it here. Coming back is always important to me."

A few more corners of Europe surely now await, providing Ospina can maintain the same standards at home to Basel on 28 September. "We have a rule that the keepers know," said Wenger. "If they change, I'll tell them. 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."

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