Arsene Wenger says David Ospina proved his critics wrong with a “world-class” display in Arsenal’s draw with Paris St Germain.
The Colombian was not expected to start at the Parc des Princes but was drafted in and performed admirably, eventually winning his duel with PSG striker Edinson Cavani, who had headed the hosts ahead inside a minute.
Ospina made a number of crucial stops to prevent Unai Emery’s side extending their lead before Alexis Sanchez struck with 12 minutes remaining to seal a 1-1 draw.
The end of the game was marred by a double dismissal as referee Viktor Kassai sent off Arsenal substitute Olivier Giroud and PSG midfielder Marco Veratti for an incident off the ball.
The Gunners showed their steel to come from behind after being dominated in the first half but as they began to push further forward in search of an equaliser, Ospina was becoming more and more exposed.
However, the 28-year-old stood firm and earned the praise of his boss, who also named Ospina in place of Petr Cech for the opening two Champions League group games last season – defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos – where he was culpable on more than one occasion.
“It’s a good point for us. David Ospina did play very well,” said Wenger, whose team selection came under scrutiny.
“Tonight he showed his detractors that he is a very good goalkeeper, those who doubted him.
“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. I can give them both games. If they do not play, you can’t keep two world-class goalkeepers.”
Wenger also hinted he is likely to stick with the Colombian for the visit of Basle in their next Champions league outing.
“We have a rule that the keepers know (when they will play),” he added. “It’s important to have clear rules like that.
“They know what the rules are for the season. If they change, I’ll tell them.”
Asked if Ospina will only feature in Europe, Wenger replied: “I’ll not answer that question. 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.”