Theo Walcott has insisted Arsenal must not let their Champions League loss to Dinamo Zagreb affect their Premier League title hopes ahead of the Gunners’ London derby with Chelsea on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger’s side suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat away to Dinamo in their Group F opener on Wednesday, in a game that also saw Olivier Giroud sent off for two bookable offences.
Walcott scored Arsenal’s only goal of the match with his 79th-minute low shot and, although the Gunners could not open their Champions League campaign on a high, the forward has now admitted the players must forget about the result and focus on their trip to Stamford Bridge to face champions Chelsea.
Speaking after the defeat, Walcott said: ”We need to move on.
”Everyone will be disappointed but we have a big, important game at the weekend.
”We can’t blow one result and say it’s the end of the season.
”We have had setbacks before and managed to bounce back from them.
”The manager will make sure it’s put to bed and that it stays there.”
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is expected to be back in Wenger’s starting line-up against Jose Mourinho’s side on Saturday after being involved in a minor car accident earlier in the week that kept him out of the game with Dinamo.
Meanwhile, Mourinho will not be able to rely on the services of Willian – who opened the scoring in Chelsea’s 4-0 Champions League win over Maccabi Tel Aviv on Wednesday – while Pedro could also miss out with a minor injury.
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