BELGRADE (AFP) - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who admitted he didn't recognise the team which slumped to defeat to West Brom at the weekend, faces a crucial week which could define his side's season.
The Gunners' Premier League aspirations will be under the microscope at Stamford Bridge on Sunday when they take on Chelsea.
But Tuesday sees a test of their backbone as well as their style in a tricky Champions League trip to Partizan Belgrade.
The Serbian side, playing in Europe's elite event for the first time in seven years, have never won a home tie in the competition, but will have taken heart from the way that unheralded West Brom picked their way through a sleepy Arsenal backline in the 3-2 win on Saturday.
Wenger has little time to solve the mystery of that Emirates fiasco.
"I didn't recognise my team and we have to sit down together to analyse what happened," said the coach.
"Something was not right. It's unusual to see a team as flat as we were."
Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia was widely condemned for another poor performance and Wenger, who courted Fulham's Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer in the summer, is believed to be lining up a bid for Liverpool's Pepe Reina once the transfer window reopens.
But that is not until January.
Almunia has been ruled out of Tuesday's game with an elbow injury and will be replaced by Lukasz Fabianski.
Wenger insisted Monday he would have played Almunia if the keeper had been fit.
"We have Manual Almunia out," Wenger said. "He has a problem with his elbow. He caught it when he made the penalty on Saturday.
The French boss added: "(The goalkeeper) is always the easy target, the easy scapegoat.
"But we win together and we lose together even if people think he made a mistake on the second goal."
Arsenal won their opening Champions League game 6-0 against Braga on the same night that Partizan lost 1-0 at Shakhtar Donetsk.
But the Gunners' away record in Europe doesn't make comfortable reading for Wenger with his team having lost their last three away games - 4-1 at Barcelona in last season's quarter-final, 2-1 at Porto in the round of 16 and 1-0 at Olympiacos in the the group stages.
They have only won two of their last 10 away matches in the competition.
When Partizan last appeared in the Champions League in 2003/2004, they failed to win at home in five attempts, including two qualifying rounds.
But a defeat to Newcastle was their only loss, the other four games all ending in draws.
This season, they saw off FC Pyunik and HJK Helsinki in the qualifying rounds before defeating Anderlecht 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out win after two play-off games each finished 2-2.
Brazilian striker Cleo scored three goals over the tie, including two in the away leg.
Experienced midfielder Sasa Ilic will be expected to dominate proceedings in midfield for the Serbian champions.
|Grant believes Ghana getting better all the time|
|Roma v Fiorentina: Determined Garcia eyes Coppa respite|
|Ligue 1 Review: Lyon stalemate ends goal-shy weekend in France|
|La Liga Review: Barca and Sevilla edge thrillers|
|Serie A Review: Gabbiadini opens Napoli account on dark day for Inter|
|Barcelona 3 Villarreal 2: Messi´s fine winner settles it|
|Milan 3 Parma 1: Menez makes the difference for Milan|
|Ivory Coast 3 Algeria 1: Bony double maintains Elephants´ progress|
|Turkish Super Lig Review: Bizarre Ba winner benefits Besiktas, Emenike ends goal drought|
|Koeman confident of deadline-day addition|
|Freedman named new Forest boss|
|League One Review: Bristol City return to the summit|
|Bundesliga Review: Augsburg win battle of European hopefuls|
|Monk hails tactically astute Swansea|
|Pearce sacked by Forest, offered alternative role|
|Roma complete Ibarbo deal|
|Eredivisie Review: Durdevic dents Ajax title defence|
|Koeman feels defeat was harsh|
|Wanchope takes permanent control of Costa Rica|
|Wenger: ´Arsenal not title contenders´|
|No complaints for Allegri over Juve draw|
|Ghana 3 Guinea 0: Atsu scores wondergoal as Black Stars ease into last four|
|Southampton 0 Swansea City 1: Shelvey stuns Saints|
|Lambert laments Villa´s ´acceptance´ to concede|
|Sandro nearing QPR return|
|Lille v Paris Saint-Germain: Origi confident of cup upset|
|Walcott revels in ´one-sided´ triumph|
|Bragging rights for Celtic after Old Firm win|
|Udinese 0 Juventus 0: Leaders stutter to goalless stalemate|
|Arsenal 5 Aston Villa 0: Ozil and Walcott star on their returns|
|Mancini plays down spat between Inter´s fans and players|
|Tommy Smith discharged from hospital|
|Bayern Munich v Schalke: Bayern aim to get back on track|
|Schurrle´s Wolfsburg deal not done yet|
|Kruse facing lengthy lay-off|
|Traore determined to make immediate impression|
|Sassuolo 3 Inter 1: Hosts inflict further misery on Mancini´s men|
|Iturbe adds to Roma´s injury woes|
|Palace secure Souare signing|
|Walcott confident Gabriel can handle physicality|
|Januzaj glad to get game time|
|Pellegrini positive City can close the gap|
|Martinez hopes win can be a springboard|
|Equatorial Guinea win miraculous - Becker|
|Vertonghen excited by Tottenham´s form|
|Garcia lauds Roma´s resilience|
|Sinclair wants to let his football do the talking|
|Luis Enrique aiming to halt Villarreal progress|
|Costa: ´I’m no angel´|
|La Liga Review: Real, Atletico cruise to wins|
|Primeira Liga Review: Leaders Benfica bounce back with win, Vitoria held|
|Serie A Review: Roma drop more points, Genoa and Fiorentina draw|
|Ligue 1 Review: Marseille return to second, Montpellier held|
|Eredivisie Review: PSV go nine points clear, Twente steal last-gasp win|
|Tunisia 1 Equatorial Guinea 2 (aet): Balboa brace sends hosts through|
|Klopp encouraged by Leverkusen stalemate, as Dortmund hit bottom|
|No-show again from Mourinho after City draw|
|Pellegrini suggests different styles shown by City and Chelsea|
|Le Roy dejected following Congo´s Africa Cup of Nations exit|
|Bundesliga Review: Dortmund bottom, Paderborn thumped|
|Simeone marvels at Griezmann improvement|
|Emulating Messi will be tough for Neymar - Luis Enrique|
|Ibenge revels in DR Congo fightback|
|Reception delights Lampard on Stamford Bridge homecoming|
|Milan to downsize from San Siro|
|League Two Review: Luton claim Cambridge double, Shrewsbury stay top|
|Matic feels the effects of Liverpool match in City draw|
|West Brom lacked tempo, says Pulis|
|Pochettino remains grounded|
|Lukaku can inspire Everton - Martinez|
|Bayer Leverkusen 0 Borussia Dortmund 0: Frustrating draw leaves BVB bottom|
|Chelsea 1 Manchester City 1: Advantage Mourinho as top two share the spoils|
|Pardew laments lack of guile in Everton defeat|
|Poyet hoping to build on Burnley victory|
|Ancelotti lauds ´fantastic´ Benzema|
|Dyche backs Ings to bounce back after ´off-day´|
|Pearson brushes off ´bonus game´ defeat|
|Eibar 1 Atletico Madrid 3: Griezmann and Mandzukic inspire champions´ response|
|Rodgers delighted with Sturridge´s goalscoring return|
|QPR not as bad as scoreline suggests - Redknapp|
|League One Review: Bradford pushed hard as MK Dons go top|
|United killed the game too much - Van Gaal|
|Hughes hails hat-trick hero Walters|
|Congo 2 Democratic Republic of Congo 4: Mbokani strikes twice in remarkable fightback|
|Talks break down over Fletcher´s West Ham switch|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Highland derby all square|
|Championship Review: Derby and Boro stay in touch with leaders|
|Good enough for Real Madrid or Barcelona? - Luongo is Socceroos´ next superstar|
|Bruce backs Elmohamady after ´horrible afternoon´|
|Crystal Palace 0 Everton 1: Lukaku ends Palace run|
|Stoke City 3 QPR 1: Walters hat-trick seals win for hosts|
|Liverpool 2 West Ham 0: Sturridge on target in long-awaited return|
|West Brom 0 Tottenham 3: Kane at the double to down Albion|
|Manchester United 3 Leicester City 1: Van Gaal´s hosts avenge humiliating defeat|
|Real Madrid 4 Real Sociedad 1: Benzema stars in Ronaldo´s absence|
|Sunderland 2 Burnley 0: Defoe nets in routine victory|
|Roma snap up Doumbia|
|Huddersfield defender Smith stable after being airlifted to hospital|
|Carver: More to come from Cabella|
|Ivory Coast v Algeria: Renard demands success|
|Match winner Troisi hails Socceroo colleagues|
|Ghana v Guinea: Grant´s men tackle team happy with their lot|
|Australia deserved victory - Ki|
|Inzaghi ready to unleash duo against Parma|
|Cahill: Socceroos triumph to super-charge football in Oz|
|Hull City 0 Newcastle United 3: Carver up and running after routine win|
|Stielike: South Korea still champions|
|Recruitment proving difficult for Mancini|
|Postecoglou targets World Cup impact|
|Allegri dismisses talk of Vidal rift|
|Australia 2 South Korea 1 (aet): Troisi seals Socceroos´ maiden Asian Cup title|
|Ibrahimovic questions PSG fans|
|Azpilicueta anticipating ´weird´ Lampard return|
|Sinclair: Milner praise for Villa made my decision easy|
|Van Gaal fumes at questions on Herrera´s future|
|Cork excited about new challenge|
|Arsenal still gunning for glory - Gibbs|
|Quinteros named Ecuador coach|
|Sturridge eager to prove fitness|
|Blanc: ´We were expecting better´|
|Hecking proud of Wolfsburg|
|Boateng urges Bayern to learn from Wolfsburg thrashing|
|Sporting Braga 1 Moreirense 0: Santos the hero for hosts|
|Cordoba complete triple swoop, Levante bring in two|