Morning all.

  • Martin Odegaard got off the mark for Arsenal in spectacular fashion. 74 mins.
  • Another shocking mixup at the back allowed Youssef El-Arabi to equalise for Olympiacos after the break.
  • A superb header from Gabriel in 79th minute gave us the lead.
  • Lastly, the biggest surprise of the night came when Mohamed Elneny grabbed himself a goal from long range and what a goal it was too. Wicked!

 

For Arsenal it was the same old story in Athens. Plenty of possession, a few good chances to take the lead including a pretty easy one yet all were missed. Three free kicks, one hit the wall, the other two went straight to the keeper. ‘Must do better’ would be written on a school report.  I can’t work out which miss was worse, Pepe’s at Turf Moor or Ødegaard’s last night.

Up the other end, Luiz was doing his best to gift the opposition a goal and had they been any good up front, they’d have taken their chance.

Mikel Arteta on the progress the team has made…

I have been saying that for a while, and I can probably see more things because internally I know the process that has happened and how much has happened since we were here a year ago. I think the difference is really big and we are really pleased with the result and the goals that we scored, and the way that we played in big moments in the game. But as well we have to be very clear and honest with ourselves that we gave three goals to the opponent and they took one, and at that level they are going to punish you. So to go to the next level, we have to stop doing that and be more ruthless – and when you are that dominant and playing that well, just kill the game.

I thought Tierney was excellent again. Saka was kicked to pieces yet again but Olympiakos were clever as different players were committing the fouls. Ødegaard went from missing a sitter, to playing a suicidal back pass, to scoring our opener in spectacular style. Talk about zero to hero.

Gabriel’s goal was all about perfect movement to meet the Willian cross, great strength to beat the defender in the air and the direction of his header. Loved it. Nearly as much as watching Elneny’s celebration after scoring the third.

Apart from Tierney and Bellerin down the flanks, I thought Arsenal were a bit too pedestrian but I think some of that is down to the lack of fans. Perhaps on occasions like last night, a result takes priority in which case, Arsenal passed with flying colours. Taking three away goals back to The Emirates should be enough to secure our place in the next round. Only a complete meltdown next Thursday will change that.

Now we move on to a North London Derby, a much tougher game can be expected. The likes of Son and Kane will be hassling our defence and Leno I’m sure because Mourinho won’t have missed our recent cockups at the back. I think Rob Holding will come back in for this one with Luiz making way. I sure hope he does anyway but then I hope one or two other changes will be made too.

See you in the comments.