Post-Match Report

Match report: Arsenal 0-1 Olympiacos (3-2 agg)

Aubameyang

Olympiacos -

Emirates Stadium
Europa League
Europa League
  Arsenal
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Arsenal
0 1
  Olympiacos
      
              El Arabi (51)
          
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Olympiacos
El Arabi (51)

REPORT

By Chris Harris

WHAT HAPPENED

We moved into the last eight of the Europa League despite a narrow defeat against Olympiacos.

Youssef El-Arabi scored the only goal of the game, evoking memories of his late, late strike that knocked us out of last season's competition.

But this time El-Arabi's intervention didn't prove decisive with our 3-1 first-leg win in Greece enough to take us through on aggregate.

We had the better of a quiet first half, surrendering plenty of possession to Olympiacos but carving out the better chances.

Nicolas Pepe was unlucky to see his effort hit former Gunner Sokratis and roll inches wide of the near post. And Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shot just over from inside the box.

The first goal would either leave us in cruise control or ratchet up the tension. It did the latter.

El-Arabi, who scored in the last minute of extra-time to eliminate us in 2020, was on target again thanks to a sizeable deflection off Gabriel.

The goal had been coming, in fairness. Kostas Fortounis and Jose Holebas had gone close with a low shot and a header respectively, and El-Arabi's strike capped an excellent spell for the visitors.

The Greek league leaders still needed two more but Mikel Arteta was quick to act, bringing on Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey.

It made a difference, with the in-form Odegaard immediately giving us more control. And he might have had a goal to add to his first-leg strike but skied his shot from a great position.

Pepe was even unluckier, meeting Kieran Tierney's cut-back with a fierce goalbound shot only to see the ball hit Emile Smith Rowe and fly over the bar.

Aubameyang went through on goal but clipped his finish wide of the far post, and the captain was unfortunate to see a clever flicked finish hit the goalkeeper.

By then Olympiacos were down to 10 men after Ousseynou Ba struck substitute Gabriel Martinelli.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Get the full story of the second leg with our play-by-play updates

WHAT IT MEANS

The draw for the latter stages of the Europa League takes place in Nyon on Friday - and we'll be in it.

There's an open draw for the quarter-finals, with ties numbered from one to four for the semi-final draw that follows.

There are no seedings and teams can face opponents from the same country.

The quarter-finals will take place on April 8 and 15.

TEAM NEWS

Arteta shuffled his pack with this fixture sandwiched between London derbies against Tottenham and West Ham.

The manager made five changes, recalling Aubameyang and Pepe in the front three, bolstering our midfield with Ceballos and Mohamed Elneny and replacing Cedric with Bellerin.

Willian was ruled out with a tight left calf and there was an extra goalkeeper on the bench alongside Mat Ryan - 19-year-old Arthur Okonkwo.

WHAT’S NEXT

The international break is almost upon us but, first, we have a Premier League game against West Ham United.

We visit the London Stadium on Sunday.

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