Arsenal 2-1 Olympiakos: Clinical finishing seals important win
Thursday, 29th Sep 2011 18:01
Greek sides travel notoriously badly but they still came worryingly close to toppling a vulnerable Arsenal.
It was an even start to the contest but we had a good fluidity to our attacks and made our extra quality count with two early goals. First Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made a brilliant start to his Champions League career by latching on to Alex Song’s pass and expertly striking the ball with his left foot into the far corner. Then a slick passing move put the impressive Andre Santos clear, his cross was cleared but he picked up the rebound, cut inside, and beat the ‘keeper at his near post with a right foot strike. Two Arsenal players broke their duck and both with their weaker feet, a promising and clinical start.
They were our only two strikes on target in the first half and some truly abysmal defending, even by Arsenal’s standards, let Olympiakos back into the game before half time. They played a short corner and Oxlade-Chamberlain was the only player to react, they strolled up to the edge of our box, clipped a cross in to the centre of the box where absolutely no-one was positioned and the onrushing player, comically left by everyone’s favourite liability, Andrey Arshavin, planted a good header into the corner of the net. Wojciech Szczesny was fuming and the goal made a mockery of the suggestions that we had been concentrating more on defending in training. If we can’t react to a short corner then we have no hope of competing for major honours any time soon.
We tightened up in the second half and Olympiakos proved their limitations as they struggled to create any clear chances although they still managed to rattle the bar with a wonder strike from the edge of the area. Arsene Wenger completed his European touchline ban but he will be as concerned as many Arsenal fans are about the prospect of facing a rejuvenated Emmanuel Adebayor at White Hart Lane on Sunday. We now have three consecutive wins but confidence still appears to be fragile and a win on Sunday would be our most impressive derby victory since the manager took over.
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Photo: Action Images
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