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Arsenal 2-1 Olympiakos: Match Report

28 Sep 2011 22:05:36

Arsenal 2-1 Olympiakos: Match Report

Arsenal came through some nervy second-half moments to register their first Champions League Group F victory of the season with a 2-1 win over Olympiacos at the Emirates Stadium.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored on his Champions League debut and Andre Santos bagged his first Arsenal goal after 20 minutes, but David Fuster took advantage of the hosts' poor defending to head home and reduce the deficit to one goal just before the half hour.

Vassilis Torossidis rattled the Gunners' bar in the second half and Kevin Mirallas also came close to scoring for the Greeks, but Arsenal hung on to take all three points and they remain in second place in the group ahead of next month's trip to Marseille.

After a positive start by the Greeks, who had lost all of their nine previous European ties in England, with Fuster sidefooting wide, Arsenal went ahead in the eighth minute.

Alex Song, dropped back into central defence because of mounting injury problems, chipped the ball up to the edge of the Olympiacos area, where Oxlade-Chamberlain was onto it like a flash, before making the most of a ricochet off Ivan Marcano to cut inside and then drive a low shot into the bottom right corner.

Arsenal, though, were fortunate not to concede a quick equaliser when Mikel Arteta had to clear Rafik Djebbour's close-range effort off the line.

The Gunners looked to have given themselves some breathing space when Santos doubled their lead on 20 minutes.

The Brazil full-back, signed ahead of the deadline from Fenerbache, burst down the left before crossing to Marouane Chamakh. Jose Holebas made a saving tackle in the six-yard box, but the loose ball fell back to Santos, who turned Ivan Marcano before rolling his shot inside the near post.

It should have been cruise control from then on in for Arsene Wenger's men, but this season, nothing is that simple.

Arsenal failed to defend a short corner, and Ariel Ibagaza pumped the ball back into the penalty area, where Fuster arrived unmarked to plant a header past the stranded Wojciech Szczesny.


PA

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