Arsenal defeated in Greece as winless run continues
Arsenal's winless run continued as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Olympiacos to miss out on seeding for the knockout stage of the Champions League.
With qualification already secure ahead of the last Group B tie, manager Arsene Wenger had elected to leave several first team regulars behind as 20-year-old defender Jernade Meade made his European debut.
Although Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky fired the English side ahead after 38 minutes, the Greeks fought back through a somewhat controversial effort by Giannis Maniatis and a well-taken strike from substitute Kostas Mitroglou to leave Wenger facing more questions about the direction of his team - who have now not won in the last four games.
Rosicky, fit again following a long injury lay-off, fed a quick pass on to Marouane Chamakh in the penalty area, but the ball got stuck under the Moroccan's feet before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drilled a low effort across the face of goal.
On 17 minutes, Arsenal got away on the counter through Oxlade-Chamberlain in the right channel, and his deep cross was headed down by Chamakh.
The ball bounced off a defender into the path of Aaron Ramsey, but the Wales midfielder mistimed his kick with a goal there for the taking. At the other end, Olympiacos captain Vassilis Torossidis saw his powerful downward header hacked off the line.
It was Arsenal, though, who took the lead on 38 minutes. The ball was worked to Gervinho out on the right, and for once the Ivory Coast forward showed good close control to weave into the penalty area, before cutting a pass back to the penalty spot - where Rosicky arrived on cue to sweep in his first goal since March 2012.
Rosicky was replaced for the start of the second half by Andrey Arshavin, although that could well have been tactical rather than enforced via another injury scare. The Russian darted away down the left on 54 minutes as Chamakh was released on the near side, but the Moroccan's floated ball across the penalty area was just too high and Arshavin's header went over.
Gunner goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was incandescent with rage 10 minutes later when the ball was only half-cleared and Djamel Abdoun lofted it back into the penalty area, where Maniatis bundled his shot in on off the far post to equalise.
Olympiacos were ahead on 73 minutes, when substitute Mitroglou turned on the edge of the penalty area before curling a fine effort past Szczesny into the bottom corner.
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