Martin Odegaard’s last goal was for Real Sociedad on February 13, 2020
Mikel Arteta says his Arsenal side must stop being their worst enemy after defensive rounds undermined their last 16 Europa League first leg win against Olympiakos.
While Martin Odegaard’s opener paved the way for their win, known mistakes at the back added to the level of the Greek champions and made life uncomfortable until Gabriel and Mohamed Elneny’s late goals swung the competition back in Arsenal’s favor.
“We have to be very clear and honest with ourselves. We gave the opponent three chances, they took one and at that level they will punish you,” said Arteta.
“If we want to go to the next level we have to stop and be more ruthless. If we are that dominant we have to end the games.”
David Luiz and Odegaard’s casual game had gone without a penalty, but Arsenal weren’t so lucky when Bernd Leno got substitute Dani Ceballos into trouble and Youssef El Arabi equalized.
It contributed to a litany of recent mistakes, with Arsenal guilty of conceding soft goals Burnley and Benfica in fixtures in the last month.
“The goals and opportunities we have given come from ourselves,” added Arteta.
“That’s positive because if we stop doing it we will get stronger. The reality is we have to stop it immediately. It’s my responsibility. I let them play the way we want to play it. I just understand the risk and the profit. ”
Fortunately for Arteta, three valuable away goals mean his team is well positioned to avoid repetition dramatic outcome to Olympiacos last term.
In general, he’ll also be happy with a display where Arsenal scored multiple early openings and took the lead thanks to Odegaard’s powerful 20-yard drive.
The Norwegian midfielder could have opened the scoring earlier and perhaps with a left-footed shot, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was also denied a goal when home goalkeeper Jose Sa headed his head on the crossbar.
And while the Gunners didn’t run away with the game, their determination showed at Karaiskakis Stadium for the second time in less than a month.
Twelve minutes after El Arabi missed a chance to give the hosts the lead, Gabriel towered over his marker to go into Willian’s right corner and Elneny’s belated attempt added the glamor it deserved.
“Anything can happen” – what they said
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta in conversation with BT Sport: “We started the game very well, we were very dominant and we created a lot of opportunities.
“We gave them one goal by trying to play from behind but then we reacted well to score two more goals. Overall a really positive result, but we have to stop making the mistakes, the goals cost because we can’t stand it. “
“This is half-time and anything can happen. Full focus and we’ll start again 0-0 in the second leg and try to win the game.”
Willian again the provider – the statistics
- Arsenal have won eight of their nine Europa League games this season (D1) and are the competition’s top scorer with 27 goals.
- Having won the first three home games with Arsenal in all competitions, Olympiakos has now lost the last three home games to the Gunners at home.
- Willian has provided Arsenal with more assists in all competitions than any other player this season (7), including preparing all three Gabriel goals for the Gunners.
- All four of Mohamed Elneny’s goals for Arsenal were scored in European competition (1x Champions League, 3x Europa League), three of them from outside the penalty area.
- Martin Odegaard’s goal in the first half was his first goal for Arsenal. The Gunners have had more Europa League goalscorers than any other team this season (14).
- No player has made more mistakes this season that resulted in a Europa League goal than Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos (2). The Spaniard’s two mistakes occurred in his last two games (also against Benfica).
- Olympiakos’s Youssef El-Arabi has scored a goal in his last two Europa League games against Arsenal. His two goals against the Gunners account for 50% of his total number in the competition.
1Malheiro de Sá
27Tué Na Bangna5Bouchalakis4thCamara19thMasouras
- 1Malheiro de Sá
- 6thM’VilaBooked at 22 minutes
- 45ReabciukReplaced byHolebasat the 45 ‘protocol
- 27Tué Na BangnaReplaced byRandjelovicat the 59 ‘protocol
- 5BouchalakisBooked at 37 minutes
- 19thMasourasReplaced byAndroutsosat the 86 ‘protocol
- 28ValbuenaReplaced byFortounisat the 45 ‘protocol
- 11El ArabiReplaced byHassan Mahgoubat the 77 ‘protocol
- 9Hassan Mahgoub
- 23David Luiz
- 6thGabrielBooked at 43 minutes
- 18thpartyReplaced byCeballosat the 55 ‘protocol
- 7thSaysReplaced byGrandpaat the 82 ‘protocol
- 11ØdegaardReplaced bySmith Roweat the 82 ‘protocol
- 12thWillianReplaced byElnenyat the 82 ‘protocol
- 14thAubameyangReplaced byLacazetteat the 88 ‘protocol
- 17thCédric Soares
- 32Smith Rowe
End of the game, Olympiakos 1, Arsenal 3.
The second half ends, Olympiakos 1, Arsenal 3.
Corner, arsenal. The corner was caused by Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Missed attempt. Nicolas Pépé (Arsenal) right footed shot from the center of the box is high and wide to the right. Prepared by Alexandre Lacazette.
Substitution, Arsenal. Alexandre Lacazette is replacing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Substitution, Olympiacos. Thanasis Androutsos replaces Giorgos Masouras.
Goal! Olympiakos 1, Arsenal 3. Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal) shot a right footed shot into the lower right corner from outside the box. Prepared by Gabriel Magalhães.
Substitution, Arsenal. Nicolas Pépé replaces Bukayo Saka.
Substitution, Arsenal. Emile Smith Rowe replaces Martin Ødegaard.
Substitution, Arsenal. Mohamed Elneny replaces Willian.
Goal! Olympiakos 1, Arsenal 2. Gabriel Magalhães (Arsenal) header from the center of the penalty area into the lower right corner. Assisted by Willian with a cross following a corner.
Corner, arsenal. The corner was caused by Andreas Bouchalakis.
Attempt blocked. Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Prepared by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Substitution, Olympiacos. Ahmed Hassan Mahgoub replaces Youssef El-Arabi.
Willian (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Youssef El-Arabi (Olympiacos).
Missed attempt. Willian’s left-footed shot from outside the box is too high. Prepared by Martin Ødegaard.
Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Youssef El-Arabi (Olympiacos).
Foul by Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal).