WTTGT Reporter: Tashan Deniran-Alleyne
ARSENAL 2 – 1 OLYMPIAKOS
Arsenal warmed up with for their huge North London derby on Sunday with a much welcomed win over Greek side Olympiacos in their second Champions League group game of the season, after overcoming some lapse defending in the first half to see out a 2-1 victory.
With one eye on the Tottenham game on Sunday, the Gunners made several changes from the weekend with Robin van Persie dropped to the bench. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Emmanuel Frimpong both started alongside Andre Santos, Tomas Rosicky and Andrei Arshavin.
Like Saturday, it was the away team who had the first attempt at goal when David Fuster sliced a cut back wide of the target. It sprung Arsenal into life and on seven minutes youngster Chamberlain marked his Champions League debut with a well taken goal to give the Gunners the perfect start.
But the visitors almost hit back when Mikel Arteta was forced to make a terrific goal line clearance to prevent an equaliser as Arsenal’s slack defending gave the Greek side confidence. Though the old saying goes ‘attack is the best form of defence’ proved to be true as another new signing, Andre Santos, neatly slotted home as his initial cross was cut out. The home side were on top and almost got a third but Marouane Chamakh failed to hit the target.
As is always the case with Arsenal, poor defending brought a goal for the visitors as a short corner caught them cold resulting in a free header for Fuster to reduce the deficit. Then barely a minute later Szczensy was called upon to prevent an equaliser.
As the first half drew to a close the Greek team looked dangerous and showed they were capable of capitalising on any mistakes.
The second half started with both teams going close firstly Kevin Mirallas saw his long range strike fly just wide, before Chamberlain was denied by Costanzo from close range. Vasillis Torosidis saw his curled effort come back off the crossbar for Olympiacos, before substitute Aaron Ramey fed Arshavin but was denied a clincher.
Arsenal managed to see out the rest of the game with minimal fuss to secure their third consecutive win to keep the momentum going and build confidence ahead of the crucial derby on Sunday.
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