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Olympiacos won the match because they had more fighting spirit than Arsenal

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Arsenal’s rebate explained and opposition analysis: Can Arsenal bounce back 

Arsenal need to learn to stick the ball in the back of the net, and win when it matters. There was a match against AFC Monaco during Arsene Wenger’s reign and what happened in that fixture very much embodied the match against Olympiacos. All the Gunners needed was a goal and it came much too late. Arsenal had the ball most of the match against Olympiakos but failed to have any shots on target in a baffling performance.

Apparently season ticket holders will be refunded because of Arsenals elimination from the cup, that would leave Arsenal fans without matches to view, this is according to the Evening Standard, Simon Collins said: “So the rebate is due because fans can no longer watch seven home cup games at the Emirates – as per their season ticket. The exact amount each fan is due will depend on their seat, as some season tickets are more expensive than others. The club are still in the process of finalising this, but initial estimations suspect it’ll average out at about £50 per person. Fans can either take the cash – or use it to make their season ticket next year cheaper. It’s a loss for Arsenal, but it’s worth noting last year there were eight home cup games as Arsenal made the Europa League semi-final, so that does ease the loss.”

For all his flair and ability Pepe was making the wrong pass instead of passing easy balls, and at half time Arsenal still hadn’t had a shot on target. Fielding a strong team did not benefit Arsenal as it appeared Arteta attempted to flummox the opposition with a tactical change, but it back fired as Arsenal played in the manner they had won the game already. Now Arsenal just have the Premier League to focus on and a tricky fixture on Monday away at Portsmouth. 

In a preview article before last night’s match (Thursday), Gunners Town writer Mike Mcdonald interviewed @Olympiacosfr, a fan from France called Martial through his twitter channel. Mike quoted the ardent Olympiacos fan about the team’s perceived strengths versus Arsenal. 

Martial said in Mike’s preview: “ Strengths: The connection between Valbuena and El Arabi.

The diminutive Matieu Valbuena has much European and international experience with the French National team and currently has 18 assists with El Arabi on 22 goals. The return to fitness of Fortounis is a particular threat out wide. The connections between Valbuena and El Arabi are evident at set plays too.

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El Arabi Winner

This preview was almost exactly what happened in the game. Martial’s foresight showed Arsenals’s frailties at dealing with crosses and corners, although Valbuena was seen to be very quiet. However, in my opinion Valubuena dragged all the Arsenal markers to cover him and leading to counter chances for Olympiacos

Following the disappointing fixture for Arsenal fans, I interviewed Martial @Olympiacosfr in a follow up to see what their fan base thought. Martial said: 

“Concerning the tactics, it was more defensive than that comparatively to the first game by Olympiacos. Martins used his 4-3-3, and it explains why Valbuena was less “visible” compared to the game in Greece. But it was a very good choice, because Arsenal were very poor with the ball, and we managed to score at the right time. We had to defend well, very well, and we did it. We also had several opportunities, but at the end I would say that the qualification is well deserved, even if we were very close to leaving the competition after Aubameyang’s goal.”

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Lazy

Martial added: 

“Even if Arteta picked a very strong team, for me he should not have chosen Ozil, because he has become too “lazy” to be at any European level, even against a Greek team (which is not the best level in Europe, by far), and it cost them the game. But the real issue with Arsenal is the defence. You can’t do anything with that, you can’t have any European ambition with those central defenders, including Sokratis.”

“It also lacks a lot of fighting spirit, i would say we won the game with this, and maybe only this.”

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