Arsenal played Olympiacos in 2nd leg of the Europa League knock-out match in the Round of 16. Arsenal already had an advantage in the first leg where they won by 3-1 in an away match. The Gunners had three away goals enough to hold the tie in their favor.
Mikel Arteta started a more defensive team and tried to hold the first-leg advantage. But surprisingly lost the match 1-0 to Olympiacos. Arsenal had moments in the match especially the captain had one of the best moments to lead in the first half. Here we analyze four key moments in the match.
Four things spotted from Arsenal vs Olympiacos
1. Mikel Arteta is developing a good culture at Arsenal
There was an incident during the game which involved a clash between former Gunner Sokratis and Emile Smith Rowe. Smith Rowe’s shot rebounded off of Sokratis and hit the forward on his face.
Both players received treatment from their physios and luckily no one was hurt. But it was Sokratis’s gesture for Smith Rowe which highlighted something important. The defender went on to check on his former teammate after which both players went their ways.
This gives us a small insight into the ethical atmosphere around the Arsenal squad. Sokratis was very much active in helping the youth players out and the mutual respect is there from the younger generation too.
2. It’s probably time to find a replacement for David Luiz
David Luiz has regularly featured as a first choice center back for Mikel Arteta. However, it looks like his age is finally catching up to him. The defender isn’t having a very good season and has shown some fragile moments in the league.
Against Olympiacos Luiz had a hard time against their striker Youssef El-Arabi. Arabi was beating Luiz for pace for almost the entirety of the game and the defender looked pretty tired at the end of the match.
3. Odegaard stepping up for Arsenal
Martin Odegaard has been a very impressive signing for Mikel Arteta. Odegaard has had an instant impact on the Gunners as he bulldozed his way into the first team for Arteta. Arsenal will hope that Odegaard would have the same case as Ceballos.
The player also scored the equalizer against Tottenham in Arsenal’s victory. Even in yesterday’s fixture, Odegaard was making a difference with his clever little movements and creative passing.
The player was full of running and was urging his teammates to keep the tempo up when they were down. Odegaard is one player who will now play an important part in reviving Arsenal’s season.
4. Bellerin showing signs of frustration for his teammates
Hector Bellerin is one of the senior players in the squad for Arteta now and a regular for his first team. But Bellerin was showing signs of frustration in the game against Olympiacos as his teammates weren’t there providing help.
The right back made a spectacular run at the 10th minute mark getting past 3 Olympiacos defenders but there was just no support available for him. This hints at the lack of a fluidity in Arsenal’s attack.
This was his statement as per a report from football London. ‘What am I meant to do there? No options’. The Gunners need to do better offensively as the next few games will be crucial for any hopes of finishing strong.
Arsenal faces West Ham and Liverpool next in the Premier League and now is the time to prove their mettle. If the club is able to win their next 2 games it will become really tight outside the top 4 and we’ll have an exciting finale on our hands.