Arsenal crashed out of the UEFA Europa League last night after Olympiacos defeated them 2-1 (AGG: 2-2) in the extra time and this loss has hurt everyone associated with the club so much because it looked like this would be the club’s best route of a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League. The gunners got knocked out due to the away goals rule since the game had ended 2-2 on aggregate.
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta started with the same squad that played against Everton with only Bukayo Saka coming in to replace injured Sead Kolasinac and Eddie Nketiah making way for experienced Alexandre Lacazette. The gunners came into this match with a lot of confidence and arrogance because they were leading by one goal on the aggregate, and this cost the North Londoners a lot as their complacency helped Olympiacos get back into the game.
After the first half ended 0-0, the visitors gained more confidence and their determination finally paid off after their giant centre back Cisse headed the ball into the back of the net and despite the introduction of Lucas Torreira and Joe Willock, the gunners still failed to get an equaliser before the second half ended. The extra time made things difficult for the gunners as you’d expect because the team was obviously exhausted but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looked to have won it for Arsenal in the 113th minute thanks to a fantastic finish but the heart killer was just a few minutes away.
As the extra time was about come to an end, Bernd Leno received a back pass from Granit Xhaka and he panicked and gave away a needless corner. The corner was cleared but the ball landed to an Olympiacos player and he then sent in a cross and El-Arabi flicked the ball into the back of the net to send the Greek side to the UEFA Europa League round of 16. To make things worse, Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a big chance to put the tie back in Arsenal’s favour in the last seconds of the game but he however missed. Mikel Arteta loses his first European tie and he will now have a huge job of trying to rally his squad to fight for a top four finish.