Arsenal have confirmed their place in the Europa League quarter-finals despite losing 1-0 in the second leg of their round of 16 with Olympiacos.
Arsenal headed for the game with a 3-1 advantage from the first leg. Olympiacos would have to tie their three away goals for a chance to reverse the tie.
The Greek side got the better of the Gunners that night, but not by a big enough margin. Arsenal progressed with an aggregate victory of 3-2.
Olympiacos sent Arsenal a signal of intent early on, when Youssef El-Arabi came in behind the defense and forced a save from Bernd Leno.
At the other end, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – restored to starting lineup after weekend disciplinary issue – saw the goal, but pushed the ball over the bar.
Towards the end of the half there was a chance for Emile Smith Rowe. However, his curly effort was within comfortable reach for Jose Sa.
There was a wake-up call for the Gunners shortly after the break. El-Arabi chose the lower corner to give the lead to Olympiacos in the evening.
The Olympiacos forward ensured that he scored in both ends of the draw, as well as in the same match last season.
4 – Olympiakos striker Youssef El-Arabi is only the fourth player to score in three consecutive games against Arsenal in a major European competition, after Lionel Messi (March 2016), Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski (both in March 2017). Business. #UEL pic.twitter.com/LxtRdyUJuj
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 18, 2021
The outside side still had a mountain to climb, but they gave Arsenal more to think about than the hosts would have liked.
The Gunners could have recovered to a more comfortable position when Aubameyang ran head-to-head with Sa. However, as he tried to dink the Olympiacos goalkeeper, his effort was wide.
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Olympiacos finish with 10 men
Things got worse for the team trying to cut the overall deficit when a red card was shown to Ousseyno Ba. Receiving two yellow cards in the same passage of play for fault and dissent, he received his marching orders. He was reduced to tears in the tunnel.
This only added to the arduous task Olympiacos had to face to reverse the result, and Arsenal maintained their overall lead.
They could have increased it, but Aubameyang was once again upset. Even so, they still progressed to the last eight.