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3 October 2012
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: S. Moen
• Attendance: 60034
Y. Gervinho 42'
L. Podolski 56'
A. Ramsey 90'+
K. Mitroglou 45'
And that's full time! Arsenal deserved those three points for their performance after the break. They took a while to get going, but goals from Gervinho, Podolski and Ramsey eventualy settled it.
90' + 4'
Assist Olivier Giroud
90' + 4'
Goal Aaron Ramsey
GOAL! You won't see an Arsenal goal like this very often. Mannone's goal-kick is flicked on by Giroud, and Ramsey runs in to chip it past the standing goalkeeper. Game, set and match Arsenal.
90' + 2'
Coquelin looks to have tweaked a muscle, but he's staying on as we run out of time.
90' + 1'
Into stoppage time, and Arsenal are looking comfortable. Olympiakos look to have run out of ideas.
So unlucky for Arsenal. Great link-up play as Ramsey, fresh off the bench, finds Cazorla with a back-heel. The Spaniard crosses for Olivier Giroud, and his shot is deflected wide when on-course for the back of the net.
Walcott unlucky as he tries to thread Cazorla through in the area. You sense everything is just a little bit off for Arsenal tonight, but it looks like they'll be grinding a win out of it.
Giroud almost seals the win. It's a great cross from Walcott, but the French striker can only get the slightest touch on the ball, and can't direct it past Megyeri.
There's a bit of a tense air around the stadium at the moment, with only 10 minutes to go, but the Gunners defence have looked reasonably comfortable.
A couple of substitutions have made the game slightly disjointed, but Olmpiakos are definitely growing into the match. That is, until the Gunners break down the right. Walcott's cross almost reaches Podolski, but Megyeri gets down well to cut it out.
Olympiakos are risking a few more players forward now, but they've only been able to force routine saves so far in the second half.
Mannone gives us his version of a dodgy keeper, letting the ball slip through his feet for a corner before almost fluffing the catch from the set-piece.
From the resulting free-kick, Koscielny knocks his free header over the bar from about six yards out. Should have been three.
Yellow Card P. Contreras
Oxlade-Chamberlain is cynically taken down by Pablo Contreras and he is booked. That challenge was... contrary... to the rules of the game.
Arsenal are certainly looking better in the second half. Perhaps Steve Bould has his own version of Sir Alex Ferguson's hair-dryer? They definitely could have used it after the first half, it was raining extremely heavily, but that seems to have let up for now.
Goal Lukas Podolski
GOAL! Great work from Gervinho, getting down the wing and eventually finding Podolski in the box, who sweeps a shot at goal. Megyeri could have perhaps done better again, the shot hit his foot and went underneath him.
Mitroglou lets fly from 30 yards, but it flies wide of the target. Mannone had it well covered though.
It should be 2-1 to Arsenal. Gervinho finds the ball at his feet on the side of the area, and finds Cazorla 15 yards out in the centre, but he places his shot wide.
Coquelin goes down after taking an (accidental) forearm to the face. He's okay though, and the game continues.
And Arsenal kick-off.
The players are back out, and about to get us underway.
So what to make of the first half? Arsenal haven't really created much, but it wouldn't be a problem if they were defending properly. Per Mertesacker's absence through injury is looking a fairly large loss for the Gunners, with Thomas Vermaelen making some strange passes and Laurent Koscielny riding his luck with a challenge that earned him a booking.
45' + 2'
And that is half-time! It was all looking good for Arsene Wenger's side heading into the break, but that sucker punch is probably what Olympiakos deserve. They haven't exactly forced much, but Arsenal's sloppiness is really beginning to tell.
Assist Leandro Greco
Goal Konstantinos Mitroglou
GOAL! It's a simple, simple goal for the visitors. There is no pressure on the cross from the left by Greco, and Mitroglou glances a header into the far corner. A very nice goal, but the Gunners shouldn't have allowed that to happen.
A terrible pass from Vermaelen across the defence gives the ball away to Machado, and suddenly Olymiakos have two-on-two, but rather than try and find a way around the defence, Machado shoots from distance and it's fairly comfortable for Mannone.
Assist Mikel Amatrian Arteta
GOAL! Cazorla does really well down the left wing, finding Gibbs, who pulls the ball back into the centre of the pitch. Arteta blocks an attempted clearance to Gervinho, and the striker finds the bottom corner from the edge of the area. Think Megyeri was pretty slow to get down there, could have done better.
Vermaelen gives away another unnecessary free-kick, hacking down Machado around 25 yards out. The midfielder picks himself from the floor, and though his curling effort does beat the wall nicely, it's pretty much down the centre and easy for Mannone.
Olympiakos should be ahead. It's a great ball in from Maniatis, and Machado gets on the end of his cross inside the six-yard box, but it flies over. A let-off for Arsenal.
Mannone is forced into a decent stop, getting down low to his left. Still all square though at the Emirates.
Yellow Card Laurent Koscielny
Ooh, nasty tackle from Koscielny. He's gone in high, and earned himself a yellow card. If the Olympiakos man hadn't seen that one coming, the Gunners defender could have been sent off there.
Arsenal are getting closer, but still haven't really tested Megyeri bar that free-kick from wide that Cazorla sent in. A little disappointing for Gunners fans.
Arsenal have a couple of corners in a row, but can't get any goal-bound efforts.
Mitroglou has the first effort at goal, a fairly weak header that Mannone picks up safely.
Santi Cazorla shows some absolutely great feet on the wing to get past a couple of challenges, and earns a free-kick The Gunners take it short and it comes to nothing, though.
Olympiakos break well down the right, but the cross is cleared by Vermaelen. Maniatis then goes down after taking a knee to the back of the head, but he's fine after a little lie down.
Cazorla forces a good save from Megyeri from a free-kick after Gibbs was dragged back on the left-wing.
A couple of early corners from the Gunners, and they are definitely on top so far. Dominating possession as you would expect, and forcing the defence under a bit of pressure, but no real chances so far.
Gibbs keeps in a Santi Cazorla cross well, but just can't get between defender and goalkeeper to force in a shot on goal.
But in other news, the rain is absolutely leathering down at the Emirates. Oxlade-Chamberlain is hounding down the Olympiakos defence whenever they have the ball, and he has won it back well twice so far.
Arsenal are lucky there. Major miscommunication between Mannone and Vermaelen from a goal-kick, and as the ball rolls to the Olympiakos attack, the Gunners defence just manage to crowd them out for a corner. Silly from the hosts.
They take it short and Gibbs knocks it into Podolski, but the German striker just can't get it under control in the box.
Pretty quiet stuff so far, Arsenal content to knock it around 10 yards inside their own half, but they are stepping the tempo up a bit and have a free-kick.
And Olympiakos get us underway...
We're about five minutes away from kick-off now, and the teams are about to leave the tunnel, ready for the Champions League evening. Arsene Wenger is in the stands, still serving his suspension, so Steve Bould takes over on the touchline once again.
Here are those teams in full: Arsenal: Mannone; Jenkinson, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Coquelin, Arteta, Cazorla; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, Podolski. Subs: Shea, Santos, Djourou, Arshavin, Ramsey, Walcott, Giroud. Olympiakos: Megyeri; Diakite, Manolas, Contreras, Holebas; Maniatis, Siovas; Greco, David Fuster, Paulo Machado; Mitroglou. Subs: Carroll, Modesto, Lykogiannis, Ibagaza, Abdoun, Pantelic, Diogo.
An interesting selection from Arsene Wenger, sticking with the same defence that conceded twice to Chelsea at the weekend. Oxlade-Chamberlain is deployed on the right-wing with Francis Coquelin coming into central midfield for the injured Abou Diaby. And Theo Walcott is on the bench after he stated at the weekend that he wants to be playing in a central striker's role.
Good evening, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! coverage of Arsenal vs Olympiakos! This should be a closer game than most people think, with the sides having faced each other in two previous group stages, with each side winning twice. Next up, some team news...
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