Brilliant team performances helps us dig ourselves out of a hole! by KM
Well it was that night again for Arsenal. The one that in the past five years that was usually in late February or early March, where we had to do the improbable. As history goes we underestimated some of the games and we had a mountain to climb, but this time Olympiakos was not just sitting in the clouds.
We did it this time. And football is often about how quickly can you forget the mistakes and grab the chances in front of you and yesterday I saw a team that sat by its words. We were on the ropes, but we responded with a brilliant hat-trick from Giroud. What a time for your first one, hey?
On to the game, it started with a home storm coming our way, which we weathered and as time passed by we managed to find our feet. Campbell made a good run with a great ball to Flamini, who did ever so well to stretch to it, but the crossbar denied us, but soon afterwards we were ahead.
Ozil made another unbelievable pass to Ramsey whose cross found the head of Giroud and the goalkeeper made a mess of it on the near post to give us the lead. In all fairness this was the bit of luck that Olympiacos had against us and Zagreb in all of the games, which this time was paid back in full, and that goal made it as the only one through the interval.
The second half started with Giroud falling to the ground giving all Arsenal fans a heart attack, but the guy stepped it off and 50 seconds after coming back, found himself of the end of a lovely Joel Campbell hold up (after another Ozil pass) and Giroud’s run paid off in a second goal!
Petr Cech was to the rescue after a lovely effort of a Greek player, but the tides had turned, and Monreal with another sublime game, helped us on to a penalty, which Giroud slotted home to make amends for his dismissal in Zagreb.
This win is a huge sigh of relief for everyone around Arsenal. I prefer if we don’t leave it like this each year, but we for once refused to give up, and after beating and losing to each team in our group we finished second behind Bayern Munich.
Interestingly enough we scored in each of our group stage games and won all our games where we didn’t concede, so if we deploy Cech on goal and make it tight at the back, we’ll be up for it against any side!
For me the circumstances make the win all the more important. We had no Sanchez, no Coquelin and Cazorla, and we were under huge pressure. Just look at the rape-fest that Louis Van Gaal has to weather for United’s group stage dismissal.
It was so important to win and show Europe that England is not yet a fading force. The media will slaughter any English club if it fails to deliver. As it stands the draw features Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Zenit and Wolfsburg.
Not the greatest lot to chose from, but apart from Barcelona and depending on the form of Real the other teams are ones we’d have a decent chance to beat. As ever thought, the most important game is always the next one and we have an away day at Aston Villa of all teams.
Make no mistake, they’ll be up for a challenge, because they either start putting points on the table or they either welcome the Championship. It’s time for a well deserved rest for the players. This time they really pulled one off.
Have a supreme week!