Great win, but Arsenal are still underdogs to Qualify

Whose hands is Arsenal’s Champions eague place in? by OA

Last night, we saw a sensational team performance against a fairly lacklustre Zagreb team who beat us away. It was as though we turned a corner in the champions league, turning into the classic Arsenal sort of Champions League Group stage performance with the likes of Alexis, Ozil and Santi flourishing. The Bayern performance at home proved that we are a force but this demonstrated that we are a force to be reckoned with, a side that no-one wants to play against, a side by which if anyone switches off for a second, they will be forced to pay. The counter attacking style of play, pouncing off their corners and free kicks paid dividends as well as a solid possession performance and a combination of divine intricate play proving formidable.

Perhaps some clear positives from the game was the form of Alexis with his two goals, Ozil assisting yet again and even Joel Campbell taking on defenders and providing a killer pass to set up Alexis for his second for the night. This performance epitomised the Arsenal we love to see; the Arsenal we know and it portrays that we don’t mess around and we are in the Champions league to stay.

There were no negatives from the game; we kept a clean sheet and scored three goals and have now obtained a better goal difference than Olympiakos. This is great and I started on a positive note but is getting second place in the group in our hands or not?

Olympiakos are currently second in the group on 9 points, whereas we are on 6 points yet ahead of them on goal difference. In order to clinch second place it is vital that we beat Olympiakos but we can’t just win. We need to go to Greece and beat them by two goals, which is extremely difficult to do. We surely have the players and the talent to go there and achieve this but however good a team is, it is hard to breakdown a club that has ‘ten men behind the ball’ which is the way in which they will play against us. When we go to Greece, it is up to us to replicate the performance of last night and attack with drive, force, power and pace and then we have a chance of qualifying. When playing like this, we are unstoppable and this means that it is in our hands to go there and get a result. If we get the result, we go through.

However, Olympiakos are the home team, they are ahead of us and they have already demolished us on away goals. It is incredibly unlikely we will score three goals there or win 4-3. It is down to Olympiakos to not lose by two goals. The difference between the two teams is that Arsenal need one outcome which is to win by two goals, whereas Olympiakos will take almost all three outcomes (win, draw or lose 1-0). This means that the odds are still heavily stacked in their favour. They can sit back for a draw, push for a win and even take a loss by one goal. The chances are is that they will also score at home in front of their own fans so in general winning by two goals are very difficult and as Olympiakos are at home and are ahead of them, it is theirs to lose.

I’m not doubting Arsenal’s chances in this post but it isn’t in our hands. If we play our game in two weeks’ time we have a solid chance of making it through but in general we have nothing to lose, despite having tonnes of pressure whereas the side who has no pressure in Olympiakos have everything to lose, thus it being ore in their hands over who goes through the group stage.



  1. I have always said…..even through disappoints..there is something different with this squad. There is spirit, desire and hunger

    Yes we let 2 golden opportunities pass to go top, but 10 injuries!! imagine city had aguaro,silva,yaya,sterling and de bruyne injured?they wont be the same.

    Im glad ozil is proving his doubters wrong, and yes he is the best no 10 around right now…

    ramsey,ozil,walcot back in the squad in two weeks…that’s a huge boost.

    I think if flamini/chambers can just put in damn good shifts til Jan, we’ll still be in the top 3.

    im telling ya’ll again, once ramsey and theo is back in the starting 11….we gonna go on a winning streak…Gabriel should start games, yes Per has experience and is damn good…but paulita, especially teams with pace could be helpful

    Miss Francis already

    Good performance last night from the lads..

    keep it up Joel……

  2. Your totally wrong. This situation is the exact deffinition of the phrase “in our hands” because that means its upto us if we go through or not. You are right in saying we have to win by two goals. But we beat bayern we have beaten barcelona we have beaten everyone! We can do this, we will do this! Why would you even doubt players such as ozil or sanchez. Olympi will defend park the bus! But they are no chelsea of last season.

    We are actually having a really good season despite being nailed by injuries, this is by far the best araenal team we have had since the invincibles.


  3. Underdogs? Maybe because we don’t play at home. But we can pull this one if we keep humility. However, forget this one and focus on the game on Sunday because this one is more important now. We will go further in Europe no matter what the result. Olympiacos will surely not advance 16th and probably we won’t do it either but it will bring 4 mils in the bank anyway. Plus there is no guarantee we will make out of the round of 32 in EL either. Just win the game at Norwich and we will see it after.

  4. Why cant we do a Bayern avoidant them? Who says we cant? if Ozil,Sanchez and our attackers choose to turn up,we can get the early goals to kill them. If we get early goals not one goal…i bet they would try to attack us and leave their back its in our hands, Defence should do their thing, Cech is always doing his thing he knows what he wants.. Defence should try not to concede and not move forward with the team else they could hit us on the counter.. They have to share it so it’ll be easy, attack gotta show up. i prefer Gabriel in this match, we know he’s good and can be a team pusher,raise morals.. Giroud should start and we make sure we score early goals, Walcott coming in second half to hit them on the counter when they might leave their back exposed after conceding. we can get up to 3-4 goals in this match if we turn up we all know…come on we are capable, we shouldnt just eff up this one. We fans gotta be behind the team that day with extra strength..

  5. We will qualify baby please
    Olypiakos havent got Alexis, Ozil, Cazorla
    Olympiakos are excellent team and deserved to beat us
    It will be tough but we will get there in the end

  6. Guess Arsenal love been push to the wall, so I believe we gonna win against Olym, but my worry is that we find it difficult to reach certain margin, we couldn’t do it almost all the times I can remember. e.g
    Vs Milan the target was 4-0, we won 3-0
    Vs Bayern the target was 3-0, we won 2-0
    Vs Monaco the target was 2-0, we won 1-0
    And now the target is 2-0, Can we do it??? YES we can. Am fully confident but was I, #COYG let’s do it for once.

  7. No Oliver, it IS in our hands (in other words it doesn’t matter about the outcome of the other match).

    But I agree we are underdogs. Olympiakos and their fans would be hugely disappointed not to qualify from the position they’re in.

    Nevertheless it can happen. Best chance is if we rattle them with an early goal. But whatever, our own team’s mentality needs to be ice cool.

  8. Quick question: if we’re are ahead on goals scored already, why wont a 0-1 suffice next week?

    Match will be no walk in the park, but we need to advance from group stage, because sofar, we are the only team, this season that could beat Munich.

    1. Because in case of teams being equal on points the direct results will be taken into consideration. Which means the two legs will count just as a knock out game. Olympiakos won 3-2 at Arsenal. In order to advance Arsenal must win with 2 goals difference or one goal if they score more than 3 goals. If we beat 3-2 then we will win courtesy of goal difference in the group.


      1.higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question;
      2.superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams in question;
      3.higher number of goals scored in the group matches played among the teams in question;
      4.higher number of goals scored away from home in the group matches played among the teams in question;
      5.if, after having applied criteria 1 to 4, teams still have an equal ranking, criteria 1 to 4 are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the teams in question to determine their final rankings. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria 6 to 12 apply;
      6.superior goal difference in all group matches;
      7.higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
      8.higher number of away goals scored in all group matches;
      9.higher number of wins in all group matches;
      10.higher number of away wins in all group matches;
      11.lower disciplinary points total based only on yellow and red cards received in all group matches (red card = 3 points, yellow card = 1 point, expulsion for two yellow cards in one match = 3 points);
      12.higher club coefficient.

  9. Arsenal won and played well last night because it was a well balanced side. Flamini is a solod if not a spectacular cdm. Campbell is an experienced international forward who is starting to believe he is good enough to play for Arsenal. Hopefully, we won’t get any more injuries in key positions, or over play the rusty ones until there level of fitness is 100% match day fit. Ramsey’s return will be good as he will cover noth mid and wing positions as can the Ox. For me, however, if Wenger, allows last night’s team to gel and rotates sensibly those players just returning I think we still have a good chance in the ECL and EPL.

  10. We play to win in Greece. We have the firepower and as long as the ref is on his game we will win by 3 or 4 or 5. They have a big problem beacuse they don’t have discipline. Try to defend to a 1-0 loss is a very negative mind-set and establishes confusion. What if AFC score, do we try to attack? Some players will try to…some will listen to instruction…that creates gaps. We score in the 1st half and we have the game. I have no doubt in the normal scheme of things we will score at least 2 against Oly. Bring on the knock-outs!

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