Lucky Arsenal get yet another clean sheet at Olympiakos

It was always going to be tough going to Greece last night, but Arsenal can hold their heads high after coming away with a clean sheet and an away goal to hold us in good stead for the return leg.

Mikel Arteta was pleased with the win, but admitted that we did not get the start he wanted. He told Arsenal.com: “It is tough to come to a stadium like this, away in Europe, and get a win and there were a few lessons in the game for us, and some great things for our development as a team. The first 10 to 15 minutes we suffered because we didn’t do the things that we talked about, and didn’t execute the simple things. We had a situation to completely break on them and we kept giving simple balls away. In many moments it did not allow us to have the continuity to travel with the ball and play in the opposition half more.”

But we weathered the storm, and Arteta was pleased with another clean sheet, our third in a row, and very pleased with the team effort. “I was telling them that they have to enjoy defending as well, it is a big part of the game and like tonight, if you give simple balls away, you better run back and get that ball back as quick as possible. They played with a big heart, I saw a lot of big effort and instead of splitting it joins together really quickly. The wide players before used to have different behaviours, now they are tracking back everybody. I think we are doing a lot of work to try to stay as compact as possible in many situations when we don’t have it, and I am pleased with that because it is big part.

“We are really pleased, obviously we talked about turning draws into wins but it doesn’t matter if it’s home or away, we have to do it together, so it is great advert for the team to believe that we can go away and get a result that we got tonight.”

“In the first 10 minutes, maybe I agree with you that we were lucky. Then I think they were very lucky in the last 20 minutes because we could have scored two or three. We hit the bar and then had another few open chances to score. There are different sides to the story in this game.

We were hardly convincing but the home crowd was intimidating to say the least. Arteta was impressed with the Olympiacos supporters effect on the match. “Fantastic. Fantastic. It’s an incredible atmosphere and you should be very proud of what you have here. We have a fantastic atmosphere in the UK but this is at least as good or even better than many stadiums. It does affect you, yes. When the crowd generates energy, football is about emotion and that transmits to the players. You have to build with that. It’s not easy for opponents.”

So we are well poised to progress to the last 16 in a couple of weeks time if we can carry on our defensive improvement. It wasn’t the most exhilarating game, but we did the job and got another clean sheet and you can’t ask for more than that…

4 Comments

  1. SueP says:

    Arteta made an honest assessment of the game. The first 15 minutes was worrying but bit by bit Arsenal got into the game. The build up to the goal was excellent and great goalkeeping and defensive work kept yet another clean sheet. Marvellous. Lucky initially but did well after

    Mentioning the atmosphere in the ground was a big hint to what he hopes happens back at the Emirates

  2. Sue says:

    Makes a change for us to have some luck – long may it continue 😁

  3. jon fox says:

    Excuse me Admin Pat, BUT why LUCKY Arsenal? The game I watched was a deserved win for us, after a sticky 20 mins start and we deserved more than a one goal win. So cut the daft “lucky” headline and adopt some honesty in your headline descriptions please!

    MA even admitted to a lucky opening 10 mins , NOT 90 MINUTES, PLEASE NOTE! He also said OUR OPPONENTS WERE LUCKY FOR TWICE THAT LONG. Your headline reads more like something a curmudgeon like Paul Scholes would say than that of a proper Arsenal fan. A disappointing comment from you therefore Why not come on here in person then and tell us if you HONESTLY think we were “LUCKY” to win, as your headline RATHER ODDLY indicates? I challenge you!
    Of course dishonest headlines are commonly used by downmarket tabloids to attract buyers and then you find the story inside is quite different from the headline. Hope you think that is a bit shady, as I DO and I suggest so might many others too.

  4. Tom says:

    Keown is someone I like as a man and ex footballer but I feel he isnt accessing arsenal fairly at the moment. Maybe he is trying to ease too much praise on arsenal as there is alot of work to do.

    On the game, it was controlled measured and at times old bad arsenal. But we havent lost the old bad arsenal suddenly. It will take it’s time as expected.

    Even without being 100% arsenal have won another game since the break.

    Laca scoring was huge again for us. His other 2 chances he should of scored the last of them But he is scoring and will pull on his years of experience to keep on scoring.

    We do need a bit more resolution to our midfield makeup. Toerrira Gendouzi Xhaka and then Cellabos Willock Ozil. I will be interested to see if Toerrira plays on sunday. He hasn’t featured yet since the winter break.

    I want to see more creativity in there. Ozil Cellabos need to offer this.

    Martinelli had a good experience in his role yesterday with his usual busy self. Communication I see is required as part of his development, notably language. But hes doing the right things with his football.

    Another is Saka. I would say the best teenager in the world at the moment. Bis movement his intelligence of knowing which areas to attack and when, his crossing ability and his scoring ability is only going to get better.

    I still think one day our front line can be Saka Martinelli Pepe (left back being Tierney). With a support case of skilled season pros.

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