Arsene Wenger’s new look Arsenal kept the same formation, but with some unfamiliar players. As expected, they started with plenty of energy and the Greek side knew they were going to be in a game. Jernade Meade at left back did not look out of place when called on early on, and Gervinho was inches away from finding Chamakh in front of goal after six minutes.
Arsenal were showing impressive spirit and linking up pretty well. Ramsey should have put us in the lead after 15 minutes after good work from the Ox and Chamakh, but he couldn’t get a shot off with his wrong foot, but it was encouraging stuff. Vermaelen knew he had to marshall his team and he made some great early tackles when Olympiakos got in good positions.
In an open half, Arsenal were holding their own and after nearly getting in a couple of times we took the lead. Rosicky produced a great finish after great work from Gervinho and Ramsey (I know). So at half-time with no score in France Arsenal were sitting top of the group and I owed Wenger an apology.
Arshavin replaced Rosicky for the second half, and the Gunners had a solid start. After 10 minutes Arshavin and Chamakh needed to be in each others’ positions when the Moroccan put a tempting ball on to the Russians head. The problem with Gervinho is his inconsistency, and he dwelt on the ball it nearly led to an equalizer. Then with a great touch he set up Arshavin who nearly scored asecond for the Gunners.
Olympiacos were building pressure and it finally told after they were awarded a corner which Szczesny was adamant should have been a goal kick. More luck went the way of the home side as the ball fell to Maniatis to level. The home side were after the win and brought on the Greek international striker Mitroglou who then scored with a great curling shot minutes later.
Martin Angha came on for the very impressive Meade near the end and Arsenal kept pressing but were unable to break through. The players should be proud of their efforts however.