Arsenal settle for second spot

Arsenal surrendered a half-time lead to qualify from Champions League Group B as runners-up after a 2-1 defeat to Olympiakos in Greece.

Last Updated: 05/12/12 at 07:24 Post Comment

Kostas Mitroglou: Celebrates his winner against Arsenal

Kostas Mitroglou: Celebrates his winner against Arsenal

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Tomas Rosicky's neat first-time finish allowed Arsenal to take a narrow lead into the break, but goals from Ioannis Maniatis and Kostas Mitroglou midway through the second half gave the hosts their second victory of the campaign and some encouragement ahead of their Europa League participation.

Defeat means Arsenal finish second in the group having failed to capitalise on Schalke's draw with Montpellier.

With qualification already secure for the knockout stages, if not top spot, Arsene Wenger made seven changes from the weekend defeat to Swansea. Defender Jernade Meade, 20, was handed his Champions League debut, while the Arsenal boss packed his bench with youngsters Zak Ansah, Sead Hajrovic, Elton Monteiro and 17-year-old English striker Chuba Akpom.

Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both wasted early openings by shooting wide of the target before the hosts had their first opportunity in the 11th minute, when Djamel Abdoun's cutback was cleared by Thomas Vermaelen to deny Rafik Djebbour a tap-in.

With both sides happy to attack, Aaron Ramsey was wasteful when Marouane Chamakh headed Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross back towards the penalty spot in the 17th minute, but the midfielder horribly miskicked an attempted first-time shot with his left foot.

A spell of Olympiakos pressure followed, with Rosicky having to kick Vasilis Torosidis' header away from the far post following a corner, before Wojciech Szczesny was forced to parry away Abdoun's 24th-minute drive from inside the box. Six minutes before half-time, however, Arsenal made the hosts pay for their missed chances.

Gervinho wasted one promising opening, but immediately regained possession on the right before driving towards the right touchline and pulling back a low pass for Rosicky, who strode on to the perfectly-weighted ball and curled it inside Roy Carroll's far post.

The goalscorer was replaced by Andrey Arshavin at the break and the Russian wasted the second-half's first opportunity when he directed a free-header over the crossbar after Chamakh's fine delivery from the right.

Arshavin hit the target just after the hour mark to round off a fine Arsenal counter-attack, but the substitute's well-struck shot from a tight angle was parried away by Carroll on its way towards the roof of the Northern Ireland keeper's net.

Olympiakos capitalised on a questionable decision from the officials to equalise in the 65th minute. Paulo Machado's header appeared to glance the post on its way behind Szczesny's goal, but a corner was awarded to the hosts, with the keeper accused of having finger-tipped the ball to safety. Arsenal failed to fully clear the set-piece, which resulted in Ramsey inadvertently chesting the ball to Maniatis, who poked home from close range at the far post.

The Greeks completed the turn around eight minutes later. Mitroglou, who had come off the bench only a minute earlier, was gifted time and space to turn on the edge of the box before curling a lovely low shot around Szczesny.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Wednesday, 10 December 2014
19:45
Ajax 4-0 Apoel Nicosia Report
Ath Bilbao 2-0 BATE Borisov Report
Barcelona 3-1 PSG Report
Bay Munich 3-0 CSKA Mosc Report
Chelsea 3-1 Sporting Report
FC Porto 1-1 Shak Donetsk Report
Maribor 0-1 Schalke Report
Roma 0-2 Man City Report
Tuesday, 09 December 2014
Benfica 0-0 Leverkusen Report
B Dortmund 1-1 Anderlecht Report

Footer 365

Premier League: David Silva inspires Manchester City to 3-0 win over Crystal Palace

Manchester City moved level on points with Chelsea at the top of the Premier League after a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Premier League: Joe Hart agrees long-term contract with Manchester City

Joe Hart has signed a new long-term contract which keeps him at Manchester City until the end of the 2018-19 season.

Premier League: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says Manchester United can still win title

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert believes Saturday's opponents Manchester United can still win the Barclays Premier League.

Mail Box

More Players In The Wrong Bloody Shirt

Plus Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks 'heart-breakingly well-suited to a Real Madrid shirt' according to one United fan. Plus, words from the good doctor and plenty more...

Players Plainly Wearing The Wrong Strip...

There are some players who just look plain daft in whatever shirt they're wearing. Like Cesc and Robin. It's a cracking mailbox with a load of different themes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property