Tuesday, May 22, 2018

UEFA Champions League Group B wrap: Arsenal continue perfect start

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 Oct 2012


Arsenal took another step towards the knockout stages of the Champions League with a stuttering 3-1 home victory over Olympiakos.

Lukas Podolski and substitute Aaron Ramsey struck in the second-half to brighten up a largely uninspiring display from Arsene Wenger’s side in the Group B encounter on Wednesday.

The win leaves Arsenal with six points from their opening two outings and on course for another comfortable qualification for the second round of Europe’s elite club competition.

The hosts controlled possession but lacked attacking thrust for much of the game, taking the lead against the run of play through Gervinho in the 42nd minute before Konstantinos Mitroglou deservedly levelled for Olympiakos on the stroke of half-time.

Podolski eased nerves inside Emirates Stadium after firing home in the 56th minute and Ramsey sealed the three points with a cheeky finish with the last kick of the game.

Arsenal took a lead they barely deserved three minutes before the break through Gervinho.

After excellent work from Santi Cazorla on the left, the ball broke for the Ivorian to shift into space and strike low into the corner from 20 yards for his fifth goal of the season.

The strike was met with relief but Olympiakos deservedly levelled on the stroke of half-time.

Leandro Greco whipped in a wonderful cross from the left and Mitroglou was on hand to glance a header into the far corner.

Cazorla wastefully shot wide from 12 yards after half-time before Podolski doubled Arsenal’s lead in the 56th minute.

The German took advantage of uncertain defending to swivel in the box and shoot low and hard through goalkeeper Balazs Megyeri’s legs.

Arsenal chased a third and found it in the dying seconds as substitute Ramsey raced onto Olivier Giroud’s flick-on and scooped a delightful finish over the advancing Megyeri.

Elsewhere, Schalke were left to rue a succession of missed chances as Montpellier came from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw.

Karim Ait-Fana opened the floodgates early in the first half, before Julian Draxler restored parity and earned a penalty for the Bundesliga outfit, which Klaas-Jan Huntelaar converted.

However, Souleymane Camara finished clinically late on as the teams shared the spoils in a free-flowing contest at Veltins Arena.



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