Olympiakos 0-1 Arsenal: Alexandre Lacazette grabs critical away goal

Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his teams first goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg match between Olympiacos FC and Arsenal FC at Karaiskakis Stadium on February 20, 2020 in Piraeus, Greece.

Olympiakos may be prolific and unbeaten in domestic competitions, but its first Europa League game of the season was more like a reality check for the Reds, who went down 1-0 at home to Arsenal on Thursday.

The Gunners have had a patchy season to date, but have kept alive their only hope for some silverware this season after emerging victorious from a battle that is always hard to give at Olympiakos.

The Greek side will feel hard done by the result, as the match was fairly balanced, the two sides shared possession and chances and both got close to scoring – except that only Arsenal did so when presented with an 81st minute  from a clever pass by brilliant Bukayo Saka to the path of Alexandre Lacazette who made no mistake from close range for the night’s sole goal at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno denied Olympiakos early on in the second half, while Arsenal’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos was himself denied by the woodwork at the closing stages of the match.

The second leg at the Emirates next Thursday will not be easy for the Greeks, especially given the absence of defensive stalwart Ruben Semedo who got booked again, while there is also the small matter of the Super League derby between Olympiakos and PAOK on Sunday.

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