After their tough Premier League loss to Chelsea, Arsenal responded with an impressive 3-1 win against Olympiakos in the Champions League. The Gunners had goals from Gervinho and Lukas Podolski and a late goal by substitute Aaron Ramsey that sealed the win. Now the Gunners are closing in on qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had to watch the match from the stands due to his three-game European ban. Arsenal played cohesively as the rain came pouring down and soaked the field at Emirates.
It wasn't an easy decision for Arsenal's managers to deploy Gervinho to play down the middle, ahead of forward Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, who were stuck sitting on the bench. The gamble paid off for Arsenal before Giroud came in for Gervinho in the 80th minute. After scoring in the 42nd minute, Gervinho's presence was felt at the start of the second half and assisted in Podolski's score.
Olympiakos didn't make it easy for Arsenal. Their offense seemed very organized and aggressive throughout the match, but other than Kostas Mitroglou's score in the 45th minute, Olympiakos didn't have many big moments to capitalize on.
Giroud, who has only one goal in the Capital One Cup against Coventry this season, could not get a goal in the closing stages as his first shot coming off the bench on a cross from Santi Cazorla that missed at good range. A lot of Arsenal fans are saying that Giroud isn't living up to his £12 million contract, but he's been a factor in a lot of matches this season; maybe not from a scoring standpoint, but as a decoy, giving other teammates a chance to have opportunities to goal.
Carl Jenkinson seems to be improving with every game. If he gets picked for England, that would be a really impressive accomplishment.
Gervinho is getting better and better at center forward. Lately, he's been a scoring machine. He is so dangerous with his relentless pace and swift movement; setting his teammates up when he can't get an open look at the goal.
If Gervinho maintains this great play, he could become the driving engine behind Arsenal's offense for the rest of the season. Podolski is right there as well.
Note: I've been an Arsenal and Premier League fan for nearly a decade. My cousin got me interested in the club at a young age.
- Sports & Recreation
- Lukas Podolski
- Olivier Giroud