Arsenal 3 Olympiacos 1

Arsenal won what was in the end a comfortable 3-1 victory over Olympiacos at the Emirates in their Group B champions league second fixture. Goals from Gervinho, Lukas Podolski and an injury time strike from substitute Aaron Ramsey gave the shoreline gloss over a Greek side who saw Kostas Mitroglou net just on the break for a 1-1 half time scoreline. Once again we saw the pure class from Santi Cazorla, who clearly enjoys free role, and also knows the value of a good tackle. Lacking early direction, the Gunners rallied to finish strongly

Disappointingly, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a night he would perhaps want to forget, but this result will do nothing but help Arsenal forget Saturday’s loss to Chelsea. A lacklustre start could be attributed to that loss, but a second Champions League win will boost the side’s confidence before the trip to West Ham this week-end. Where Oxlade-Chamberlain disappointed, Carl Jenkinson at right back continues to develop into what will surely be another accomplished defender. He was instrumental in putting deep crosses into the Olympiacos area that will have pleased the watching England manager Roy Hodgson. Arsene Wenger was serving the second of his three Champions League bans, and he and Hodgson were animated in discussion prior to kick- off.

A nervy opening was punctuated with Cazorla’s free-kick which Balazs Megyeri tipped over. Arsenal had two early shouts for a penalty, firstly when Thomas Vermaelen was taken out by Pablo Contreras and then a handball which were not given. Mitroglou had a shot well saved by Vito Mannone, with Paulo Machado also going close. Three minutes before the break however, Arsenal took the lead. Cazorla took Podolski’s pass and fed Arteta. The ball fell into the path of Gervinho who once again found the target. Three minutes later the Greek side were level. Leandro Greco crossed and Mitroglou out jumped Vermaelen for a header that flew past Mannone. Assistant coach Steve Bould looked on in disbelief.

Arsenal began the second half brightly with Cazorla, hitting wide after good work from Kieran Gibbs, Gernvinho and Podolski. Mitroglou reminded us of his menace with two thundering efforts. Eleven minutes after the restart and the Gunners again took the lead. Cazorla and Gervinho were again involved as Podolski found the target from ten yards out. The confidence was back, and even Olivier Giroud was unlucky with a goal bound effort that caught Dimitris Siovas. Theo Walcott’s introduction caused havoc for Olympiacos who had Megyeri to thank for collecting the Giroud’s effort from Walcott’s fizzing cross.

Arsenal duly got a third, and it was pure route one football. Mannone cleared out, Giroud headed into Ramsey’s path for the Wales captain to beat his defender and lift over Megyeri to complete a satisfying nights work for the Gunners.