Arsenal’s poor run of form has continued tonight with a 2-1 defeat in their final Champions League group stage fixture against Olympiakos in Athens.
The Gunners led at half-time but the Greek champions fought back with two goals in the second half to eventually finish third on the Group B table, just one point in arrears of the North London club, which places them in the Europa League.
Arsenal had already made it through to the Round of 16 so Arsene Wenger went with a much-changed line-up which included starts for second-stringers Andrey Arshavin, Marouane Chamakh, Gervinho, Sebastien Squillaci as well as youngsters Francis Coquelin and Jernade Meade.
The first half was an even affair with both sides providing chances but the Gunners managed to get the lead seven minutes before the break through Tomas Rosicky.
The opening goal came when Gervinho advanced down the right to the byline before cutting back for
Rosicky to guide the ball home from just beyond the penalty area with an effort that curled away from Olympiakos keeper Roy Carroll.
Olympiakos managed to get one back in the 64th minute after some sustained pressure with Giannis Maniatis fired home from close range after an attacking header inadvertently bounced off the chest of Aaron Ramsey and into the path of the Greek international.
The Greek club then edged themselves ahead ten minutes later when substitute Kostas Mitroglou, who had been introduced by manager Leonardo Jardim moments earlier, made an immediate impact by hitting a pinpoint, curling shot past the left hand of Wojciech Szczesny and inside the far upright from just outside the area.
Arsenal looked ok throughout considering they had a group of players together without a whole lot of minutes this season but it was a powerful 20-minute burst from Olympiakos which up-ended the visitors who have to settle for a second-place finish.
Wenger’s 150th match in charge of a Champions League fixture did not go the way he would have wanted as his side are now winless in four after some negative results in the Premier League.
UEFA Champions League – Group B
Karaiskakis Stadium, Athens, Greece – 30,000