Olympiakos oust Arsenal from Europa League

Olympiakos oust Arsenal from Europa League


Youssef El Arabi's last-gasp goal in added extra time helped Olympiakos pull off a major upset and oust Arsenal from the Europa League.

El Arabi's score in the 2-1 win on Thursday night at the Emirates secured the Greek side's passage to the competition's last-16 on away goals after Arsenal's 1-0 win in the first leg.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a stellar scissor-kick goal in the 113th minute to seemingly put Arsenal through, but El Arabi's game-winner six minutes from a set-piece later left the London club stunned.

Equally as heartbreaking was Aubameyang missing a glaring chance in the game's final play to grab the goal that would have seen his side through.

"It hurts a lot. We had a lot of intentions in this competition," Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said after the match. "We were in control but conceded a set-piece to put us in a difficult position. We created a lot of chances and got ourselves in a good position."

Aubameyang was visibly shaken and emotional after the loss, with Arteta adding: "I've seen all the boys [after the match], I know how much they wanted this competition. I've seen today the way they fight, the way we try to play.

"It's a difficult one to digest as a team and club but this is football. Sometimes it's very cruel when the emotions are right here and in one minute the emotions are right here. You have to be able to handle that if you want to be in this industry. Now it's up to us and up to me to lift the players back in and move forward."

For the Greek victors, the win marked a stunning turn of events after it seemed they'd be eliminated on Aubameyang's goal.

"It's a historic night for Olympiakos. We deserved this qualification not only for these two games against Arsenal, but also for our spirited performances in Europe throughout the season regardless of the results," Olympiakos coach Pedro Martins said..

"We were determined, we believed we could qualify and we made it ...Tactical intelligence, effectiveness, inner strength, courage -- it all weighed in this success.

"We never lost our shape and played intelligently. The aim is just to carry on in this competition."

Pape Abou Cisse's goal in the second half gave Olympiakos a lifeline to set up the epic ending after the sides went into halftime scoreless.

But the Greek side then came out the break strong, with Cisse getting on the scoreboard in the 53rd minute with a header from Mathieu Valbuena's corner-kick.

Arsenal upped their urgency as the match wore on including solid efforts by Alexandre Lacazette, but the second half concluded without a goal from the hosts.

Until Aubameyang's score, Arsenal controlled possession but couldn't manage to put the ball in the net. Olympiakos forward Georgios Masouras had a great chance when his curling shot from outside the box rattled Bernd Leno's crossbar.

But it wasn't meant to be for English side, as El Arabi found space and poked the ball past Leno from Masouras' deep cross following a corner kick.

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