Odegaard brings up first Arsenal goal with rocket as advantage earned

Date published: Thursday 11th March 2021 9:53 - Samuel Bannister

Martin Odegaard scored his first Arsenal goal from outside the box as they claimed a 3-1 win in the first leg of their Europa League tie with Olympiacos.

Reunited with the team that knocked them out of the competition last season, Arsenal earned the advantage at the half-way stage of their Round of 16 clash.

But they nearly paid the price for repeating familiar mistakes, which they will have to iron out to ensure they go through. They have put themselves in a good position, though, thanks to their three away goals.

Arsenal had the first big chance of the game, when Odegaard failed to hit the target after being set up by Kieran Tierney.

Their positive start continued when Jose Sa made an excellent save to prevent a header from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from going in.

David Luiz was the next to try his luck, but his free kick from distance was at a comfortable range for Sa.

Eventually, their persistence paid off, as Odegaard gave them the lead in the 34th minute. The Norway international sent a shot swerving from outside the box and it flew in to bring up his first goal for the club.

At the other end, there was a nervous moment when Luiz gave away possession next to his own box. However, Olympiakos could not capitalise.

Arsenal repeat familiar mistake

They did capitalise on an Arsenal error in the second half though. The Gunners were once again the architects of their own downfall, with Dani Ceballos losing possession in his own half.

Youssef El-Arabi, who won the ball back, completed a relatively simple finish to restore parity after 58 minutes.

The goal was the latest instalment in a series of errors leading to goals that Arsenal have made in recent weeks. After riding their luck in the previous round – when Ceballos was the culprit as well – they had not made things easy for themselves again.

El-Arabi had a chance to give the hosts the lead after an intricate attacking move, but pulled his shot wide.

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As it seemed Arsenal would have to settle for a draw, Gabriel Magalhaes restored their lead with a towering header across the keeper after a corner.

Then, Mohamed Elneny became the second Arsenal player to score from outside the box. Curling the ball around Sa, he made it 3-1 to the Gunners.

It means Arsenal have a strong lead to protect in the second leg. Olympiacos will need to score three times when they meet again next week.

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