We probably just about deserved the half time lead through the Ox's expertly taken opener and Santos' equally well taken second. The goal for Olympiakos was particularly frustrating but it had been coming, the Ox was left outnumbered when they took a corner short, a nice left footed cross found Fuster unmarked on the penalty spot, he headed home well and left Szczesny with no chance at all. Both sides could have scored a couple more a piece, it was a very very open game. The big positive had to be the danger and threat that the Ox provided down our right side, Per Mertsacker had another solid shift at the heart of the defence.
The second half was a little bit more cagey as one would have expected. There were not as many clear cut chances but we really should have made the game safe at at earlier stage. The thing that frustrated me was summed up by our small Russian, he was so mediocre going forward and so lazy in defence, sometimes just standing around after he had lost the ball with another casual pass. I hardly noticed Rosicky on the field in the second half either.
There was a true heart-in-mouth moment as Torosidis belted a shot off the bar from a tight angle at just around the corner of the penalty box, it was a cracking effort but overall Olympiakos didn't really open us up in the second half as they did in the first. We had the chances to kill the game on the counter, we just didn't have the killer instinct, largely down to some typically average play from Arshavin and Chamakh in the final third.
The Ox was taken off for Ramsey. Gibbs came on for the woeful Arshavin. RVP for the lacking in confidence Chamakh. There were some poor refereeing decisions second half too, Mellberg lucky to escape having lead with an elbow on RVP, the Olmpiakos left back should have received a second yellow for chopping down the Ox for the second time, the ref seemed to be too easily conned by some rather obvious Greek diving.
There were certainly some positives from tonight's game, Arteta was solid, Mertesacker was defensively excellent, the Ox was brilliant, Arsenal's no1 was top notch again. However there were some big negatives, Rosicky and Arshavin were very poor indeed, defensively there was not enough help from those who should have been helping the defenders out. In my opinion Rosicky and Arshavin have proved time and time again that they are not good enough for Arsenal FC, they don't scare defences and they don't do anything defensively, they simply do not contribute enough. The defensive unit was not the problem, it was our defending as an eleven that was our Achilles heel.
Personally I would be sorely tempted to play both Gibbs and Santos against Spurs at the weekend, Rosicky didn't do enough to justify his selection, neither did Arshavin. If Gervinho is fit then I would like to see him roaming with RVP up front in the following eleven, obviously if Koscielny is not fit then I would keep Song there and play Coquelin or Frimpong in midfield:
Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Santos
Ox Arteta Song Gibbs