Sports

Europa League: Arsenal beat Olympiacos 1-0

London, Feb 21 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 2/21/2020 10:07:58 AM IST

Alexandre Lacazette scored a late winner to secure Arsenal a 1-0 win at Olympiacos and hand the Gunners a significant advantage in their Europa League last-32 tie.

Mikel Arteta’s men looked to be heading for an underwhelming goalless draw in Piraeus, but Lacazette struck nine minutes from time to get Arsenal a potentially vital away goal ahead of the return leg in London.
The Gunners had little difficulty taking control and should have netted early on when Lacazette was guilty of a dreadful miss, and the visitor failed to craft a better opportunity until late on.
Olympiacos generally appeared happy to hold on for a stalemate, but that approach backfired when Lacazette turned in Bukayo Saka’s pass, putting Arsenal in complete control of the tie.
After surviving an early scare when Bernd Leno denied Mathieu Valbuena, Lacazette missed a glorious chance for the Gunners, somehow shooting wide from about eight yards having been teed up by Gabriel Martinelli.
Leno had to be alert again a few moments later, making a reaction save after Giorgos Masouras’ cross was deflected goalwards by David Luiz.
A second opportunity came Lacazette’s way just before the break, but Ousseynou Ba crucially got a touch to divert his fierce volley over the crossbar.
The contest became a cagier affair after the break, with Arsenal controlling possession but doing little to hurt an Olympiacos side seemingly content to absorb pressure.
But Arsenal finally produced some spark in attack through Saka in the 81st minute, the 18-year-old talent driving at the defence and feeding Lacazette, who tapped in from close range.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos almost doubled Arsenal’s advantage when his late header came back off the crossbar.
Arsenal hosts Everton in the Premier League on Sunday and Olympiacos goes to defending Greek Super League champion PAOK the same day. They resume hostilities at Emirates Stadium next Thursday.
Man Utd held 1-1 
by Club Brugge
Anthony Martial struck a potentially important away goal as Manchester United drew 1-1 with Club Brugge in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.
The France international cancelled out an opening goal from Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis to give Solskjaer’s side a slight advantage heading into the return game at Old Trafford. Andreas Pereira had United’s first attempt after 14 minutes, with Simon Mignolet pushing his low effort.
The Red Devils found themselves behind just a minute later. Dennis raced onto a Mignolet goal kick and, with Romero having strayed foolishly far from his line, the forward lobbed the ball over the United keeper, who could only watch it bobble into the net. United were stuck in first gear and Romero had to be well-positioned to deny Dennis a second from close range after the visitors failed to clear from the edge of the box.
Brugge’s lead looked comfortable until they handed United an equaliser. Maxim De Cuyper’s throw-in from inside the opposition half bounced away from Brandon Mechele, and Martial pounced, driving towards goal and slotting the ball past Mignolet. United finished strongly but could not carve out a chance for a winner, leaving the tie nicely poised ahead of next Thursday’s return fixture.
 

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