Champions League

Olympiacos dots three on Wenger's boys

Highlights: Olympiacos vs. Arsenal
Highlights: Olympiacos vs. Arsenal
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More: Europe | Champions League

Arsenal ended their Champions League Group F campaign with a defeat at Olympiacos - but the Greeks missed out on the knockout stages.

Despite qualification and top spot already secure before Tuesday night's clash in Athens, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger - taking charge of his 200th European tie - will have expected better. Defensive lapses again proved costly as the English side trailed 2-0 at the break.

In-form Algeria striker Rafik Djebbour slotted home on 16 minutes after a loose ball was not cut out at the edge of the area, before substitute goalkeeper Vito Mannone - on for the injured Lukasz Fabianski - made a hash of his clearance as David Fuster made it 2-0 on 36 minutes.

Yossi Benayoun slotted home a consolation on 57 minutes before Francois Modesto secured victory with a minute left.

However, with Marseille producing a late rally to win at Borussia Dortmund, it was not enough to see the Greeks through to the last 16.

The Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium was rocking as the home side started on the offensive, with Arsenal barely able to get out of their own half during the opening five minutes.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger fielded a much-changed side with top spot in Group F already sewn up and his fringe players failed to rise to the occasion.

"We must give credit to Olympiacos tonight because they played a very physical game and in the first half it was very difficult for us," the Frenchman said on Sky Sports 2.

"And I don't think we had the right tactical approach.

"In the second half at 2-1 we looked like we might come back, but they were dangerous and probably deserved it.


Check out all the images from the fifth matchday of the UEFA Champions League group stage.

"Many of the players did not have experience in the Champions League so were a bit surprised by pace of game."

Arsenal lost goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to injury in the first half and replacement Vito Mannone was at fault for the goal he conceded shortly after coming on.

But Wenger had words of support for his keepers.

"I think we didn't help our goalkeepers," he said. "We exposed them with our lack of quality in the passes we gave them and they were quite brave."

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