Arsenal were dumped out of the Europa League after an extra-time loss to Olympiacos, with Youssef El-Arabi scoring a 119th minute winner for the Greek side.
Even then, Mikel Arteta's men had a chance to win, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, having scored an outstanding overhead kick, fluffed his lines from six yards, as the Gunners fell out of the competition on away goals.
Arsenal were some way below their best in the first half, but looked to have taken the led when Alexandre Lacazette turned home from close range.
However, Bukayo Saka, who found the Frenchman with another fine cross, had moved into an offside position.
Largely however they were slow and laborious, allowing the visitors to grab a foothold in the match with their 5-4-1 formation.
And Pedro Martins' men duly took the lead and levelled the aggregate score eight minutes into the second period, Pape Cisse evading Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at a corner, and powering past Bernd Leno.
Leno was soon asked to keep Arsenal in the game, when he made a fine diving save to deny Konstantinos Tsimikas, as he cut in from the left.
As anxiety grasped the Emirates, Arsenal couldn't find an equaliser before the 90 minute mark, Nicolas Pepe's effort 14 minutes from time proving their best effort – but Jose Sa was equal to it.
In extra-time, Aubameyang thought he had won it, with a sublime overhead kick.
But in the 119th minute, Arsenal failed to completely clear a set piece, and when the ball was returned into the penalty area, the defence melted and El-Arabi beat Leno to score.
Still Arsenal had chance to go through, but uncharacteristically Aubameyang squandered his chance from six yards, to end his side's European hopes.
Here are five talking points…
1. Hype, thy name is Arsenal
Just when Arsenal look like they're getting somewhere and heading in the right direction, they take a step back with a performance like this.
Let's not beat about the bush here, this was poor for long, long periods.
Unimaginative and slow in possession, for too long they seemed to think that the win was just going to come their way.
They allowed Olympiacos to frustrate them and then to punish them at a set-piece.
Then, in extra-time, they couldn't deal with another ball into the box, allowing El-Arabi to net.
Arteta knows the deal. He knows that performances like this simply cannot be allowed to happen for where he wants to take this side.
Rest assured Arsenal fans, he'll have learned more tonight about his side for next year tonight, then he had in the previous three matches.
2. Too much from Pepe
Arteta named a strong, attacking Arsenal line-up, and that included record signing Pepe on the right side of the attack.
But this was an evening full of frustration where the Ivory Coast winger was concerned.
Too often he took too many touches, and while he had the beating of Tsimikas for the most part, there was no end product. When he beats his man, he needs to find that killer ball; he's got teammates making runs in the penalty area, but having to stop when they're expecting a delivery and it isn't coming.
3. Saka's delivery
Bukayo Saka has been earning rave reviews of late, and his delivery from wide has been exceptional.
He's already helped himself to nine assists – including one for Lacazette's winner in Greece – for the Gunners this term, and the quality of his crossing makes it easy to see why.
He missed out on another here because he failed to time his run in the first half, and Lacazette's tap in was duly ruled out.
But the quality with which he rolled across goal, delivering first time without breaking stride, was another showcase of why the England Under-19 star is racking up the assists.
4. Far too over-reliant on Aubameyang
Where would Arsenal be without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?
Because without him, this team really isn't upto all that much.
He wasn't at his exhilarating best, but still managed another fine goal, netting an overhead kick in extra-time.
Ultimately though, it wasn't enough…
Source: Read Full Article