Olympiacos manager discloses Arsenal ‘weakness’ they exploited in Europa League

Olympiacos manager Pedro Martins claims his side exploited Arsenal's weakness from set pieces in their shock Europa League triumph.

The Gunners saw their European campaign brought to an abrupt end as they were beaten 2-1 by the Greek giants at the Emirates on February 27.

The result saw them dumped out of the Europa League on away goals after twice exposing Mikel Arteta's side from set pieces.

Martins has now claimed they watched regular footage of Arsenal defending dead balls and discovered a way to plan against their weaknesses – although he was keen not to discuss the full details of their plan.

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Speaking to The Athletic , Martins said: “We watched many games. We almost saw the weakness. Most importantly, we saw what is standard in how the team operates… against that weakness, we tried to work our plan.”

“We’ve scored a lot from set pieces. We work on it a lot. In these situations, we have players with big quality like (Mathieu) Valbuena and Giorgos (Masouras).

"They deliver the ball well and then after, we have (Pape Abou) Cisse, (Osseynou) Ba, (Ruben) Semedo or Youssef (El-Arabi) — they are strong in the area.”

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Asked for further details of his instructions to players, he resisted by stating "I have respect for Arsenal" but confirmed they looked “to cross one ball not so fast for Cisse and win this space. Attack the space and don’t hit the ball too fast.”

Whilst Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang squandered a late chance to spare Arsenal's blushes, there were wild scenes of celebration amongst the Greek camp.

“It was amazing,” Martins added. “It was so many things — so much happiness. A crazy moment.”

Reports in Greece have claimed the performance of midfielder Mady Camara in the game alerted Mikel Arteta, prompting him to ask for more detailed reports on the layer with a view to a summer transfer move.

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