Olympiakos beat Arsenal but fail to qualify

Updated: 07 December 2011 08:34 IST

Olympiakos beat Group F winners Arsenal 3-1 here on Tuesday but failed to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League following Marseille's victory over Dortmund.

Olympiakos beat Arsenal but fail to qualify

Athens:

Olympiakos beat Group F winners Arsenal 3-1 here on Tuesday but failed to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League following Marseille's victory over Dortmund.

It was a heartbreaking evening for the Greek side who, having scored their third goal with a minute left heard Marseille, who netted in the 85th and 87th minutes, had gone into a 3-2 lead in Germany having been 2-0 down.

First half goals from Rafik Djebbour and David Fuster gave Olympiakos a 2-0 lead at the break before Yossi Benayoun pulled one back for the Gunners.

But in the 89th minute Olympiakos sealed victory when, from a corner, former Aston Villa defender Olof Mellberg's header hit the post and Francois Modesto followed up to score.

Arsenal kicked off knowing they alone among English clubs had already qualified for the last 16, regardless of the result of their final group stage clash.

Gunners' boss Arsene Wenger selected a second string side in what was the Frenchman's 200th European tie as a manager

Lukasz Fabianski came into goal, behind a back four of Johan Djourou, Thomas Vermaelen, Sebastien Squillaci and Andre Santos.

Emmanuel Frimpong, 19, and Francis Coquelin, 20, also started, as did England Under-21 international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with experienced Israel international Benayoun playing just behind Andrey Arshavin and Marouane Chamakh.

Olympiakos welcomed back Mellberg from injury, with in-form striker Djebbour up front.

The hosts made a terrific start but Arsenal broke on the counter-attack only for Arshavin to shoot straight at Hungarian keeper Balazs Megyeri.

It was Olypiakos, though, who took a 16th minute lead when Arshavin failed to respond to Fabianski's throw and the hosts regained possession, with Djebbour rounding the keeper and scoring from a tight angle.

Arsenal's defence always the more vulnerable early on and a low cross from the left caused panic in the Londoners' penalty area, with Fabianski injuring his knee in the ensuing melee.

The keeper was carried off on a stretcher and replaced by 23-year-old Italian Vito Mannone -- whose last appearance was on loan at Hull in April.

And Arsenal's new keeper went from hero to villain in the space of a few seconds as Olympiakos doubled their lead in the 36th minute.

He initially responded well to head clear a dangerous ball on the edge of the area. But when Fuser lobbed the ball back into the area Mannone, who seemed to have lost his bearings, tried to scissor kick clear a lob over him by Fuster he might have handled instead and Olympiakos were 2-0 in front.

Modesto might have made it 3-0 when, after another Mannone error, he somehow headed wide from just a few yards out.

However, Arsenal, halved the hosts' lead in the 57th minute when Miquel's cross was chested down by Chamakh and Benayoun lashed the ball home.

Topics : David Fuster Torrijos Football Arsenal
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