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Arsenal vs Olympiacos, Europa League last 16: live score and latest updates

An artist not shy of hard work: How Martin Odegaard is more than filling the Mesut Ozil void at Arsenal 

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HALF TIME: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos  (3-1 on aggregate) 

Not a hint of a possibl…

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OnOff 6:45PM

HALF TIME: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos  (3-1 on aggregate) 

Not a hint of a possible comeback from Olympiacos. They've seen a fair bit of the ball but bar that chance off a long ball early one Leno hasn't had anything to do.  Arteta will want his side to get the next goal to put paid to any chances of a nervy last 20 minutes but on the evidence so far the hosts have everything under control. 


45 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos 

Good attempt from Smith Rowe - he picks up the ball just outside the area, opens up his body and tries to curl one into the top corner but it's an easy save from Sa. 


41 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos 

Poor touch from Pepe!

Arsenal break at pace with Aubameyang who plays in Pepe in the centre but his first touch means the ball is stuck beneath his feet and the opportunity to create a decent chance goes begging. 


39 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos

Olympiacos  are still in this tie - they're seeing a fair bit of the ball, probing the Arsenal defence.  After some patient build up they win a corner. It's met by a strong header from Gabriel. 


36 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos   

Arsenal are in control at the moment - thanks in part to the 3-1 first leg scoreline.

But you get the feeling they need to score first here to put the game to be and reduce the chances of any second-half nerves should the visitors find the back of the net. 


34 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos  

Free kick for Arsenal won by the brilliant Smith Rowe on the left.  Ceballos squares it to Tierney, the ball ends at the feet of Bellerin and the right back wins a throw in. That comes to nothing. 


32 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos 

Arsenal are looking solid at the moment - they haven't had a clean sheet in 10 matches - that will be a target tonight. 


30 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos

Again it's a case of the visitors seeing a lot of possession but Arsenal are more than happy to see them with the ball as they are doing very little with it. 


27 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos              

Arsenal just on the back foot at the moment with  Olympiacos seeing a lot of the ball BUT the Greek side isn't offering much in possession and it's all too easy for the hosts to defend. 


24 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos             

Fine chance for Aubameyang! 

The returning tardy star links with Ceballos on the edge of the area before toe-poking it over. He lacked his usual composure there. 


22 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos            

The match is opening up after its quiet start - good! 


20 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos           

Great save by Leno.  The definition of ROUTE ONE from the visitors as the keeper belts it down the centre, over the head of Luiz and El Arabi volleys it forcing Leno into a fine stop with his legs. 


18 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos          

So close for the hosts! 

Bellerin and Ceballos link well to play in Pepe, he's in a foot race with the keeper, Sa, which he wins his shot-cum-cross is just defected wide and Arsenal have a corner.  The set piece is headed into the arms of Sa from Gabriel. Promising for the Gunners. 


17 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos         

Pepe earns a corner after good work on the right.

It's taken short, Ceballos' cross is headed away by former Watford man Holebas


15 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos        

Arsenal are certainly seeing more of the ball, they work the ball nicely to Tierney whose cross is well cleared. 


13 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos       

Tierney tries to get in behind the Greek side's defence and wins a free-kick when fouled by Ba.  It's on the left in the final third and a great opportunity to create the game's first chance - alas Ceballos' set piece is cleared first time by the  Olympiacos  backline. 


10 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos      

Still nothing for either keeper to do. Arsenal are pressing high up the pitch, squeezing the play for  Olympiacos.


8 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos     

It's been a fairly quiet opening - nothing of note created, that will suit Arsenal down to the ground. 


6 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos    

Aubameyang sees the ball for the first time this evening and he is ushered to the left flank and  Olympiacos clear their lines. 


6 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos   

Smith Rowe is ok, Sokratis  also continues. 


4 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos  

Sokratis blocks a Smith Rowe shot that comes back and hits the Arsenal man flush in the face - ouch! 

The former Arsenal defender is also down and there is a break in play. 


2 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos 

The Greeks have only won two of their past 15 trips to England - yep, they've both come against Arsenal... Elneny and Xhaka look like they're both sitting in midfield with Ceballos further forward.


1 min: Arsenal 0-0 Olympiacos

We're under way at the Emirates.  Arsenal are in their traditional red main with white arms shirt and Olympiacos are in a garish blue. 


The teams are on the pitch

And we're ready to go in north London. 

The best thing about the Europa League is that there is no grandiose Champions League anthem blaring out when the players march onto the pitch...


Mikel Arteta speaks...

On Aubameyang...

"He has been positive and happy in training this week. It's about performing now."

On the changes to the team...

"We've played so many games in past nine days, we have good players and fresh ones coming in."

On being knocked out by Olympiacos last year...

"It was cruel last year - but we showed in the first [leg] that that is over. Now we have to win tonight's game." 5:39PM

There were two questions for Arsenal ahead of this match...

The first one has been answered - Aubameyang  returns. 

The second was: will Arsenal avoid a headache this evening?  Even thought they left Greece with the away win our very own Sam Dean's match report began with the lines: "One day Arsenal might make it easy for themselves. They might play a match without giving a goal to the opposition, or continuously playing themselves into trouble at the back, or missing a series of clear chances.

Maybe that will be the point when they 'go bang', as Mikel Arteta promised this week." That match illustrated what Sam was getting at - this Arsenal side vacillate between brilliance and blunder. Youssef El-Arabi's equaliser came thanks to Dani Ceballos and Bernd Leno combining to gift possession to the hosts in the final third. 

Since then, however, they certainly looked more brilliant than bumbling in their impressive 2-1 victory in the north London derby.  Play like that again this evening and you suspect this tie will be over sooner rather than later - that is providing they don't shoot themselves in the foot again, though.  READ: Why do Arsenal persist with a style of play that is producing so many mistakes?


I give you the Olympiakos side 

Olympiakos XI to face Arsenal:Sa, Sokratis, Ba, Holebas, Reabciuk, Camara, M'Vila, Fortounis, Androutsos, Masouras, El Arabi; subs: Karargyris, Tzolakis, Drager, Lala, Bouchalakis, Vrousai, Randjelovic, Bruma, Sourlis

Ex-Arsenal man Sokratis and former Watford player Jose Holebas both start in defence for the Greek outfit. 


Here be Arsenal 

Arsenal XI to face Olympiacos: Leno, Bellerin, David Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney, Elneny, Xhaka, Pepe, Ceballos, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang; subs: Lacazette, Odegaard, Holding, Cedric Soares, Partey, Chambers, Mari, Nelson, Nketiah, Ryan, Martinelli, Okonkwo So, obviously the big news is that Aubameyang is back and starts after being put in detention for the Spurs match. On top of that there are four other changes from the XI that beat their north London rivals.

Mohamed Elneny and Dani Ceballos come in for Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard.  Nicolas Pepe replaces Bukayo Saka and in defence Hector Bellerin starts instead of Cedric Soares.


One bad omen and one good omen for Arsenal 

2 - Arsenal have lost each of their previous two home games against Olympiakos (in the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League and in this competition last season) - the Gunners have never lost three consecutive home matches against an opponent in European competition. Bogey. #UEL

-- OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 18, 2021 5:04PM

Aubameyang is in! 

Everything is rosy once again at the Emirates - Aubameyang has come off the naughty step and will lead the line this evening. 

Let's goooo, @Auba! ? ? #UEL

-- Arsenal (@Arsenal) March 18, 2021 5:02PM

A-okay with Aubameyang? 

Mikel Arteta said "everything has been resolved" with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but offered no guarantees that the Arsenal captain will return to the starting lineup against Olympiacos this evening.

Aubameyang was dropped from the Arsenal team for Sunday's north London derby after a breach of discipline, understood to be lateness, and did not take part in the warm-down with his fellow substitutes. Arteta is keen to draw a line under the situation and said that Aubameyang has trained well this week, ahead of their crucial Europa League match against the Greek champions. "We talked," said the Arsenal manager. "Everything has been resolved in a really positive way so we move forward.

He trained really well the last two days and he was smiling as usual, as we always expect from Auba. It's all good." Asked if it was a given that Aubameyang, the club's top scorer, will return to the team tonight, Arteta said: "No, everybody obviously has to perform at the highest level to earn their place in the team, there is no exception there.

We will try to put a really competitive team out."

Aubameyang is all smiles again but will he sit this evening's match out? Credit:GETTY IMAGES

Meanwhile, Aubameyang and Thomas Partey could be prevented from playing in some international fixtures in the coming weeks due to matches taking place in nations that are on the UK's travel ban "red list". Aubameyang's Gabon side are due to face Angola away at the end of the month, while Partey's Ghana are travelling to South Africa. "The players that are going to be in red zone countries, they won't be able to play those fixtures," said Arteta. "Some might be able to play one game and not the next game, so it is a lot to figure out.

The doctor is in constant communication with the Premier League and the federations but it's not too simple." Arsenal have a 3-1 advantage from the first leg in Greece and are expected to progress comfortably, especially after their impressive victory over Tottenham at the weekend. But Arteta said they must manage the game better than they did in the final few minutes of Sunday's victory, when they came under sustained pressure despite having a one-man advantage.

"We need to do everything different to what we did on Sunday against 10 men.

Stop giving simple balls away, stop putting ourselves in trouble and have a clear direction of where we want to have the ball in those last minutes."

Sam Dean