English Premier League outfit, Arsenal, were ousted from the Europa League with Youssef El Arabi‘s last-gasp goal which was in added extra time and it helped Olympiakos pull off a major upset.
El Arabi’s score in the 2-1 win on Thursday night at the Emirates secured the Greek side’s passage to the competition’s last-16 on away goals after Arsenal’s 1-0 win in the first leg.
The Gabon striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a stellar scissor-kick goal in the added extra time, 113th minute, to seemingly put Gunners through, but El Arabi’s game-winner six minutes from a set-piece later left the PL club stunned.
Equally as heartbreaking was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missing a glaring chance in the game’s final play to grab the goal that would have seen his side through.
AUBAAAAAAAAA!!!!! OVERHEAD KICK!
? 1-1 ? (2-1 on agg)
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 27, 2020
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said after the match,
“It hurts a lot. We had a lot of intentions in this competition,”
“We were in control but conceded a set-piece to put us in a difficult position. We created a lot of chances and got ourselves in a good position.”
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was visibly shaken and emotional after the loss, with the Spanish manager adding:
“I’ve seen all the boys [after the match], I know how much they wanted this competition. I’ve seen today the way they fight, the way we try to play.
“It’s a difficult one to digest as a team and club but this is football. Sometimes it’s very cruel when the emotions are right here and in one minute the emotions are right here. You have to be able to handle that if you want to be in this industry. Now it’s up to us and up to me to lift the players back in and move forward.”
After it seemed the Greek victors would be eliminated on Gabon international’s goal, the win marked a stunning turn of events for them.
The Greek outfit, Olympiakos coach Pedro Martins said,
“It’s a historic night for Olympiakos. We deserved this qualification not only for these two games against Arsenal, but also for our spirited performances in Europe throughout the season regardless of the results,”
“We were determined, we believed we could qualify and we made it …Tactical intelligence, effectiveness, inner strength, courage — it all weighed in this success.
“We never lost our shape and played intelligently. The aim is just to carry on in this competition.”
After the sides went into halftime scoreless, Pape Abou Cisse‘s goal in the second half gave Olympiakos a lifeline to set up the epic ending. But the Greek side then came out the break strong, with Cisse getting on the scoreboard in the second half, in the 53rd minute with a header from Mathieu Valbuena‘s corner-kick.
⏰ LATE RESULTS ⏰
✅ Shakhtar, Inter, Manchester United, Sevilla, Copenhagen & Getafe through to the round of 16
* Arsenal ? Olympiacos has gone to extra time#UEL
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) February 27, 2020
Arenal upped the tempo of the game which included the solid efforts by Alexandre Lacazette. However, the second half concluded without a goal from the hosts. Olympiakos forward Georgios Masouras had a great chance when his curling shot from outside the box rattled Bernd Leno‘s crossbar. Until Aubameyang’s score, the Mikel Arteta side controlled possession but couldn’t manage to put the ball in the net.
But it wasn’t meant to be for the English side, as Youssef El Arabi found space and poked the ball past Leno from Masouras’ deep cross following a corner kick.
Final Score: Arsenal 1- Olympiakos 2 (Aggregate 2-2)