Gabriel scored a brilliant header and Mohamed Elneny netted from range to earn Arsenal a massive 3-1 victory at Olympiacos in the Europa League Round of 16 on Thursday night.
The Gunners led though a ferocious Martin Odegaard, who let rip from range to hammer the ball home with his left foot, netting for Arsenal for the first time since arriving on loan from Real Madrid. Despite working hard to take the lead, Mikel Arteta’s side looked to have shot themselves in the foot when they gave away a terrible goal just before the hour mark.
Goalkeeper Bernd Leno played a ball into the feet of Dani Ceballos, who was under pressure before the pass had even reached him. The Spaniard was dispossessed instantly and, with Leno off his line, Youssef El-Arabi slotted the ball home. It was the kind of needless error Mikel Arteta’s side have been prone to commit too often this season. Thankfully, on the night at least, it didn’t hinder the Gunners, who rallied from then on and were in control of the game for large spells.
After plenty of probing, Gabriel climbed high to connect with Willian’s cross to score a stunning looping header, hit with such power he left Olympiacos midfielder Yann M’Vila looking dazed. Elneny then grabbed another away goal, taking a punt from the edge of the area with a low curling effort which beat Jose Sa to send Arsenal back to England in the complete ascendency.
Back in north London, meanwhile, Tottenham defeated Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 but Harry Kane, who scored both goals for Jose Mourinho’s side, had to be treated for a right knee injury after being substituted.
The Spurs attacker was in the right place at the right time for his first as Erik Lamela’s strike with the outside of his foot struck the post and fell into the path of the England captain, who made no mistake. Later, he latched onto a poor Dinamo clearance, controlling the ball in the area, rolling his boot over it and striking into the back of the net. However, there will be concern for Kane after he was seen having ice treatment applied to his knee following his withdrawal late on.
Newly crowned Scottish Premiership champions Rangers continued their impressive form on the continent with a hard-fought 1-1 draw away to Slavia Prague.
Steven Gerrard’s side didn’t have the best of starts, going behind after only seven minutes in the Czech Republic to Nicolae Stanciu’s opener. However, they replied on 36 minutes against the run of play, with defender Filip Helander tapping home after a lovely touch from Ianis Hagi. Goalkeeper Allan McGregor proved to be the hero at the death, pulling off a stunning stop to deny a last-minute Slavia header to keep the scores tied and send Rangers back to Ibrox next Thursday on level terms and with an away goal to their advantage.