Odegaard strikes as Arsenal earn 3-1 win at Olympiakos

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GREECE (REUTERS) – Martin Odegaard scored his first goal for Arsenal and Gabriel and Mohamed Elneny were also on target to give the English side a 3-1 win at Olympiakos in the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie on Thursday (March 11).

Odegaard, who joined Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid in January, fired the visitors ahead with a 34th-minute strike from 25 metres before Youssef El Arabi equalised for the Greek team in the 58th minute.

Arsenal looked rattled after conceding a soft goal but Brazilian defender Gabriel restored their lead with a looping header and substitute Elneny sealed the win with a long-range shot.

Arsenal dominated the opening half and missed several chances, with Odegaard dragging a shot wide from a good position before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the crossbar with a deflected header.

Yann M’Vila (L) of Olympiacos in action against Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg soccer match between Olympiacos FC and Arsenal FC in Piraeus, Greece, 11 March 2021. EPA-EFE/Georgia Panagopoulou

Norway midfielder Odegaard struck out of the blue when he picked up the ball on the right flank and unleashed a thunderbolt through the hands of goalkeeper Jose Sa who should have done better.

El Arabi took advantage of sloppy defending as Hector Bellerin gave the ball away and with goalkeeper Bernd Leno stranded, the Moroccan striker scored with a clinical finish.

Bellerin made amends with a last-gasp intervention which denied El Arabi a second goal and it turned out to be a pivotal moment as Arsenal finished strongly.

Gabriel put the visitors back in front when he rose superbly to meet Willian’s cross from the right in the 79th minute before Elneny put the icing on the cake with a swerving drive five minutes from time.

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