Chamberlain lifts fragile Arsenal

Arsenal 2 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 8, Santos 20) Olympiakos 1 (Fuster 27)

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There was a time when Arsène Wenger's team would have brushed aside group stage opposition such as those they faced last night but after the start-to-a-season from hell, even victories like these can no longer be taken for granted.

Arsenal are comfortable in second place in Group F but that does not mean that last night's win over the Greek champions was straightforward. Wenger's team are so far off their best of even last season it can be painful at times but then with the new arrivals, the number of injured players missing last night and those three key summer departures it is perhaps not that surprising. Serving his last game of a touchline ban last night, Wenger watched anxiously as his team took a two-goal lead in 20 minutes and then came close to squandering it.

There was a goal from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, just the second of his Arsenal career, which proved a highlight of the night. But there was a lot more to be concerned about, not least in the makeshift back four.

There are nine first-team players in Arsenal's first-team squad injured and little room for manoeuvre but still last night Wenger saw fit to make some significant changes.

Presumably with the game at White Hart Lane on Sunday in mind, Wenger decided to make the big call to leave his captain Robin van Persie on the bench. Aaron Ramsey was also on the bench.

In attack, Arsenal looked vibrant and direct. In defence they looked isolated and out-of-sorts. In between their first and second goals, Mikel Arteta had to lunge in and clear a shot from Rafik Djebbour off the line after his defence had gone to pieces at a corner. Arsenal took the lead through Oxlade-Chamberlain, who took his goal beautifully. The right-winger, 18 last month, made a run from right to left and took Song's ball in his stride. Running across the face of the box he angled his shot back into the left corner of Franco Costanzo's goal.

On 20 minutes they scored again. This time Andre Santos (left) crossed for Oxlade-Chamberlain and when the ball came back to the Brazilian he drove it in at the near post.

It was from a set-piece that Olympiakos scored, Mellberg working the ball to Ariel Ibagaza who crossed for David Fuster to head in.

The closest either side came to scoring after the break was a shot from the Olympiakos captain Vasilis Torossidis which eluded the dive of Wojciech Szczesny and cannoned off the bar.

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