Gabriel Martinelli reacts on Instagram after Arsenal return as Man United await in Europa League


Here’s all the news from around the Emirates Stadium over the past 24 hours.

Player ratings vs Olympiacos

Arsenal are through to the Europa League quarter-final thanks to a dramatic 3-2 aggregate win over Olympiacos – last season’s conquerors at the last-32 stage.

All the damage was done in Greece eight days ago in truth.

Goals from Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Magalhaes, and Mohamed Elneny in the first-leg a week ago meant the Gunners effectively had one foot in the quarter-final ahead the second leg.

With that said, the manner in which they achieved a quarter-final spot was less than convincing as they laboured to a 1-0 defeat on the night and two more goals for Olympiacos without reply would have been catastrophic for the north London outfit.

Nonetheless, they have overcome a tricky tie and the squad will be watching the quarter-final draw closely as Manchester United are potential opponents.

As expected, not many players emerged with any credit as captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and defender David Luiz in particular struggled.

But how did the rest of the team fare?

Click here for football.london‘s Arsenal player ratings vs Olympiacos.

Arteta transcript

The Gunners manager faced the media following the Olympiacos game and the main talking point from his press conference was about his side’s performance.

“I am pleased because we are through and last year at that stage we went out by them,” he told reporters. “If I have to evaluate the performance, what we’ve done today with the ball, in particular, is nowhere near the standards that we set ourselves.

“We made it really difficult because you don’t have any stability when you give the amount of balls away that we have given in the game. When that happens you don’t have the control that you need to manage the tie the way we should have done.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 18: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal interacts with Pedro Martins, Head Coach of Olympiakos after the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Arsenal and Olympiacos at Emirates Stadium on March 18, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around Europe remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“And that’s related as well to the number of chances that we missed again.

“They are excuses (fatigue). We have to manage to play every three days, we have to manage to play in the tie, we have to manage to play when we are in front or behind.

“It’s football. I don’t want any of those excuses. I say it again it’s nowhere near the level with the ball what we have done today.”

Full transcript.

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Martinelli reacts after return

On a brighter note, Gabriel Martinelli made his return to action as a second half substitute against Olympiacos.

That marked his first outing since the Europa League round of 32 first-leg draw against Benfica last month as he got 13 minutes under his belt at the Stadio Olimpico.

It was only nine minutes of action (plus stoppage time) on Thursday evening, but the teenager took to social media after the game and reacted to making his return.

“Into the next round,” Martinelli posted on Instagram.

Despite limited minutes, the Brazilian still had quite an impact on proceedings.

With his first touch and sprint it resulted in the away side being reduced to 10-men when Ousseynou Ba was sent off for two bookable offences in quick succession.

Furthermore, Martinelli created a golden chance for Aubameyang and was denied an assist on his return when the Arsenal no.14 saw his close range effort well saved by Jose Sa.





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