Arsenal picked up a hard-fought 1-0 win over Olympiacos during the first leg of the Europa League round of 32 clash in Piraeus. With the result, the Gunners picked up a third-straight clean sheet in all competitions while they were able to win two games on the bounce for the first time under manager Mikel Arteta.
Three things we learned from Gunners’ win over Olympiacos:
Bukayo Saka continues to excel: The 18-year-old has played in an unfamiliar left-back role over the past few months and he has managed to impress with valuable goalscoring contributions. There was the suggestion that Saka may vacate the role with Sead Kolasinac’s injury comeback but that has clearly not been the case with Arteta placing his faith in the youngster. The Gunners graduate delivered a superb low cross for Alexandre Lacazette’s winning strike and has now contributed one goal and three assists from the past four matches in all competitions. Overall, he has registered three goals and nine assists in his breakthrough campaign.
Alexandre Lacazette finding his scoring touch: Lacazette ended a nine-match scoreless streak in the 10-minute cameo against Newcastle United last weekend. Against Olympiacos, Lacazette did squander a couple of genuine chances to find the net during the opening half and it appeared that the Frenchman could suffer another frustrating night. However, he managed to redeem himself in the 81st minute of the game as he found the net from a superb low-driven cross from Saka. The 28-year-old has now scored in successive matches for the Gunners and that should enhance his confidence in front of goal going forward.
Arsenal’s improved defensive record: The Gunners were guilty of conceding regular goals during the Unai Emery and that often contributed to them failing to pick up victories. The same was the case during the early phase of Mikel Arteta’s reign but over the past few matches, there has been an improvement with Shkodran Mustafi being the standout performer at the heart of the defence. The German has not always been a favourite among the Gunners fans but he has recently been earning plaudits as he has been aerially dominant and cut down on the defensive errors which cost the team dearly in the past. The Gunners have managed shutouts in the past three games in all competitions.
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