Young Gunners can hold their heads high

Olympiacos beat an enterprising young Arsenal side 1-0 in Athens to confirm their place in the Champions League first knockout round.

Leonardo scored the only goal of the game soon after half-time.
Arsenal had already qualified as winners of Group H and Arsene Wenger may be more concerned at the late departure of Theo Walcott, who hobbled off with a foot injury, than the loss.
He fell foul of a challenge by Leonardo, who was somewhat overzealous in shielding the ball with his studs up.
The Brazilian midfielder’s goal two minutes into the second half however was admirable.
Arsenal centre-half Kyle Bartley made a tackle 40 yards out and the ball fell to Leonardo, who raced into the space past Kerrea Gilbert then slotted, left-footed, under the advancing Lukas Fabianski from just inside the penalty area.
It was harsh on Arsenal, who played with real verve and imagination. It was Wenger’s youngest-ever Arsenal starting line-up with 10 teenagers named in the squad.
Aaron Ramey and Alex Song bossed the midfield for long periods with the Welshman on top form.
Walcott and Carlos Vela both had excellent chances to score when it was 0-0 but could not convert when well-placed.
Olympiacos nearly put the game beyond doubt with 15 minutes left.
After being set up by Enzo Maresca, Leonardo’s shot was well-saved by Fabianski.
Ramsey almost grabbed a late leveller with three minutes left. Fran Merida’s corner fell to his feet four yards out but his effort was cleared off the line by Leonardo’s left knee.
The Greek side join Arsenal in the next stage of the competition after the win – but the young Gunners can hold their heads high.

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