We had a mountain to climb but it was more Ben Nevis than Mount Everest.
We needed to win by 2 goals or score 3 goals like they did against us at the Emirates. I think it was definitely possible but our record at Olympiakos away in recent seasons is three loses. They also had a reputation for their atmosphere that they create being very hostile and hard to play in but good teams don’t let that effect them.
Our line up included Walcott starting on the right and ex Olympiakos loanee Campbell on the left starting ahead of Chamberlain showing that he has made an impression on Wenger.
I was quite nervous because I didn’t want us to play in the Europa League even though we would have a better chance to win it. The Champions league is the competition you want to be in even if it means playing against Barcelona or Real Madrid in the next round. But Wenger has helped us qualify for the last 16 for the last 15 seasons so I had faith.
The game started very openly with Olympiakos perhaps surprisingly attacking quite a lot where you wouldn’t have blamed them for sitting back and defending. We couldn’t really get into the game until near the end of the half.
We started to play on the wings and it resulted in us hitting the post from a cross and Wenger changed the wingers over which made a big difference. Once again Ozil made a world class pass to Ramsey who is thriving playing in the middle and he put in a great cross for Giroud to brilliantly head home.
1-0 and that was the score at half time meaning that the job was half done.
The second half changed though as we really showed why we were technically the better team. Campbell made a great assist to Giroud to add his second of the game meaning that we were going through if it stayed the same.
This was followed though by a questionable penalty awarded to us where their defender handballed it when trying to block it and I thought it was quite harsh but wasn’t complaining one bit!
This meant that there was only one man to step up and surely take us into the last 16. Per Mertesacker… I mean Olivier Giroud to get a hatrick and he did just that calmly slotting it in. It was his first hatrick for the club and what a match to do it in!
3-0 was the final score and I certainly wasn’t expecting it. I knew we could do it but I must admit I was preparing myself for joining Man United in the Europa League. But we are Arsenal and we always play in the Champions league and we are in the last 16 once again.
I will now hope for a nice draw but we will probably get a tough one like we usually do. For now though we can be happy and this game shows anything can happen.