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Arsenal crash out of Europa League

Arsenal crashed out of the Europa League at the Round of 32 stage after conceding in the dying stages of extra-time to lose on away goals against Olympiacos.

Mikel Arteta’s side were protecting a one-goal advantage from the first leg, but the visitors equalised on aggregate eight minutes into the second half when Pape Abou Cisse was left unmarked to head home from a corner.

Arsenal had toiled for much of the night in a below-par performance but thought they had won it when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck a wonderful 113th-minute overhead-kick.

The hosts were always vulnerable defensively, though, and another set-piece was their undoing when Youssef El Arabi struck in stoppage-time of extra-time to win it for the Greek side.

Aubameyang then went from hero to zero as he missed a gilt-edged chance with virtually the last kick of the game, slicing wide from five yards out with the goal at his mercy, as Arsenal’s best chance of securing Champions League football next season disappeared.

The Gunners had scored seven goals in their last two matches, four against Newcastle and three against Everton, but they failed to register a single shot on target until the 76th minute in a thoroughly depressing and toothless performance. Defensively they were shocking, conceding another two goals from set-pieces.

Arteta will face huge questions after this no-show. With a top four (or top five) spot looking increasingly unlikely domestically, Europa League success was their most likely avenue to Europe’s top competition. – Eurosport

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