HomeSportSoccerRamsey’s goal seals Gunners win

Ramsey’s goal seals Gunners win

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LONDON — Arsenal recovered from an unconvincing first-half performance to see off Olympiakos at Emirates Stadium and move top of Europeans Champions League Group B on Wednesday.

Report by BBC Sport

Gervinho opened the scoring with a low finish from outside the box near the end of a disjointed opening 45 minutes Olympiakos deservedly hit straight back through Kostas Mitroglou’s superb header on the stroke of half-time.

But Lukas Podolski rifled the Gunners back in front and Aaron Ramsey came off the bench to flick a third.

The result ensures Arsenal go clear at the head of their group on six points after Schalke drew 2-2 with Montpellier.

It was a laboured display, but boss Arsene Wenger will hardly worry if his side continue to collect points while not at their best.

Wenger admitted before the match “the players are still down” from Saturday’s defeat by Chelsea — and it was evident in the first half. Only five minutes had been played when Vito Mannone’s attempted pass to Thomas Vermaelen missed its target and prompted panic.

Arsenal soon created their first chance — Santi Cazorla’s free-kick tipped to safety — but that was a rare opening for the hosts.

Captain Vermaelen and centre-back partner Laurent Koscielny — at fault for both Chelsea goals and possibly retaining his place because of Per Mertesacker’s illness – were particularly unconvincing.

Koscielny was cautioned for a reckless challenge on Paulo Machado before Vermaelen’s poor clearance led to Mitroglou drawing a fine save from Mannone.

Central defence was again vacant as Machado met a Giannis Maniatis cross from the right, only to somehow put a half-volley over the bar.

However, they immediately switched off and Mitroglou outjumped Vermaelen to glance a brilliant header past Mannone from Leandro Greco’s left-wing cross.

Serving the second match of a three-game touchline ban, Wenger looked far from happy as he watched on from the stands.

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