Glory for the Gunners | MUNDIAL MORNINGS

THURSDAY 10 DECEMBER 2015

Arsenal FC left it to the last match day to defeat
Olympiacos 3-0 and qualify for the knock-out rounds of the Champions League.

French front man Olivier Giroud scored his first ever
hat-trick for The Gunners, and what a time to do it.  

The London based club faced an extremely tough challenge,
having to travel to Greece to play Olympiacos for 2nd position in
the group.

Olympiacos were three points ahead but Arsenal would
progress if they won 1-0, 2-0 or win by scoring at least three goals.

Playing away is never easy, but playing Olympiacos is
something completely unique. The Greek fans turn their home stadium Karaiskakis
Stadium into a fortress every time they play. They are famously known for their
strong active support from the famous Gate 7 Ultras.

The Greeks boo’d Arsenal from the moment they kicked off,
including former OLY player Joel Campbell.

Olympiacos started in perfect fashion, getting some early
chances on goal and causing issues on the wings for the Gunners.

Arsenal struggled for the first 20 minutes. Simple passes weren’t coming off which was
unusual for Mesut Ozil, and Ramsey had already been booked for a sloppy tackle
on Fortounis.

It took 25 minutes for Arsenal to wake up, and for the home
side to fall asleep. With some fine build up play, Ozil played a ball into
Ramsey on the left wing who whipped in a cross to meet big man Giroud.

The Frenchman made no mistake making the score 1-0.

Perhaps Olympiacos went about this game the wrong way, maybe
the occasion was too much for them. After conceding their first goal, they went
high on the attack to score a second and were caught out in the second half by
Joel Campbell. A superb pass to Giroud set up the striker for his second goal.

The Greeks were now getting desperate and it was evident through
their wasted chances. A controversial penalty handed Arsenal their third after
Monreal’s shot crashed into the hand of Eladeballaoui.

Giroud put his penalty away and secured his first ever
hat-trick for Arsenal.

It was goodnight Irene for third place Olympiacos, who will
now play in the Europa League.

NIGHTMARE FOR NEVILLE

Gary Neville has had a horror start in his first professional
game managing Valencia.

The Spanish side lost 2-0 against bottom placed Lyon,
eliminating them from the Champions League.

Despite an impressive corner count 13-3, Lyon simply outsmarted
Valencia away from home. The French side constantly caught out Valencia on the
break. Their first goal came from Cornet  Maxwel Cornet who managed to
squeeze around three Valencia defenders, before curling the ball around
goalkeeper Doménech.

As the game continued, Valencia began to lose their structure,
and were once again left flabbergasted when Lacazette found himself on the end
of a wonderful through ball, and finished with class.

The night ended in boo’s and jeers from home fans. Certainly
not the start Neville wanted.

BELGIUM BRILLIANCE

KAA Gent have broken a Belgian hoodoo. Gent have broken a
curse, and are the first Belgian team to make the knockout stages of the
Champions League in 15 years.

Their 2-1 home win over undefeated Zenit St Petersburg sent
the fans into delirium.  Danijel Milicevic is the hero for the Belgians,
scoring the winning goal in the 78th minute.

Their win confirmed the elimination of Valencia from the
Champions League.

Congratulations Kaa Gent and Belgium!

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will have a sour
taste in his mouth, after Javier Hernandez scored again for Bayer Leverkusen.
Unfortunately the Germans were knocked out of the CL, equal on points with A.S
Roma but held a poorer head to head record.

 FFA FAN PROGRESSION

The FFA has come to an agreement with representative
A-League supporters, in a meeting that went for four hours last night.

Rather than being handed a ban notice, FFA chief executive
David Gallop and A-League boss Damien De Bohun agreed that there will be an
intention to ban.

The intention to ban means fans will be able to obtain
evidence, which can be used in an appeal.

Full details are yet to be revealed about the meeting, but
the biggest indication of the meetings success will be on the weekend in the
A-League.

Last week all active supporters boycotted their teams games,
in protest against the FFA.

This week, the A-League’s marquee game will go ahead between
Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory.

Both teams possess the most fan support in the A-League and
the match will be an indication to whether the FFA’s crisis meeting has worked.

DIRTY DIEGO COSTA

Some fans love him, some fans love to hate him.

One thing we can all agree on, he provides entertainment:

By Ari Charilaou (He’s also on twitter here) –  

Mundial Mornings is your morning wrap of world football. The latest news, transfers, matches, rumours from Australia and the world delivered every morning.

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Ari Charilaou