Arsenal continued their perfect start to the new Champions League campaign as they held off a strong challenge from Olympiakos at the Emirates on Wednesday evening.
The Gunners toiled for long spells in the first half but took the lead on 42 minutes when Gervinho fired home after good work on the left by Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski.
However, as the hosts waited for the half-time whistle to arrive, Olympiakos grabbed the equaliser their efforts deserved as Kostas Mitroglou glanced a fine header past Vito Mannone.
Arsenal came out after the interval with renewed purpose and regained the initiative when Podolski collected Gervinho’s centre and fired low and hard through the legs of visiting keeper Balázs Megyeri.
With boss Arsene Wenger forced to watch from the stands, Arsenal never quite hit the heights against the obdurate Greeks but sealed an important win in injury time when substitute Aaron Ramsey made it 3-1 with a delightful flicked finish.
The result means the Gunners sit top of Group B on six points, having won 2-1 at Montpellier in their opening game, with Schalke two points further back after being held to a 2-2 draw by the French champions.
When the groups were originally drawn, Arsenal were a 20/1 chance to win the Champions League but they are now rated at 16/1 as they inch ever closer to securing their place in the last 16.
New customers joining bwin.com receive a free £20 bet and placing this on Arsenal to lift the trophy would return a whopping £340 if they manage to win the competition for the first time.
The next test for the 2006 runners-up arrives in three weeks’ time when Schalke visit the Emirates, but odds of 1/100 show that they should have no trouble advancing to the knock-out stages and they are as short as 9/50 to win their group.
Arsenal can also be backed at 8/1 to reach this season’s final, which is set to take place at Wembley Stadium in May.
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