Olympiacos manager Pedro Martins says his team took advantage of Arsenal’s weakness from the kicks they placed in their shocking Europa League triumph.
The Gunners saw their European campaign end abruptly when they were beaten 2-1 by the Greek giants in the Emirates on February 27th.
The result saw them abandoned by the Europa League on away goals after twice exposing Mikel Arteta’s team from the placed kicks.
Martins has now said that he has seen regular filming of Arsenal defending the dead balls and that he has discovered a way to plan against their weaknesses, even if he did not want to discuss all the details of their plan.
Speaking to The Athletic, Martins said: “We have seen many games. We have almost seen weakness. Above all, we have seen what is standard in the way the team operates … against that weakness, we have tried to elaborate our plan. ”
“We scored a lot from the placed kicks. We work a lot. In these situations, we have high quality players like (Mathieu) Valbuena and Giorgos (Masouras).
“They carry the ball well and then after (Pape Abou) Cisse, (Osseynou) Ba, (Ruben) Semedo or Youssef (El-Arabi) – they are strong in the area.”
When asked for further details of his instructions to the players, he resisted stating “I have respect for Arsenal”, but confirmed that they seemed to “cross a ball not so fast for Cisse and win this space. Attack the space and don’t hit the ball too fast. “
While Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang squandered a late chance to spare Arsenal’s redness, there were wild scenes of celebration between the Greek camp.
“It was fantastic,” added Martins. “It was so many things – so much happiness. A crazy moment. “
Reports in Greece have claimed that midfielder Mady Camara’s performance in the game has alerted Mikel Arteta, prompting him to ask for more detailed reports on the level ahead of a summer transfer move.