Arsenal FC: A European hangover
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 21: Martin Odegaard of Arsenal looks dejected after the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal at London Stadium on March 21, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Paul Childs - Pool/Getty Images)

Arsenal appeared to be suffering from a European hangover against West Ham United courtesy of Thursday's display against Greek side Olympiacos.

The Gunners were trailing by three after only 32 minutes, with goals from Jesse Lingard, Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek separating the sides. 

Alexandre Lacazette was pivotal in pulling a goal back for Arsenal. His shot was deflected in past Lukasz Fabianski by Soucek to give the Gunners hope.

The match was a tale of two halves, Arsenal came flying out of the blocks eager to grab a second. Callum Chambers' powerful cross was smashed into the back of the net by Craig Dawson, who had no control on the ball. 

The equaliser came in the 82 minute. Nicolas Pepe crossed the ball over the defence, where an unmarked Lacazette was able to head the ball into the net.

A European hangover

After 30 minutes it appeared that Arsenal were going to be continuing their poor form after playing on a Thursday night. Heading into the match the Gunners had lost seven of their nine matches after playing in the Europa League, a feat that Mikel Arteta will not want to repeat.

Arsenal made six changes to the starting 11 that faced Olympiacos. Bernd Leno kept his place in goal, with Kieran Tierney, David Luiz, Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang starting outfield. After playing the match on Thursday night they may have been tired.

However, this gives no excuse to the abysmal start though. It was slow and sluggish, with no urgency on the ball. The players looked disinterested and were caught out far too easily, letting a quick free kick get the better of them for the second goal.

Future European ties

The North London side are set to face Slavia Prague on April 8 and April 15. After these ties, Arsenal have Sheffield United and Fulham in the Premier League, two must win matches against relegation candidates. 

The Gunners will be hopeful that their European matches do not impact on their Premier League campaign with too much stress. The success of the season will be marked on the Europa League so the main focus should be put into the competition.

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