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Joy for Arsenal duo, Mellberg down

Published: Thursday 29 September 2011, 5.47CET
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and André Santos were both thrilled to score their first goals in Arsenal FC colours against an Olympiacos FC team who were left to rue the points that got away.
by Trevor Huggins
from Arsenal Stadium

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Published: Thursday 29 September 2011, 5.47CET

Joy for Arsenal duo, Mellberg down

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and André Santos were both thrilled to score their first goals in Arsenal FC colours against an Olympiacos FC team who were left to rue the points that got away.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was thrilled with his early goal on his UEFA Champions League debut for Arsenal FC, but knows, at 18, that he has plenty of hard work ahead. The same is true of Olympiacos FC after they went down to a second Group F defeat, although Olof Mellberg felt they "deserved better" in London.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal striker
To make my first start in the Champions League obviously I was honoured and proud, even more proud to get the three points with the boys. It was a massive game for us, to build on the momentum from Saturday. It was a really, really good game and I'm happy with the way it turned out. There's always nerves, you want to do as well as you can you, want to impress the fans, the manager and help the boys out, so obviously I was a little bit nervous.

But football's football and if you're confident in your own ability, you work as hard as you can, I believe the talent should take over. I've got a lot of hard work to go, and a lot of improvement on tonight's performance; there are areas that I've already thought I need to improve on. But it's a good start for me and I'm proud to have scored my first goal in the Champions League.

To make my first start in the Champions League obviously I was honoured and proud, even more proud to get the three points with the boy
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
They showed a lot of quality and created a lot of chances, but we scored twice and finished up with a great victory
André Santos
It's obviously very difficult for us now we'll probably have to win the rest of the games to qualify for the next round
Olof Mellberg
The difference was in the physical condition of the two teams, Arsenal were fresher than we were
Rafik Djebbour

André Santos, Arsenal defender
It was an important goal and I'm very happy, because it was my first [UEFA Champions League] game in front of the supporters, and it's always good to score and help the team. I'm very happy with the way I'm adapting. I always hope to score goals and help my team. I hope now I can have a good time in the Arsenal shirt. Olympiacos didn't come to defend – they really attacked our team. They showed a lot of quality and created a lot of chances, but we scored twice and finished up with a great victory.

Olof Mellberg, Olympiacos defender
We gave it our best. We had quite a lot of chances and probably deserved a result in the end; it's disappointing. Obviously we didn't have the best of starts, we struggled a little bit with the pressure in the first 15-20 minutes and they were able to find a little bit of space in between us. Still we limited the damage to only a few chances but they scored from two of them, so it was uphill from there. But we managed to get back, get a good goal and after that they looked a little bit shaky and we tried to take advantage. We put pressure on them and created more chances, but it was a frustrating game. It's obviously very difficult for us now we'll probably have to win the rest of the games to qualify for the next round.

Rafik Djebbour, Olympiacos striker
It was a hell of a match; it's always exciting to play in a Champions League game. We came here to get a positive result, we wanted to cause Arsenal a few problems and come away with the three points. We conceded two early goals, but we were able to come back quickly from that with a goal and our ambition right until the end was to get that positive result. The difference was in the physical condition of the two teams, Arsenal were fresher than we were – we're still getting there. But like the game against Marseille, we end up with a big disappointment, even though they are both stronger opponents than us on paper. During the game, we matched them in terms of football.

Last updated: 27/11/12 18.14CET

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