Alexandre Lacazette gives Gunners Europa League last-32 advantage

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Alexandre Lacazette celebrates his goal against Olympiakos

Arsenal took a big step towards the Europa League last 16 as Alexandre Lacazette’s late strike secured a 1-0 win away to Olympiakos in the first leg of their round-of-32 tie.

Lacazette converted from close range in the 81st minute after Bukayo Saka had latched onto Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s pass and sent the ball across the six-yard box.

Arsenal had survived some awkward moments before that, with Bernd Leno making some fine saves, but they could have put the tie out of Olympiakos’s reach in the closing stages, with Lacazette spurning another opportunity and Sokratis striking the woodwork with a header.

The Gunners still take a lead back to the Emirates Stadium, though, extending their unbeaten run to nine games under Mikel Arteta, and they will be confident of reaching the next round of the Europa League when they welcome Olympiakos to the Emirates Stadium for next week’s second leg.