In an exclusive interview with Goal, the Greek side’s coach explains why he’s confident of overturning their 1-0 first-leg deficit at the Emirates
Olympiacos coach Pedro Martins believes his side’s performance at Tottenham earlier in the season is proof they can go to Arsenal and get a result on Thursday night.
The Greek giants take on the Gunners at Emirates Stadium in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit following last week’s loss in Athens.
But given Olympiacos’ reputation as a team that travel poorly outside of Greece, most believe that Arsenal have already all but secured their passage through to the last 16 for a third successive season.
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Martins, however, is adamant that is not the case and says the way his team performed against Spurs in the Champions League group stage – when they drew 2-2 at home and lost 4-2 in north London – shows that the tie is still very much alive.
“Everybody in England saw during the games against Tottenham that they were two games that were balanced,” Martins told Goal during an exclusive interview. “They were two amazing games.
“It was tough for us, but it was also tough for Tottenham. We have our quality and we will never change our identity, never. This is Olympiacos and you will see that again in London.
“I believe in this team because there is a good environment inside and a good spirit. I believe we can win at Arsenal.”
But it was a game of few chances and one Martins felt could easily have gone the other way.
“I think we played a good game,” said the Portuguese coach. “Almost all the time it was balanced. I think the best result would have been a draw, but this is football. It’s small details.
“When something fails defensively against teams like Arsenal, they enjoy those moments because they have killer instinct.