The Gunners were lucky that the Greek side did not have quality finishers on their ranks as the visitors had several opportunities to net the first goal. Olympiacos' second-choice striker Konstantinos Mitroglou's classy equaliser on the stroke of half-time following Gervinho's superb low strike made it seem like the game was going to be an evenly-matched contest.
Luckily for Arsenal fans, their team was much better in the second as the defence got its act together and their attacks became frequent and dangerous. Gervinho was again involved for the second goal as he sent in a cutback from the left for Lukas Podolski to ram the ball home and Aaron Ramsey added a third deep in extra time to put Arsenal firmly in control of Group B.
Here we analyse how the match panned out with ratings ascribed for the various players involved.
Italian custodian Vito Mannone looked very nervous in his second European outing of the season and a few uncharacteristic mistakes by captain Thomas Vermaelen didn't help ease the pressure on the youngster's shoulders. Nevertheless, Arsenal were largely solid at the back and the transition between defence to attack was seamless and impressive.
Moreover, the full-backs were aggressive in their forays forward although they really do need to improve the accuracy of their crosses in order to really be a potent force against sides with stronger defenders. Laurent Koscielny was especially fortunate that he didn't get sent off for a dangerous-looking tackle as well.
Mannone - 6.5 | Vermaelen - 6.5 | Koscielny - 6.5 | Jenkinson - 7 | Gibbs - 8
A midfield renowned for their passing acumen was surprisingly quiet on the day with Mikel Arteta becoming a midfield enforcer in order to help cover for the young Francis Coquelin. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's speed and Podolski's tendency to drift into dangerous positions was there for all to see although the two players could improve on their defensive contribution within the game.
Santi Cazorla was brilliant with his passing and deft movements and seemed like a total different player from the one that was shackled by Chelsea's Jon Obi Mikel over the weekend.
Oxlade-Chamberlain (off 71') - 7 | Arteta - 7 | Coquelin - 7 | Cazorla - 8 | Podolski (off 80') - 8
Gervinho is really easing into the central forward position and his recent goals and performances might necessitate manager Arsene Wenger to seriously consider retraining him as a striker on a full-time basis. His dribbling down the flanks, however, is too predictable and stronger full-backs will not be as lackadaisical in closing him down before he can rifle a shot at goal.
Gervinho (off 80') - 8.5
Theo Walcott must be wondering whether he should have really kept quiet as all the talking about his desire to be employed in a forward position has helped him earn a nice cosy spot on the bench instead. He wasn't given much time to impress as he came on late in the second half but he made several good runs and combined well with Olivier Giroud. The French striker, for his part, must be wondering whether someone has invoked a voodoo curse on him as Dimitrios Siovas denied him a goal with a somewhat accidental block.
But the former Montpellier striker should have some reason to cheer as he was able to help Aaron Ramsey get back to goalscoring ways with a clever flick-on.
Ramsey (on 80') - 8 | Walcott (on 71') - 7 | Giroud (on 80') - 7.5
The defending by the away side was spirited but rarely coordinated and the Arsenal players repeatedly skipped past their challenges and found a number of paths to goal. To their credit, however, they did not resort to bullying tactics in order to limit the influence of the home team even as it was apparent that they lacked the pace to match their fitter Premier League counterparts.
Megyeri - 5 | Diakité (off 73') - 5 | Contreras - 5 | Manolas - 5 | Holebas - 5
Leandro Greco's superb cross from the left that led to the equaliser towards the end of the first half was the highlight of Olympiacos' midfield display. Olympiacos' midfield men did manage to get a couple of other chances with Machado being the liveliest character for them in the game. Had he capitalised on his opportunities - he intercepted a poor pass by Vermaelen and skied a close-range opportunity over the bar - he could have really helped his side grab the initiative and potentially cause an upset.
Paulo Machado (off 81') - 7 | Maniatis - 6 | David Fuster - 6 | Siovas - 6 | Greco (off 67') - 7
Konstantinos Mitroglou has been granted a run in the first team following an injury to main striker Panagiotis Vlachodimos and he took his chance well on the night. His glancing header directed the ball to the far corner and it was simple yet brilliant. He was also constantly haranguing the Arsenal defenders and crossing the ball inwards for his team-mates to come in and attempt shots on goal and was arguably Olympiacos' best man on the pitch.
Mitroglou - 7.5
All three of Olympiacos' substitutes could not provide much impetus in their side's realistic pusuit of an equaliser until Ramsey's late goal finally killed off their hopes.
Ibagaza (on 73') - 5 | Pantelić (on 81') - 5 | Abdoun (on 67') - 5