MARTIN ODEGAARD scored his first Arsenal goal with an absolute rocket against Olympiacos on Thursday night.
The Gunners headed to Greece looking for revenge after being KO’d by the same opponents in last season’s Europa League last-32 stage.
Martin Odegaard opened his Arsenal account with a rocket of a shot against OlympiacosCredit: AP:Associated Press
Olympiacos stopper Jose Sa perhaps could have done better but was deceived by the flight and power of the shotCredit: Reuters
And Mikel Arteta’s squad got off to the perfect start with a little over half an hour on the clock.
Picking the ball up just right of centre, Odegaard cut inside and lashed a thunderbolt of a left-footed effort into the back of the net.
The Arsenal playmaker really put his laces through the ball, with the swerve clearly deceiving Olympiacos stopper Jose Sa.
As the ball flew directly at him, Sa appeared to lose track of the powerful effort.
Despite getting a weak wrist on it, the ball still ended up thundering into the back of the net.
It was only Odegaard’s second shot on target as an Arsenal player since arriving on loan from Real Madrid – but what a strike it was.
Odegaard had been largely anonymous in the game before blowing the game wide open with his long-range effort.
And Arsenal fans on Twitter were left staggered by the goal, with one writing: “What a goal by Martin Odegaard. Wow.”
Odegaard celebrated scoring his first Arsenal goal with only his second shot on targetCredit: AFP or licensors
Another tweeted: “Martin Odegaard, take a bow son.”
A third said: “Martin Odegaard learning from Lionel Messi. That’s an insane strike.”
Gabriel and Mo Elneny scored late on after Youssef Al-Arabi had equalised to put Mikel Arteta’s side in full control ahead of the second leg.
After the 3-1 win, Odegaard told BT Sport: “It is a big win for us, a great result with three goals away from home and win in this competition is always good.
“The mentality in this team is great. Very pleased with everything.
“We showed the spirit in the team and the way we back each other. If one player makes a mistake then we react.
“That is what it is about, being a team. When one player makes a mistake you have to strike back as a team.
“I wanted to get a shot on goal, luckily I had a good hit and it went in.
“I have felt at home since the first day, I am happy to be here and feel great.
“It is just half time. We have to keep going. We have a big game on Saturday and then have to be ready for next Thursday.
“It is very important, we are not where we want to be in the league so this is very important for us and a chance to get Champions League football next year.”
Odegaard was thrilled with Arsenal’s strong team performance in the win over OlympiacosCredit: AP:Associated Press
Just 24 hours earlier, Messi had scored a Puskas award contender of his own in Barcelona’s aggregate defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
Similarly to Odegaard, the Argentine carried the ball from right-of-centre and lashed home an unstoppable left-footed drive.
Messi’s strike, though, left Keylor Navas no chance of even getting close.
Unfortunately for Messi, it wasn’t enough to pull over another ‘Remontada’, as Barca lost 5-2 to PSG on aggregate.
Kylian Mbappe scored PSG’s goal on the night and in doing so became the youngest player to score 25 Champions League goals… overtaking Messi by nearly a year.