Olympiakos Piraeus were never scared of Arsenal and were totally focused on defeating them in the Champions League on Tuesday to rewrite the pages of their own European history saga, according to their coach Marco Silva.
Olympiakos ended a 50-year losing streak in England by beating Arsenal 3-2 — having lost all 12 of their previous competitive European matches in the country since they played West Ham United in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965.
Olympiakos also ended a run of six successive away defeats in European competition and they now have a fighting chance of advancing to the last 16 from Group F.
“We were very concentrated on the game, very focused,” Silva told reporters.
“The most important thing was for the players to give everything they had, to believe in themselves and never be scared.
“We were never scared, even when Arsenal scored. We always respect our opponents but we were never scared and never thought we couldn’t make it.”
Olympiakos led 1-0, 2-1 and finally 3-2 in the game at The Emirates which condemned Arsenal to bottom place in the group with no points from their opening two matches.
Silva noted that Arsenal made his team work for the victory.
“Whichever team comes here to win needs to know how to suffer, to put up with the pressure, and I think that was one of the key features here today,” he said.
“We ran a lot and resisted when Arsenal tried to tire us, we were very well organised defensively and had very quick responses to Arsenal’s goals which was very important.”
He also said they were aiming to go further than last season when they finished third in their group.
“We can’t set limits, we are here and our duty is to improve every day. We know that there are a lot of differences between our team and others like Bayern (Munich) and Arsenal.
“Our budget is much smaller than theirs but we can’t set a limit to what we want to achieve and how hard we work.
“These kids believed they could take a win in this stadium and worked really hard for it.”