The Gunners ultimately avenged last season’s loss against the Greek champions, progressing 3-2 on aggregate, but a 1-0 defeat on home soil served as a timely reminder of their frustrating inconsistency.
The likes of Dani Ceballos and Mohamed Elneny struggled to control the match with Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard named among the substitutes.
Despite lacking their recent fluency, Arsenal still carved out a number of outstanding opportunities, most of which were squandered by captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who fluffed his lines upon his recall to the team following Sunday’s controversial axing.
Fortunately, those misses did not prove too costly as Olympiacos were unable to add to Youssef El-Arabi’s second half strike, but Leno admitted his side won’t win anything this season if they turn in another similar performance in the next round and revealed the mood in the dressing room was far from a celebratory one after the defeat.
He said: ‘I think we suffered today and it was not necessary. I think because in the first 15 or 20 minutes we controlled the game but then we’ve made too many easy mistakes and in the second half we conceded the goal and then everybody was nervous.
‘We made it hard for ourselves and, like I said, it was not necessary. In the dressing room it was quiet because everybody knows that it was not a good performance from us. We cannot change it anymore but the positive thing is that it was a warning.
‘The Europa League is very important for us,” added Leno. “This is probably the closest way to go to the Champions League and also to win a big European trophy so we need to step up.
‘We need to have the motivation to win every game, cut out the easy mistakes and go through to the final and hopefully have a big final at the end of the season.’