Mikel Arteta marked his first European game as Arsenal manager with a 1-0 victory at Olympiakos in the first leg of their round-of-32 meeting in the Europa League on Thursday.
Another Premier League side, Wolverhampton Wanderers, cruised to a 4-0 win over Espanyol thanks to a hat trick by Diego Jota and a spectacular long-range volley by Ruben Neves.
Winning the Europa League may be the best chance for all three Premier League teams to book a spot the lucrative Champions League next season.
Scottish side Rangers delivered the comeback of the evening by rallying from 2-0 down to beat Braga 3-2 at home.
Five-time Europa League champion Sevilla failed to win again after a 1-1 draw at Romania’s Cluj while Ajax surprsingly lost 2-0 at Getafe.
Basel, Roma, Leverkusen and Wolfsburg also won. The second legs are scheduled for next week.
LACAZETTE ON TARGET
Having ended a two-month scoring drought this past weekend, Alexandre Lacazette made it two goals in two games with a late winner in Athens.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started the move on the left and released Bukayo Saka, who surged into the area and provided a precise cross for Lacazette to tap in nine minutes from time.
Arsenal had goalkeeper Bernd Leno to thank for keeping the game scoreless until then, with the German making several key saves in the first half.
“The first 10-15 minutes, we suffered,” Arteta said. “The executions on the simple things was poor. We had a situation where we could completely break them and we kept giving simple balls away and that was almost throughout the game.”
After two scoreless draws in the Premier League, Wolves rediscovered their scoring touch. Jota netted a second successive hat trick in the Europa League, but it was Neves who provided the highlight against Espanyol, the last-place team in the Spanish league. Neves controled the ball with his chest before unleashing a sublime volley from long distance to make it 2-0 in the first half.