Todays match against Veroia was our first of the new year and it would be interesting to see how we fared after a scrappy end to 2012.
The start of the game was as encouraging as any games we have seen. We took control of the match early on and simply peppered their goal with as many shots as we could. Veroia by contrast sat back with 8 or 9 men and simply defended deep and in numbers.
We continued to get forward throughout most of the first half with Djebbour (on the left wing) and Mitroglou making most of the chances with the midfield being pressured to keep control of the ball. Veroia were fighting for possession and after the decent opening quarter hour we had started to lack the distribution needed to feed the two forwards (Machado going missing once again).
The Veroia packed defence held out until halftime with a 0-0 scoreline. Not a bad half to start but we tailed off and got complacent especially with regards to the passing. The crowd rightly booed its discontent at the halftime whistle.
The restart saw the debut of Pino in place of Greco and it was our first look at our new winger. As for the game, we finally managed to score the opening goal in the 54th minute after a cross from the left was headed into the net by Mitroglou (assist Pino). After the goal, we started to play more confidently and once again began to pepper the Veroia goalmouth with shots.
We played really well for five minutes after the goal but afterwards slumped down to our complacent style of play. We were still controlling the game largely but we didn't look anything like as energetic as we did following the goal.
We grabbed a second goal of the game with a pretty soft penalty which will help the scoreline disguise the fact that we haven't played that well overall. Still, I'm not complaining about a free gift from the referee.
The game wasn't finished though and Pantelic whacked in a header from close range after another cross from Pino (his second assist of the game). The game ended at 3-0 and at least we've had a win. It may not have been pretty for long stretches of the game but at least we won.
Olympiakos 3-0 Veroia
Olympiakos : Carroll, Torosidis, Manolas, Contreras, Holebas, Machado (87' Pantelic), Modesto, Maniatis, Greco (46' Pino), Djebbour, Mitroglou (78' Fetfatzidis).