Our game in Komotini, Thrace was postponed by a day to allow the snow to be cleared. As for the match itself, it was surprisingly open. There was plenty of tempo during the first half but very few chances on goal - perhaps one real chance on goal for both sides. The amount of water held within the pitch wasn't helping us and the ball itself was moving very sluggishly. The half ended 0-0 and it was apparent that a quick rethink of tactics would be needed at halftime.
After about 15 minutes of the second half, it was apparent that a tactical change was needed and so we brought on Mitroglou as a second striker and sacrificed Greco to the bench.
The change didn't make any change to the scoreline in the short term and we still struggled getting any proper chances away against the packed Thracian defence. Eventually we got the goal with a 86th minute header from Contreras which gave us the victory today.
Not the best game but we had enough control of the match to give us the victory.
Panthrakikos 0-1 Olympiakos
Olympiakos : Megyeri, Diakite, Manolas, Contreras, Holebas, Modesto (75' Fejsa), Maniatis, Greco (57' Greco), Machado, Abdoun, Djebbour
First impressions of Nikopolidis' debut were encouraging with our team pressing, attacking with flair and generally playing more aggressively than had been seen previously this season. We took control of the game and played fast aggressive football from the first whistle. PAS' chances were limited but they did also fight for the ball whenever they got the chance.
Despite our improved style it took right to the death of the first half to open the scoring. Here it was a free kick taken in stoppage time, fumbled by the keeper and knocked into the net by Djebbour.
Our second half continued in the same way that the first half had finished, a strong aggressive and fast display which led to good possession in the PAS half. To be fair, we were pretty rusty at this style of play but with time we would sharpen our play and get ourselves more used to the tactics used today.
Abdoun doubled the score in the 68th minute after a good 1-2 play with Ibagaza in the box. Our aggressive tactics didn't stop after doubling our lead and although we didn't score any more goals we ended the match positively.
Olympiakos 2-0 PAS Giannena
Olympiakos : Megyeri, Diakite, Manolas, Contreras, Holebas, Maniatis, Greco (64' Ibagaza), Machado, Abdoun (77' Fetfatzidis), Pino (72' Mitroglou), Djebbour
Pictures follow :-
We played very badly for the first hour of the match, without any hunger for the game or desire to win. Our play was pretty terrible and only improved on the hour mark after Papazoglou opened the scoring. Fejsa scored the second in the 81st minute with a thunderous shot but half an hour of good play does not cancel out an hour of pure rubbish. It should also be noted that in the period where we turned in a good performance, we were only playing against 10 men! We should have scored four goals in the last half hour but will have to settle for the 2-0 scoreline.
I won't say any more as I'm not particularly happy about our performances recently, and wondering just how long the fact that we win against crap opposition can disguise the fact that we are playing like shit.
Olympiakos 2-0 Kavala
Olympiakos: Megyeri, Diakite, Papazoglou, Manolas, Zaradoukas, Fejsa, Greco, Pino (57' Abdoun), Fetfatzidis (60' Pantelic), Mitroglou, Djebbour (74' Vlachodimos).
We made it 12-0 in the A1 Basket championship with another win for the season. This time our opponent was Panionios, playing away in our SEF arena and the final score was 87-73.
The first quarter was a smart bit of play from our team, we took over from early on and quickly reached a double digit lead (21-11), whilst the second quarter followed a similar pattern. Sloukas, Bartzoukas and Hines were the heroes of the first half and Bartzokas in particular got a large amount of points during the second quarter.
The second half continued in the same vein and we kept the lead at 11 points for long stretches of the third quarter. The scoreline bobbled about but finally finished as being +12 (68-56). The game was all set for the final quarter and we never disappointed. Printezis, Antic and Mantzaris all scored three point shots during this last stage and the result was a final score of 87-73. We now move onto Siena!
The final scores were :-
1st Quarter : Olympiakos 26-15 Panionios
2nd Quarter : Olympiakos 46-29 Panionios
3rd Quarter : Olympiakos 70-56 Panionios
4th Quarter : Olympiakos 87-73 Panionios
Olympiakos : Hines 6, Low 8, Antic 2, Spanoulis 13, Perperoglou 9, Sermantini 2, Sloukas 6, Powell 12, Printezis 16), Papanikolaou 8, Mantzaris 5.
Another week and another insipid first half from our team, augmented by our managers amazing knack of playing Machado out of position on the wing and favouring him over more suitable players. The action in the first half wasn't really worth mentioning and we only made 4 shots on target in the opening 45 minutes. The best of these was a close range backheel in the 23rd minute from Greco which was cleared off the line. Apart from this, nothing of any note.
The bizarre substitution of taking Greco off rather than the underperforming Machado at halftime did nothing to help the situation and the second half continued with another poor performance from the team with very little action to talk of. A second substitution on the 70' mark did allow us to get two strikers onto the pitch and change the system but we still couldn't manage to make any chances which counted.
Our final change in the 80th minute saw all 3 strikers now on the pitch but despite a point blank header from Modesto cleared off the line, we didn't manage to create much.
However, just as the game was about to end up came Djebbour who headed in literally the last shot of the game. 90+6' for the winning goal and Jardim is a lucky lucky man.
Levadiakos 0-1 Olympiakos
Olympiakos : Megyeri, Torosidis, Manolas, Contreras, Holebas, Maniatis, Modesto, Greco (46' Pino), Abdoun (80' Pantelic), Machado (70' Mitroglou), Djebbour
We didn't have any problems today in our basketball match and destroyed Panelefsiniakos 94-76 away in Peristeri. To be fair, we didn't have the best of openings but had grabbed a lead by the 9th minute which we improved on and maintained until the end of the game.
The second quarter saw an improvement in our team defensively but the real change came in the second half with us opening first a 15 point lead and then capitalising on this and going further to finish 18 points clear.
The quarters were :-
1st Quarter : Panelefsiniakos 18-21 Olympiakos
2nd Quarter : Panelefsiniakos 38-45 Olympiakos
3rd Quarter : Panelefsiniakos 52-67 Olympiakos
4th Quarter : Panelefsiniakos 76-94 Olympiakos
Olympiacos : Hynes, Low 6, Antic 10, Spanoulis 8, Perperoglou 10, Sermandini 5, Sloukas 8, Mavroeidis 6, Gecevicous 13, Printezis 20, Papanikolaou 3, Mantzaris 5.
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).
We played Panachaiki earlier this evening and managed to draw the game 1-1 despite having a man advantage and performing very badly on the pitch. In a game we will want to forget very quickly, we conceded the first goal of the game in only the 4th minute of the match. After the goal, Panachaiki never threatened again but we never got ourselves organised or playing with any particular passion. The expulsion of Voskopoulos in the 37th minute didn't improve the game for us and we still struggled all the way to halftime.
The second half wasn't much of an improvement although the goal by Fetfatzidis was a superb effort made with assistance from Holebas and Mitroglou. After the equaliser there was no marked improvement in our play, we still had trouble in creating chances and our efforts were played too long or too wide from the goalmouth. Episodes from the Panachaiki fans stopped the game in the 83rd minute and although the game briefly restarted again it was then permanently stopped four minutes after.
The game was a terrible performance from our team and possibly the worst seen under Jardim so far. Fuster as Captain was unimpressive whilst Machado continued to underperform in his games. There was no passion at all in our game and thank god we can now break for Christmas.
Panachaiki 1-1 Olympiakos
Olympiakos: Megyeri, Diakite, Holebas, Contreras, Papazoglou, Fejsa (46' Djebbour) Greco, Machado (58' Ibagaza) Fuster, Fetfatzidis, Mitroglou
Olympiakos won its tenth league game in a row with a 3-0 thrashing of Iraklis. Our opponents only took the lead once in a single set of the three but we eventually recovered and won the set in addition to the other two sets already won.
The eventual scores were :-
Iraklis 0-3 Olympiakos
1st Set : Iraklis 25-28 Olympiakos
2nd Set : Iraklis 22-25 Olympiakos
3rd Set : Iraklis 19-25 Olympiakos
Olympiakos : Kokkinakis 11, Giourisic 10, Filippov, Christofidelis 5, Gordanov 15, Smaragdis 9, Stefanos 1
Olympiakos continued their march onwards by defeating Ilysiakos by 113 to 85 points yesterday in our SEF arena. This was the tenth match of the A1 league season and only a few days before we meet Kavala for the cup semifinal.
Printezis was the best scorer of the match followed by Papanikolaou and Gecevicius.
The overall scores and scorers are as follows (pictures after) :-
Olympiakos 113-75 Ilysiakos
1st Quarter : Olympiakos 21-18 Ilysiakos
2nd Quarter : Olympiakos 55-43 Ilysiakos
3rd Quarter : Olympiakos 82-58 Ilysiakos
4th Quarter : Olympiakos 113-75 Ilysiakos
Olympiakos : Hines 9, Low, Spanoulis 2, Sloukas 13, Mavroeidis 7, Powell 14, Gecevicius 17, Printezis 24, Papanikolaou 18, Mantzaris, Georgakis 5, Katsevelis 4