Matchday 26 saw us thrash OFI with a largely second team XI. The only down point was Saviola going off injured in the 33rd minute. His replacement was Scepovic who had a great game and got his hat-trick in the remaining 60 minutes or so.
Saviola is now rated doubtful for the Manure game but we'll see for sure when the teams are announced on Monday.
OFI 0-4 Olympiakos
39 'Machado, 42', 52', 88' Scepovic
Olympiacos : Roberto, Salino, Papadopoulos, Manolas (59' Bong) Holebas, Samaras, Machado, Campbell, Fuster (62' Pele), Ibagaza, Saviola (33' Scepovic).
We had our first home match of the season tonight with our opponents being Levadiakos. Due to injury, Papazoglou came in for Contreras but apart from that it was almost the same lineup that we had utilised in last weeks match in Veroia. Perhaps we would see a better performance though as the team gets more used to the system. A minutes silence was held before the game kicked off and then it was into the match proper.
The match was not even 5 minutes old when we managed to score the opener from an indirect free kick delivered from just outside the box. The ball was shot at the wall itself but was low enough and had enough power to get through the defenders to where Siovas was waiting at the far side. A simple flick from him and the keeper was beaten, the result was our first goal at Karaiskaki for this season. The game continued with ourselves performing much of the attacking although Levadiakos also came forward on occasion.
After the first fifteen minutes Levadiakos started to pick themselves up and began to make more forays into our half. We usually broke these attacks up easily and then countered with runs of our own but it was also disconcerting to see a team like Levadiakos getting forward and controlling the centre of the pitch. We eventually took over once again in the midfield and made a corner or two but without any more success on goal.
Towards the end of the first half, Levadiakos once again made an effort to come forward en-masse and this caused us some defensive problems for a few minutes. We recovered though without allowing them to create any chances and went on the attack ourselves, scoring our second goal of the game. This came after a free kick was drifted into the box and the keeper caught it, dropped it and whilst the Levadiakos players protested and thought the keeper had been impeded, Djebbour shot into the goal. We finished off the first period making more attacks on the Levadia goal albeit unsuccessfully.
So at the end of the first half we have two goals but our play has not been overly great. We gave away possession in the middle of the pitch too easily and we seem to sit back further up the field than we did last year. This limits us when we counter attack to only using the two wingers and the striker and I'd prefer for the midfield to be a little more involved in building the attacks. Still despite our indifferent play we are two goals to the good.
The second half saw us continuing with our attacking play and almost got lucky in the 54th minute when Djebbour managed to dribble into the area. He was tackled however before he could fire the ball on target and score his second goal of the night. It was almost all one-way traffic in the fifteen minutes following the restart, Levadiakos only made one limp attack and we soon dealt with that. To round off this peiod of play, Djebbour got into the box once again and this time had his shot on goal blocked by the Levadia defence.
Our third goal of the night was scored on the 63rd minute with Maniatis getting on the scoresheet. This time the call was passed into the box from the left hand side by Abdoun, Maniatis was at the near side post in a good enough position to slide the ball into the net. Levadiakos came forward once more but we managed to easily break down their attacks. Djebbour, Abdoun and Machado managed to break through the opposition defence entirely but then spoiled their own chance when Djebbour inexplicably passed the ball forward to Abdoun and lose the ball through offside.
We scored the fourth goal in the 74th minute after another Abdoun and Djebbour breakaway (Abdoun should have been flagged offside for the initial pass to him) and Djebbour was on hand to put the finishing touches to a very fast break after Abdoun had confounded the keeper. Another good set of attacks just minutes later threatened to give us another goal but Levadiakos managed to recover and clear the ball from their box. We continued to pressurise around the opposition goalmouth and managed to give Levadiakos some real problems for their defence - they had to really struggle to get the all away on occasion. The game ended after just two minutes of extra time and we had managed to notch up another win.
In summary, the second half was so much better than the first. We played with a much higher line and the result was that we hald onto the ball for longer periods and also managed to control the midfield effectively. Abdoun was also much better in the second half and notched up two assists for his troubles. We now move onto PAS Giannena away for next weekends match.
Olympiakos 4-0 Levadiakos
Olympiakos : Carroll, Torosidis, Siovas, Papazoglou, Holebas, Maniatis, Modesto, Ibagasa (73' Fuster), Abdoun (80' Fetfatzidis), Machado, Djebbour (85' Pantelic)