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).
Just a short article to wish you and all Gavroi worldwide a very happy Christmas and a happy New Year. See you all in 2013 and I'll try to keep this page updated as often as I can.
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
We played Panionios in Nea Smyrni during our Matchday 15 tie and went on to win the game by a 1-2 scoreline.
Despite a very cagey opening from our team, we soon recovered and went on the offensive. The first goal was scored by Panionios, against the run of play, by Christos Aravidis after some shit defending allowed him to shoot on goal. We kept the pressure up though and were rewarded with our efforts by an equalising goal some five minutes later. Here Spyropoulos totally miskicked his clearance and pushed the ball in entirely the wrong direction and into the net!! We came close to taking the lead right at the death of the first half but both Djebbour and Modesto fluffed their chances.
We continued to pressurise in the second half and the addition of Mitroglou gave us more of an offensive edge. Mitroglou had two direct chances on goal bounce off the goalpost though and we had real trouble in getting the final ball into the box to one of our players. Panionios also had a couple of chances of their own on goal but largely the game was in our favour. Eventually we got the second goal in the 82nd minute thanks to a Rafik Djebbour knock-in and we looked set to win the game when Panionios were reduced to 10 men shortly afterwards.
The win sees us climb to 11 points clear at the top of the table and ready for the winter break.
Panionios 1-2 Olympiakos
31' Spyripoulos (og)
Olympiakos : Carroll, Maniatis, Manolas, Contreras, Holebas, Greco (46' Mitroglou), Modesto, Ibagaza, Machado (67' Fuster), Abdoun (90' Papazoglou), Djebbour
Our team managed to top the group and qualify for the round of 16 teams in the NextGen competition after a win over Atletic Bilbao. The win meant that Olympiakos finished ahead of Arsenal, Bilbao and Marseille in the standings.
I don't think this should be brushed over, we have proved that our team is capable of standing toe-to-toe with teams with very advanced youth facilities and beat them. Arsenal is famed for their youth policy and their ability to grow their stars from their academy and Marseille's is similarly very well regarded and known for their results in grooming future players.
We've done very well to top the group in the face of such prestigious teams and academies.