We started the match off, taking control of the game straight away. Despite our advantages though, we looked rather complacent in the build up play and only really sprang into life when getting the ball forward close to the Kerkyra area. We did make some attempts on goal during the opening phase of the game but nothing of any real note.
Slowly but surely though we started to make our advantage count and make some penetrative runs on the Kerkyra goalmouth. We got the opening goal in the 23rd minute with a header from point blank range delivered by Mitroglou after Diakite provided the assist with a cross from the right hand side. This chance was followed a few minutes later by an overhead bicycle kick from Abdoun which had to be cleared off the line.
The remainder of the half saw more of the same, Kerkyra were truly awful and so the ball more or less stayed in constant location of the Kerkyra area. The only things to note just before the break were a denied penalty shout when Mitroglou was dragged down in the box and a sloppy display of defending from Papazoglou which briefly allowed Kerkyra to threaten our goal.
As it was though, we left the field at half time with a single goal lead but enjoying 69% possession and nine chances on goal to Kerkyra's one.
Kerkyra start to come out of their half in the second half after they discovered that their tactic of staying on the defensive AFTER conceding wasn't working too well. This however allowed us to make more attempts on their goal and the result was Siovas scoring the second goal of the game with a header.
The game was more or less dead now although Kerkyra did have one of their few chances to score a consolation goal (which they dragged wide of goal). We kept control of the game though and the result was a fine win. We were almost always in control of the game and Kerkyra were very much outplayed. The next game will be against Schalke so it is good that this has been an easy game for us.
Olympiakos 2-0 Kerkyra
Olympiakos :- Carroll, Diakite, Papazoglou, Siovas, Holebas, Modesto (70' Fejsa), Greco, Ibagasa (80' Zaradoukas), Abdoun, Fuster, Mitroglou (73' Djebbour)
The team for tomorrows match against Kerkyra has been announced. A couple of players (Torosidis, Manolas and Fetfatzidis) have not been included but this is possible becuase the team is also getting prepared for our trip to Germany early next week.
The team for tomorrow consists of...
Siovas, Zaradoukas, Holebas, Papazoglou, Modesto, Maniatis, Contreras
Greco, Ibagasa, Fuster, Fejsa, Abdoun, Vlachodimos, Machado, Diakite
Mitroglou, Pantelic, Djebbour
Giannis Fetfatzidis has renewed his contract with our team keeping him at Olympiakos until June 2016. We wanted to keep the player at the club and so offered him a four year contract which the young international was keen to sign.
More renewals may occur over the coming weeks with Holebas and Djebbour being near to the top of the list.
We beat AEK by a 4-0 scoreline earlier tonight with goals coming from Abdoun (penalty), Mitroglou and Fuster. Our team faced a hostile atmosphere in the OAKA stadium to leave with the victory after a hard fought performance. The Turks had been reduced to 10 men from the 22nd minute after Mitroglou was dragged down in the box and Abdoun converted the subsequent penalty. Mitroglou scored the second goal with a shot from the edge of the area after breaking away from his defensive markers. The victory was completed late on in the match by Fuster scoring the third goal and Mitroglou wrapping up the game in the 88th minute with a fine solo effort.
Performance wise, we played reasonably well to win the game. The Hanoumaki were always on the back foot during the game due to the lack in numbers and we kept the pressure on their defence to ensure the win. Mitroglou and Abdoun were the main driving force behind all of our attacks whilst the only real indifferent performance was found by Machado.
The win tonight sees us keep our league position in first place with a five point clear gap to the team in second place.
AEK 0-4 Olympiakos
23' Abdoun (p)
Olympiakos : Carroll, Torosidis, Papazoglou, Siovas, Holebas (85' Modesto), Fejsa, Greco (77' Maniatis), Machado (65' Ibagaza), Fuster, Abdoun, Mitroglou.
The team for tomorrow's match against the Turks has been announced. Our players include -
I woke today in Singapore to the happy news that we had beaten the French by 3 goals to 1 in last nights Champions League match. Regards to my friend who texted me the result and I dedicate the picture of her G7 club to her. I will be back for the AEK game so normal service returns then...
Olympiacos scorers get just desserts
Goalscorers Paulo Machado and Leandro Greco gave Olympiacos FC credit for accomplishing their mission to beat Montpellier SC 3-1, with the exit beckoning for the French side.
Paulo Machado was voted UEFA.com Player Rater winner and was beaming after Olympiacos FC's 3-1 win against Montpellier Hérault SC "because we did everything we had to do". As for Montpellier, penalty-scorer Younes Belhanda was left to rue the errors that led to Olympiacos's victory in Piraeus, acknowledging "the first mistake was mine".
Paulo Machado, Olympiacos midfielder
I am very satisfied because, first of all, we deserved to win. We did everything we had to. This victory was a must if we were to entertain a realistic hope of making it to the next round – and we did it. The match was a bit complicated – Saturday's league encounter was very intense and tonight we were a bit tired. Since joining Olympiacos, I have had chances to score but I didn't convert them. Now I am off the mark and I want to make the most of this momentum. After the two victories over Montpellier we intend to go to Schalke to get at least a point, and then defeat Arsenal here.
Leandro Greco, Olympiacos midfielder
I am very happy with everything today, because we won a very important match and because I scored – so it is doubly satisfying for me. We played a complete match – we defended, attacked and fought together as a squad and in the end deserved the win. The main thing was to win today – now, we’ll see what we can achieve in the last two matches. One never knows what can happen in football. Of course, our aim is to qualify and to give it our all. As for me, the more I play, the better my physical condition is. I am satisfied with my game today, but even more happy with this important win.
Younes Belhanda, Montpellier midfielder
We are somewhat frustrated to lose this match, because we managed to equalise. Two small errors cost us. The first mistake was mine – I kicked the ball away but it went into the path of the guy that took the shot. Olympiacos's third goal was the end of us. It was very difficult afterwards to turn around a two-goal deficit. Now, the most important thing is to forget tonight's match and then focus on what we can do against Arsenal and Schalke. There is a very slim chance to qualify for the Europa League but, if that's not possible, we will concentrate on our league.
The Champions League is a competition for the big clubs. We are not quite ready for this kind of competition. Olympiacos are a big team and have proved themselves in the Europa League and Champions League. It's our first time – we are debutants facing big clubs.
Anthony Mounier, Montpellier forward
We came here in search of a positive result that could revive our qualification hopes, but we missed our chance and it's a pity that we couldn't do more. We conceded very early. We managed to create some chances but failed to make the most of them. We are just getting started in the Champions League and we have some young players. Olympiacos may not be among Europe's greats, but they are used to this competition – they know how to handle these matches, better than us for sure, as witnessed in both encounters.
In France, we conceded in the last minute, while today we managed to equalise but then conceded two goals, one immediately after the other – that hurt us. Now we must apply ourselves to the maximum. There is a slight chance to qualify for the Europa League if we win both our remaining matches. In football everything is possible, even if that is a tall order. And even if we go out, we want to leave the competition with our heads held high.
After yesterdays training session, the team of 19 players was announced by Leonardo Jardim. Some players are being rested for the match against Montpellier and some are still recovering from injury. The players announced though were :-
Goalkeepers (2) :
Defenders (7) :
Siovas, Zaradoukas, Holebas, Manolas, Papazoglou, Torosidis, Maniatis
Midfielders (8) :
Greco, Fetfatzidis, Fejsa, Abdoun, Vlachodimos, Lykogiannis, Machado, Diakite
Attackers (2) :
It has been announced that Juan Jose Lorenzo will join our team as a technical scouting consultant. The 35 year old Spaniard has previous experience in his role at Real Madrid, Real Valladolid and Arsenal. He will be responsible for finding new players to benefit the team.
The team making the trip to France has been named. The players making the journey are :-
Goalkeepers (2) :
Defenders (6) :
Holebas, Manolas, Torosidis, Contreras, Modesto, Maniatis
Greco, Fuster, Fejsa, Abdoun, Lykogiannis, Machado, Diakite
Diogo, Mitroglou, Pantelic, Djebbour
One player will need to be cut from the team before the match on Wednesday. Absentees include Fetfatzidis, Siovas, Zaradoukas, Vlachodimos and Ibagasa.
On Wednesday we have our third Champions League match, this time against Montpellier (away). We have fans travelling to the game from all over europe, road trips from Athens, Belgium and Germany will be making the journey whilst other groups will be flying to the game as well.
As for the game, we have a good chance to get a result here. If we can perform and grab the three points then we have a good chance to progress further in Europe. We then also have to get results at Montpellier at home along with Arsenal but a victory in France will set us up for advancing further.