We played PAS Giannena in a home game yesterday and managed to win thanks to a shot from Saviola and two penalties. However it wasn't a convincing match and we conceded twice, the second goal coming from a ten man PAS three minutes from the end of the game and leading to a hectic final few minutes.
However close the match actually proved to be, it shouldn't have been the case. We missed dozens of chances to score and frustratingly it seemed that we were trying to dance the ball into the goal rather than simply shoot. The two penalties were probably justified but we went over far too easy in the box so it left a sour taste for me.
Still we won and remain undefeated in the league so perhaps I should simply be happy with the score. I try, but there's always a thought that we can be doing even better.
Olympiacos 3-2 PAS Giannena
21' Saviola, 51' Machado (p), 70' Campbell (p) - 11' Ilic, 87' Kritikos
Olympiacos (Michel): Roberto, Machado, Papazoglou, Saviola (74' Scepovic), Samaras, Manolas, Salino, Dominguez (46' Campbell), Weiss (70' Fuster), Bong, Olaitan.
Here are the images from Sundays victory at Kleanthis Vikelidis over Aris. I'd post the link to the video but it doesn't seem to want to work, fucking thing!
We've drawn Manchester United in the knockout phases of the Champions League! We play at home in Karaiskaki first before making the long trip (well, short trip for me) to Old Trafford in the return. The games will take place on 18/19 and 25/26 February at home and away on 11/12 and 18/19 March.
The draw was as probably as good as we could have hoped for. We will have to see if the team gets strengthened during the Winter transfer window. (pffff, some hopes!)
I know that you may have heard it all before but I've had a pretty shitty 2012+1. In fact, due to the crapness of the year I've had very little to no time at all to do any work on this site.
It's been a real shame to be honest because I've done work on here for probably the best part of five years and to have suddenly gone from having spare time to having nothing at all has been a real pain in the arse for me.
Anyway, things are quietening down for me and perhaps I will get some time to do some work once again.
Let me start off then with a couple of small articles. Firstly, my namesake is doing a great job in charge of the team especially with qualifying from the Champions League group ahead of Benfica and Anderlecht both of which have higher budgets than ours.
In fact it says something about Michel's quality that he was able to get qualification when the team has had a net profit in the transfer market for the past three transfer windows. I think we've been unique in being a champions league team not investing any money on strengthening the team substantially, thats a moan for another day though - lets just enjoy the moment.
Unbeaten in Greece and 10 points in Europe, that has to be something to be happy about.
Normally I watch Olympiakos matches using a MyTV program but as I'm due to go out of country within a week for an extended period, I let my membership lapse and thought I'd use a stream instead. How wrong I could be... There were a grand total of fuck all streams available for last nights match and so I couldn't watch it at all. This is the summary from the official site :-
"Megyeri was at the goal; Salino, Cholevas, Papadopoulos and Siovas in defense; Fejsa, Maniatis and Dominguez covering the midfield, and Campbell, Weiss and Saviola with attacking duties.
Olympiacos superiority and pressure produced an early opening goal. In 13’, Jose Cholevas fired the corner kick and Siovas headed it in for 1-0.
Olympiacos kept on its pressure on the opponent and lost several chances for a second goal, however the first half ended with no change.
After the break, our side’s coach substituted several players, but Olympiacos remained aggressive whatsoever. Nevertheless, the 1-0 score remained as such until the end of the fixture."
OK, so far so good. I've heard from several people that they were satisfied in the performance and the result. I now want to see how we do against Valencia in the Mestalla stadium - never an easy place to visit.
Goal video follows.
Apologies for the lateness of this article. I went to Liverpool on Saturday to watch my beloved team play in Steven Gerrards testamonial. Liverpool isn't too far away for me and so I was there bright and early (and on my own) within 2 hours of setting off. I managed to meet up with some familiar faces from the Gate7 Londonclub before we all went inside.
We had perhaps 60 Olympiakos supporters with a lot of people being missing on holidays in Greece or unable to get transport to Liverpool (not the easiest place to get to if you don't drive). We did have two people fly in from Cyprus especially for the game and 5 or 6 others from the Gate7 Piraeus club who also flew in to attend the game. In addition to this, we have probably the same amount of people again who sat near us and attended through various reasons.
I don't like football games in England and this one was no exception - with the stewards forcing us to sit down or risk being kicked out from the stadium. We did get some chants going but its never the same when you're sat down and unable to move or jump around.
As for the game - what a mess. I think we were very lucky to only concede two goals, we just seemed to make so many defensive mistakes. We lost the ball too often and even kicked it directly to their forwards from the defence on maybe three occasions. At the front, Chori seemed to be playing on the wings (?) and it seemed to me that we were experimenting too much which is a bit poor when you consider that the league kicks off in two weeks.
After the game, we spoke and then broke up to go back to the cars. On my way back to the wasteland where I'd parked, I ran into Vangelis Marinakis getting in a very posh rental car. Thought I'd take the opportunity to have a word but I don't think he spoke english so it fell flat very quickly.
Oh well, we move and onto Anderlecht at Karaiskaki on Wednesday evening.
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
Vasillis Torosidis has left Olympiakos and joined Roma in a deal worth only half a million euros to our club. Torosidis had decided to leave the club recently and try his luck abroad after refusing to sign a new contract with the club.
The small amount for our captain is all we could manage after facing the possibility of the player leaving on a Bosman move in the summer.
A final announcement from the weekend. Olympiakos FC have announced that our Captain, Vasilis Torosidis, will not be renewing his contract with the club. After six years with the club, he has decided to move abroad to continue his career overseas.
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 :-