Todays match is the highlight of our year, the annual rapefest against the green rabbits of Panathinaikos. The tickets for this game sold out a couple of weeks ago and we have a packed stadium for todays game. If we win today (as we should) we will be 10 points in front and its all over. We will have won the championship in everything but name, it will take a couple of games for this to be literally correct but if we win today we will have basically sealed the season. The team has been announced for today, the stadium is literally vibrating under the supporters feet, we are ready to celebrate so don't let us down...
We kick the game off (after a nine minute delay) and spurred on by the fervent crowd, immediately go on the attack winning a throw-in a dangerous position before finally letting the ball go out of play. The vazeloi them come forward but we manage to clear up their attacks, first with intercepting the ball by Mellberg and then by a Pardo interception. We take over the control of the ball again and win a corner, the first of the game before heading the ball over
and out of play. We get further chances, namely a free kick, a corner and then a blocked shot on goal from Fuster but don't manage to score as yet. (quick stat: Olympiakos has 67% possession so far)
We continue with the attacking with Mirallas close to having a point blank shot on goal (blocked by Kante) and Djebbour seeing an effort wide. In all, we've been all over them in the first 15 minutes.
As the game continue, we win a free kick in an advantageous position which we convert. The free kick is played short and to the right hand side of the wall to Mirallas. Mirallas then moves forward and coolly slots the ball home past the keeper to open the scoring. Superb! (Gate7 now erupts in flares and smoke bombs which delays the restart for several minutes). After the game does restart, we attack again although we still need to be careful when the rabbits do manage to counterattack forcing Pardo to come forward and claim the ball. The Vazeloi then have a couple of minutes in control of the ball but don't do anything with it save a weak header on goal which Pardo easily saves. Before long, we have taken over in the game once more.
Our attacks are now coming thick and fast which are having to be cleared rather desperately although they are clearing the ball into the centre of the pitch on enough occasions. (Quick stat: Olympiakos possession is now 58%) The Vazeloi are still coming forward especially in the last couple of minutes, but again they've done nothing with their possession and when we do inevitably take control of the ball, we end up attacking into their box with a 1-2 between Riera and Djebbour and having a crack on their goal. We have a couple more attacks in the half but nothing comes of them, the half itself ends after 3 minutes of extra time.
For the second half, Cisse and co-homosexual Katsouranis kick off the half and come forward, getting the ball into the area before we clear up and take possession. Our touch has been poor in the opening minutes of the second half and we will need to improve - fast - if we are to avoid conceding. We do look a lot brighter after some 5 minutes into the half and look like the team we have come to respect once again. We make another sloppy play which allows the Lagoi the opportunity to counter into our box and have a shot on goal, luckily it goes wide but we must improve! (Current stat for 2nd half - possession - only 30% Olympiakos). We look firmly on the defensive as the Vazeloi come forward again and manage to win a free kick from a Raul Bravo challenge. As shitty luck would have it, the free kick is slowly punted over the wall and into the back of the net. Pardo is late to react as we concede the sloppy goal. Even after the restart we fail to take control of the game and allow the Rabbits to keep attacking us. This is so frustrating to watch as we were a much better team in the first half and we look like shit so far in the second half.
We make our first substitution of the match in the 60th minute, with David Fuster making way for Dudu Cearense, and soon after make our first direct shot of the half with Riera's shot bouncing off the stunned Tzorvas. We still don't seem to have improved our play though and we are still allowing them far too much time on the ball. Another sloppy pass allows the Lagoi to counter attack and almost have a chance of their own but we manage to take control once again, attack all the way up the pitch and force a corner from a Riera shot on goal which is fisted away from goal.Cisse has another chance on our goal after we fail to close him down adequately, luckily his header being parried by Pardo and the corner subsequently cleared. We then go on the hunt for the second goal again winning a free kick to the right hand side of their area but failing to make any shots on target.
We are now in the final 15 minutes of the game and despite the Vazeloi having control of the ball, we soon take over and attack up the pitch winning a free kick when Silva blatently fouls Mirallas. Unfortunately we cannot make anything from our opportunity and after some passes, lose the ball. Our second substitution, Mirallas for Zairi is made at this time with Zairi making an instant impact by dribbling past the opposition players. The vazeloi then have an attack on our goal and manage to score although this is ruled as offside (Cisse is behind Dudu (in front of the goalline) and has interfered with play). Our play in the second half has been very poor and I am left so disappointed in the team and how we have played in the second half.
We still have 5 minutes to play of the second half but it doesn't look like we will create anything now. The passing has been shocking and more importantly the team has lost its sense of urgency, looking happy to sit back and wait for the ball to be played. Raul Bravo, one of the only players to keep going on our side, drags the ball up the pitch only to miss out on a corner. Our final substitution of Riera coming off for Marko Pantelic is made in the 90th minute and this is surely too late to make any effect on the game?
In fact it isn't, in the first minute of extra time, we manage to get the ball into the box from the left hand side, theres a scramble in the box before Djebbour knocks it over the line to win the game. I can't say this is deserved after the second half that I've seen but it surely is very welcome indeed. There is another delay after Gate7 flood the pitch with flares and another delay after Torosidis is red carded for an off-the-ball challenge on Leto. It is the 6th minute of additional time before the game is restarted properly and by then it is all over. The win was justabout deserved overall but we came very close to screwing this up, our second half was very poor and only saved by a couple of individual performances. Still - Ante Geia Poutanas Gioi!
Olympiakos 2-1 Poutanas Gioi20' Mirallas58' Leto90+1' DjebbourOlympiakos :
Pardo, Torosidis, Mellberg, A.Papadopoulos, Bravo, Modesto, Ibagaza, Riera (90' Pantelic), Fuster (61' Dudu), Mirallas (78' Zairi), Djebbour
Green Rabbits : Tzorvas, Sarriegi, Vyntra, Kante, Spyropoulos, Silva, Katsouranis, Karagounis (79' Simao), Ninis (65' Govou), Cisse, Leto
Yellow Cards : 21' Mirallas, 90+3 Modesto
- 90+3 Leto
Red Cards : 90+3' Torosidis