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Σάββατο, 05 Φεβρουαρίου 2011 19:53

Preview - Matchday 21 : Olympiakos-Xanthi

Tomorrow we play Skoda Xanthi at home for Matchday 19 of the Greek Superleague. As regards the team and their preparation for this game :-
Immediately after the PAOK game, Avraam Papadopoulos picked up an ankle injury and unfortunately he didn't manage to recover in time for tomorrows game. There is a problem at centre back however as Giannis Potouridis is also confirmed out and so we are strongly expecting to see a Mellberg-Modesto combination at the back.
As for other players, Zairi complained about some chest pains but was pronounced fit for the game, whilst both Riera and Dudu completed their recovery and have been training with the team on the full schedule.
Mirallas is suspended for this game although whether he would have been fit is another question (after PAOK threw a smashed bottle at him, narrowly missing his eye)
Anyway, the 19 players for the team have been confirmed as :-
  • Goalkeepers (2) : Nikopolidis, Pardo
  • Defenders (7) : Torosidis, Mellberg, Bravo, Holebas, Maniatis, Modesto, Leandro
  • Midfielders (8) : G.Papadopoulos, Ibagaza, Fetfatzidis, Fuster, Zairi, Rommedahl, Riera, Dudu
  • Attackers (2) : Pantelic, Djebbour
It is for our team, to go out and win tomorrow and we expect them to do this convincingly.
Published in English Section
Κυριακή, 30 Ιανουαρίου 2011 20:44

Olympiakos Volou 0-1 Olympiakos Piraeus

Todays game comes from the Panthessalaiko stadium where we will be facing a very competant Olympiakos Volou team. Volou have been playing well all season and although we won the home leg of this tie comfortably enough, the away leg will obviously be a different beast altogether. We have purchased and sold all 6,200 tickets which were available prior to the match and the stadium itself seems packed to the rafters as the teams walk out on the pitch. We are wearing the all blue kits today whilst Volou will be wearing the traditional 'erythroleukos' kit, the stadiums are vibrating under the force of the fans as the whistle goes to start the game...

The opening minutes of the match are rather tight with both sides rushing to get control of the ball. One side will attack before losing out on the ball and allowing the other side to try their chances on goal. This style of play continues for the first ten minutes of the game with neither side able to make much progress in the game although Volou possibly have had the better chances with the ball so far. Our defence however has started off the game well and we seem to be building our plays from the back allowing the defence to be the basis of our gameplay. We do have a single chance on goal in the first fifteen minutes thanks to a free kick from outside the area but this is all we can manage in the early stages.

Despite not really having control of the game yet, we do manage to grab the opening goal when a break allows Riera to get into the left hand side of the box, pass right past the waiting defenders to Mirallas who had been left unmarked on the edge of the box. It is a simple job for Fuster to knock the ball into the net and past the keeper. Volou now restart the game but apart from a quick attack of their own, they concede control of the ball and allow us to attack them again, this time resulting in a corner.
After the goal, we seem to have taken control of the game and we are now performing most of the attacking in the game whilst Volou seem content to defend and try to avoid a second goal. We make some smooth attacks during this time but we cannot manage to get the final ball to Pantelic or make the shot on goal yet.

As we continue to attack, Volou do manage to grab a couple of counter attacks for themselves and manage to threaten our goal through free kicks and the odd fast attack. So far however, our defence has been capable of withstanding anything that they throw at us though. Volou do a large amount of attacking in this phase although we do manage to force a corner through our own counter attack. It must be admitted though that Volou are controlling the possession and the amount of attacks even though our defence is standing firm. Their best chance so far comes from a header on goal from breska which Pardo has to dive in order to effectively save.
Volou continue to attack and grab the equaliser whilst we still defend hard. It is annoying to see that although we have five players in midfield, we are not controlling possession and we are coming off second best in the midfield itself. A free kick from the left gives us a glimmer of hope at grabbing a second goal but we waste our chances and head the delivered cross over the net.
In another (worringly good) attack, Volou player Solakis gets close to heading the ball into our net but luckily is confounded by Pardo's energetic save. This proves to be the last play of the half though which ends after one minute of extra time and provides us with the chance to sort ourselves out for the second half.

The second half starts off reasonably well for us. We look a lot better in control of the ball and it isn't long before we manage to win a free kick on the edge of the area through a foul made on Pantelic (although we cannot convert the free kick into a goal and only win a corner from it). This is followed up with a short range shot on goal from Riera (which also results in a corner). We continue with the attacking play with a marked difference to the end of the first half, we now look in control of the game and we are showing this in the amount of chances we are creating around their goalmouth. We come extemely close to scoring a second goal from Fuster after he manages to break through their defence skillfully but his resulting shot in lobbing the keeper is just wide of the net.

Our first substitution is made in the 61st minute with Djebbour making his Olympiakos debut for Marko Pantelic. Pantelic although he had performed reasonably today had never really shone on the field and this will be interesting, even if it is just to see how Djebbour can play. Our attacking play continues with both Riera and Mirallas snapping shots away at the Volou goal but without success. In a rare counterattack, Volou get a shot away on our goal but find it wide.
We win a free kick right on the edge of the area in the 67th minute after Djebbour is fouled and this gives us a golden chance to score. However the kick is taken far too soft and the lob easily intercepted and cleared. Apart from this though, we are in full control of the game and making attack after attack. Some care is evidently needed though as we find the ball intercepted or desperately cleared by Volou just too often for my own liking. We now prepare our second substitution of the game with Zairi coming on for Mirallas.

We are now in the last fifteen minutes of the match and continuing with the attacking play. Unfortunately our lack of concentration when it comes to the final pass is still evident and we end up losing more goalscoring chances through our own poor passing when we've done the hard part of breaking into the box. Our final substitution is now made with Albert Riera coming off for Jose Holebas, it looks like Riera may have picked up an injury as he needed to be carried off the pitch on a stretcher.
Back to the game and Djebbour surprised himself when he managed o get into a 1-on-1 situation with the goalie and he didn't take his shot cleanly, bouncing it against the goalkeepers legs. We make more attacks and shots on the Volou goal but nothing with any conviction. The play continues like this throughout normal time until we enter the first of three minutes of extra time when we win two corners in a row although we don't make any of our chances pay.
The game finishes after 3 minutes of additional time and although we can be happy that we won the three points today, we can also we very frustrated that we didn't win more convincingly. We were in control of the game for a good 70% of the time but couldn't finish our chances off.

Olympiakos Volou 0-1 Olympiakos Piraeus
19' Fuster

Olympiakos Piraeus : Pardo, Torosidis, A.Papadopoulos, Mellberg, Bravo, Ibagaza, Modesto, Mirallas (73' Zairi), Fuster, Riera (79' Holebas), Pantelic (61' Djebbour)
Olympiakos Volou : Giakoupovic, Dolezai, Szelesi, Tomas, Alvarez, Kapetanos (71' Mitropoulos), Bertolini (46' Martin), Rokas, Monhe, Breska, Solakis (59' Akosta)
Yellow Cards : 14' Bertolini, 67' Tomas, 92' Martin / ---
Published in English Section
Τετάρτη, 26 Ιανουαρίου 2011 16:24

6,000 tickets for Olympiakos Volos

More than 6,000 fans of Olympiakos are expected to be supporting our club in the Panthessaliko stadium this Sunday when we play Olympiakos Volos. We have taken just over 6,000 tickets (6,200 in all accuracy) and we will be selling these for twenty euros each until Friday evening at 5.00pm.
Published in English Section
Κυριακή, 23 Ιανουαρίου 2011 21:59

Asteras Tripolis 0-1 Olympiakos

We play away from home in todays Superleague match against Asteras Tripolis in some pouring weather. Our fans are packed into the away stand all wearing waterproof clothing and looking pretty much soaked and sodden as the game kicks off. We need a victory here to remain five points clear at the top of the league and we hope to see some decent attacking football to achieve this aim.

The half does kick off with ourselves showing some aggressive moves in front of goal although it is actually Tripolis who manage to get the first shot on goal from a long range effort which is easily saved. We do look pretty bright in this opening quarter hour though and we press to get the ball forward quite convincingly. We have an early chance of our own in the game with Torosidis having a close range header on goal and again with Mirallas taking a shot on goal but we find the Tripolis goalkeeper justabout able to save both efforts.

We maintain the attacking play as we get further into the half, whilst Tripolis are having to make their first substitution in the 19th minute due to injury (Poulido for Argyropoulos). Tripolis however are pressing more into our half when they have control of the ball although there is nothing dangerous about the plays that they are making so far. As for our own chances, Pantelic is doing most of the running although Fuster has also had some chances on goal of his own. In the event, we actually open the score with a penalty gifted to us after a piss-poor challenge made on Fuster within the box. Fuster converts this easily enough to make the score 1-0.

After the goal, Tripolis start to fight more for the ball in the middle of the pitch although this doesn't seem to halt our attacking play at all and we still press forward, controlling the ball and play and threatening to score a second goal in the game. We don't seem to be able to create much at the minute as the ball is getting bogged down in midfield too often. This, and the state of the ground after so much rain is hampering our attacking play and so although we can get the ball forward quite easily, we are having trouble in creating the final pass through to our forwards. Tripolis do have a great chance on goal from a long range free kick but luckily their shot skims past the post and out for a goal kick. The first half ends after a minute of extra time and we carry the lead into the break.

The second half opens with Tripolis making more effort to get the ball forward and put their stamp onto the game. This of course is leading to us having some chances through breaks and counter attacks, one of which are particularly impressive though. Tripolis are however getting more chances on our goal though and we will need to keep a good performance at the back in order to avoid conceding a goal. Tripolis continue to come forward and make chances on our goal, the best coming from a free kick, but luckily we either manage to clean up their attacks or their own shooting is not on target and we escape without conceding.

We have a good chance to increase the scoreline in the 60th minute with a free kick delivered from the right from Riera, unfortunately although the delivery is ok, the shot on goal is soft and the keeper is able to gather it up without problem. We make more efforts to go forward but we seem to be getting caught offside more often than not. When we do manage to both hold onto the ball and break forward through their lines, we end up shooting well over the net and wasting our chances. We manage to knock the ball into the box again but suffer the same thing happening, our shots are either off target or are deflected off from one of the numerous Tripolis bodies in the box. To be fair, we are getting closer and closer to scoring a second goal but we just need to improve our game in front of goal.

We are now in the last fifteen minutes of the game and continuing with the attacking play which has seen us getting closer and closer to the Tripolis goal as the half has continued. We also make our first substitution of the game with Zairi replacing Mirallas on the right wing. This alteration is quickly followed with the replacement of Fuster with Maniatis whilst Asteras Tripolis attempt to attack our defence on the left hand side before running the ball out of play. (This substitution sees Maniatis' debut for the team).
We let another golden chance on scoring get away from us when Maniatis has a superb header on goal following a free kick delivered by Torosidis, Pantelic tries to shoot home the follow up only to shoot into the side netting. Tripolis manage to then attack with the ball all the way down the pitch and grab a free kick on the edge of the area which they blast directly into the wall to our relief.
We make our third and final subsitution (Riera replaced by Holebas) deep into extra time as a purely timewasting change and the game finishes after 3 minutes of additional time.

We can be grateful for the win but our performance has been largely indifferent.

Asteras Tripolis 0-1 Olympiakos
30' Fuster

Asteras Tripolis : Degra, Fytanidis, Ouribari, Poulido (20' Argyropopoulos), Orothko, Bastia, Ladakis, Karera, Roubil (72' Arsenievic), Martins (65' Fortounis), Frankou
Olympiakos : Pardo, Torosidis, A.Papadopoulos, Mellberg, Bravo, Mirallas (81' Zairi), Ibagaza, Modesto, Riera (91' Holebas), Fuster (85' Maniatis), Pantelic

Referee : Koukoulakis (Irakleio); Fantopoulos (Piraeus); Alexias (Messenias); Kyrkos (Epirus)
Yellow Cards : 31' Bastia, 45' Martins, 86' Orothko  -  36' Mirallas, 82' Ibagaza
Published in English Section
Τετάρτη, 05 Ιανουαρίου 2011 22:59

Olympiakos 2-0 Iraklis

Today saw our football team return to the superleague for the second half of the season with a much anticipated home clash against the Salonika team Iraklis. With a vibrant crowd behind the goalmouths and the stadium filling up nicely it seemed that today would see us get some revenge for our earlier season loss against this team.

In fact we opened the game at a fast tempo and despite some dodgy early marking which almost gave Iraklis a chance, it was our team who had the first chances on goal. The first being a Mirallas shot which blazed over the bar but the second being a much more dangeroud shot from the edge of the area by David Fuster, just as unsuccessful though ultimately. After the first minutes of the game had gone, we settled down in the game and took over control of ball possession although it had to be admitted that we were having some minor problems in threading the ball through to the forwards. When we did manage to get the ball through, we couldn't get any decent chances although we were keeping the ball high in the opposition half.

After the first fifteen minutes of the game, Iraklis started to get themselves organised defensively and although we were still controlling the ball and the game, they were breaking up our attacks and intercepting our passes more often. We were in full control of the ball upto and incuding the halfway line, there simply wasn't any Iraklis players past this point but getting the ball forwards was proving to be very frustrating for our players. This of course was compounded by Iraklis sticking 5 defenders in the box and simply flooding the area. We had a half chance on their goal in the 28th minute when a Kevin Fuster pass from the halfway line got all the way through their defence but unfortunately Mirallas shot wide.

In the 32nd minute though we finally got the opening goal of the game, this came from a left wing cross to the unmarked Rommedahl on the far side of the box. Rommedahl shot hard and on target but found the keeper ready and waiting for the shot. The keeper however couldn't keep a hold of the ball, spilled it and allowed David Fuster to quickly nip in and poke it into the net for 1-0.

The goal meant that Iraklis couldn't play their tactics of 11-men-back any longer and so they started to throw players forward. They didn't seem to fare any better against us apart from the occasional challenge for the ball in our half of the pitch. The change in tactics however meant that they couldn't keep as many players back and this is something that we were not slow to take advantage over with Riera having possibly the best chance on goal from close range which unfortunately passed over the bar and this was the last real action of the first half.

We started the second half with the same attacking intent that we had displayed during the first half and started off making attacks on their goal once again. Iraklis however were also coming forward at us at times and so we were viewing some end-to-end football at this time. We did manage to make some chances on their goal from first Rommedahl and then Torosidis but we found Eleftheropoulos capable to saving both shots. We also made our first substitution in the 59th minute with Zairi replacing Rommedahl.

With the game now in its last 30 minutes, Iraklis decided to come forward at us. We were capable of easily defending ourselves against their attacks though whilst also mounting our own with Riera and Mirallas both having shots on the Iraklis goal. Our second substitution of Riera for Pantelic was also made during this time (69'). We followed this substitution up with couple of great chances to score a second goal through Mirallas (who hit the post) and Pantelic who shot the ball over the bar, (Mirallas then showed some great skill just moments later in winning a corner). At the other end, Iraklis player Soltani dove in the box to earn himself a second yellow card and to reduce Iraklis to 10 men. We also now made our final substitution by replacing Giannis Papadopoulos with Jose Holebas.

We now took over the game once again for the final 15 minutes of the game as we went in search of a 2nd goal and boy, did we get one!!!! The second goal in the game was shot from outside the area by Marko Pantelic who got a beautiful crack on goal in the 83rd minute which sailed past Eleftheropoulos and thumped into the back of the net. Iraklis tried to react but by now it was too late for them and we were in full control of the game. Pantelic almost got a third goal from a free kick but saw his effort go over instead. The game finished after 3 minutes of extra time and it was a good home win.

Olympiakos 2-0 Iraklis
32' Fuster
83' Pantelic

Olympiakos : Pardo, Torosidis, A.Papadopoulos, Potouridis, Bravo, G.Papadopoulos (75' Holebas), Ibagaza, Rommedahl (59' Zairi), Fuster, Riera (69' Pantelic), Mirallas
Iraklis : Eleftheropoulos, Arabatzis, Kanakoudis (70' Lima), Katsikas, Josemi, Iliadis (70' Vellios), Garcia, Dani, Soltani, Sisic (81' Voutsias), Mara

Referee : Konstantineas (Messenias)
Assistants : Gagas (Larisa), Alexias (Messenias)

Yellow Cards :  G.Papadopoulos (38'), A.Papadopoulos (42'), Ibagaza (59')  -  Soltani (42'), Arabatzis (51'), Voutsias (90')
Red Cards : Soltani (73' Second Yellow)
Published in English Section
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