The British media reacted badly to our win last night. Here's one such report (Daily Mail) :-
HUMILIATED! United in need of yet another miracle after Moyes' men slip up in Greece... with an Arsenal loan star sticking boot in.
Passionate Olympiacos fans created a heated atmosphere inside the Karaiskaki Stadium.
United brought a good following, but the atmosphere was dominated by the hosts.
A superb historic night for us tonight as we beat the reigning champions of England, Manchester United by a 2-0 scoreline. We played well for the main part and were helped throughout the game by an absolutely dreadful Manure team. We made the best of a very makeshift lineup (no Saviola, No Siovas, Valdez recovering etc) and played to our strengths. The win sees us go to Manchester with a superb chance of qualifying to the next stage. Perez is looking like a very good purchase for our team already.
The only downside was the view of two totally empty gates due to UEFA's stupid insistence that we made rascist chants in the previous game.
Olympiakos 2-0 Manchester United
Olympiakos : Roberto, Maniatis, Holebas, Manolas, Marcano, Salino, N'Dinga, Perez (85' Valdez), Campbell (67' Fuster), Dominguez (76' Machado), Olaitan.
This is the picture of the ticket queue for the Manchester United game taken about an hour before the booths opened. No other comment needed.
Following on from UEFA's corrupt decision to partially close the stadium FOR NO FUCKING REASON AT ALL, the club has decided that the best way to do this is to full close gates 3 and 4 of Karaiskaki.
That way the UEFA observers will be happy, the supporters can be in Gates 5-7 of the end and the anti-racism group safely tucked away in London, nowhere near the stadium, can report their shambolic crap as normal.
We have a couple of changes to the roster which have happened over the christmas break. Portuguese midfielder Pele signed for us on a 3.5 year deal and has joined the club in training during the last two days. Leaving the club is Carl Medjani who was on loan from Monaco.
Medjani wasn't good enough for the team, surprising when you consider a player joining a Champions League level club from second division France (at the time).
There may be a few more players leaving during the month - rumours point to Yatabare and N'Dinga being cast off, Scepovic being pushed out on loan and Mitroglou being hunted by most clubs in Europe.
Perhaps a little more surprising is that the club has already said that there will be no more signings this month. So we have another transfer window where none of the money from Europe has been invested into the club.
Seems like our French contingent is on their way out. Both Yatabare and N'Dinga have failed to impress Michel and it seems likely that both will be leaving. It's uncertain what will be happening to Bong, he is starting matches but looks to be just a poor player and not at a level we require.
In any case, regardless of whether we lose both or perhaps all three players, we need to get replacements for them. I'm less than convinced that this will happen apart from perhaps Pele coming in from Ergotelis.
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!)
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.
Matchday 5 of the Champions League saw us travel to Germany for our tie against Schalke04. We had already more or less qualified for the Europa League but a win here would move us into second position (at least) and put us into a prime position to qualify for the next stage. We therefore needed a win, away to very tough opposition, to have any real chance of progressing to the last 16.
We didn't start off the match too badly. We got forward, won a couple of corners and generally matched the Germans play for play at the start of the game. Maybe we were a little sloppy on the passes but we at least looked bright and energetic. The first twenty five minutes showed little in the way of end chances for either team although it had to be admitted that the few chances were all in Schalkes favour. We made a couple of runs during this period but accomplished little of any note.
As the half progressed the Germans started to come a little closer to our goal with their chances, but we were also standing firm for the moment. For our part we created another corner, free kick and made a few runs on their goal but we were having some trouble in breaking through the German defensive line although we were playing very well further back down the pitch. The half finished at 0-0 and largely we could be happy with our performance, the only real problem was a yellow card to Holebas which means he will miss the match against Arsenal.
Schalke pushed forward in numbers at the start of the second half and we had to defend well to limit the German chances on our goal. We broke up their waves of attacks with counter attacks of our own but we were being pushed further back up the pitch in this phase of the match. Some of the defending was very desperate but we kept the opposition at bay for the time being. As the half progressed, Schalke came at us harder and harder and we were struggling to contain their attacks although we were also defending very admirably. Our clearances were not of the highest quality though and as soon as we had managed to get the ball from the area, we were wasting possession and gifting the ball directly to the opposition.
We were denied a penalty after Abdoun was fouled in the Schalke 6 yard box and we had a couple of chances on the German goal in the 75th minute but we then almost immediately conceded the losing goal at the other end of the pitch. Schalke player Fuchs shot the ball from some distance out, through a gap in our defence and past Carroll who couldn't get to the corner of the goal to stop the ball from going in. With our 77 minutes of responsible defending totally undone we shifted to a more offensive outlook and tried to get the equaliser. Unfortunately we could not manage this and so the game ended in a loss for us.
We had played well defensively for the majority of the game but a single chance from the Germans destroyed our good work. Offensively we were poor though and failed to really get any decent chances on goal for a lot of the game. When we did spring into life towards the end of the game, our passing was not great and we perhaps tried to pass the ball into the goal rather than shooting on first sight of goal.
The loss confirms that we will be playing in the Europa League come the new year.
Schalke 1-0 Olympiakos
Olympiakos : Carroll, Torosidis, Manolas, Siovas, Holebas, Modesto (80' Ibagasa), Maniatis, Greco (66' Fuster), Abdoun, Machado, Mitroglou (75' Djebbour)