Olympiakos - OM (1-0) : cruel ending
OM BACK IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
What a thrill to hear the anthem of the Champions League, seven years later, resounding inside the Karaiskakis stadium. On the faces of the eleven regulars, emotion, but above all a lot of concentration. Notably on the face of Pape Gueye, who was living a special moment. For the first time, he was a regular with OM, and not in just any match: a European Cup match. The young Olympian midfielder replaced Kamara who was suspended after a red card received in 2018. After using the 4-4-2 diamond against Bordeaux, André Villas-Boas returned to his favourite system of play: the 4-3-3. The Olympien starting eleven: Mandanda - Sakai, Caleta-Car, Alvaro, Amavi - Sanson, Gueye, Rongier - Thauvin, Benedetto, Payet.
A QUIET FIRST HALF
In the first half, OM was not really dangerous but was not really worried either. If the Olympians didn't really create any chances, several situations could have been dangerous. Like Amavi's cross, which was unfortunately caught by Thauvin in the knee, or Payet's free-kick, which was well struck but not dangerous for the Greek goalkeeper. Both teams returned to the dressing room with a goalless draw without having taken any real risks.
The referee had just whistled the kick-off of the second period when the Olympians had a huge chance. Thauvin found Benedetto deep. Benedetto opened his foot but he was denied by José Sa, who made a fine save with his foot. OM started the second half in the best possible way. However, the Greeks were also determined to be more offensive. Masouras, who was at the far post after Mandanda's fine parry, pushed the ball into the net but after checking with the VAR, the referee denied the goal for an offside position.
With a goalless draw in sight, the Greeks surprised the Olympians at the very end of the match. A cross from Valbuena for Hassan's placed header tricked Steve Mandanda. This cruel goal for OM marked the end of the Olympians' invincibility away from home. For their return to the Champions League, OM lost to Olympiakos. The other match of the group was between Manchester City and Porto. The English, OM's next opponents, won 3-1.