Held by the Referee...

-- Held by the Referee... --
 

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - GROUP STAGE (GROUP G)

Standard Liege 2 - 2 Panathinaikos
Junior (p) 45'+1'
Belfodil 82'
Ibarbo 13', 36'

Panathinaikos got off to a dream start against Standard Liege going up 0-2, but left Belgium with only a point after conceding two goals. Ibarbo scored twice in the 13th and 36th minutes before the referee from Poland gave a ridiculous penalty to the hosts at the end of the first half (converted by Junior). A goal in the 82nd minute from a direct free-kick gave Standard a late equalizer and a point from tonight’s match, handing Panathinaikos another disappointing result in this year’s Europa League.

Stramaccioni used a 3-5-2 formation to start with Steele (GK), Samba (CB), Koutroubis (CB), Moledo (CB), Coulibaly (RB), Hult (LB), Zeca (DMF), Ledesma (DMF), Villafanez (AMF), Leto (CF), and Ibarbo (CF). Berg was ruled out due to an illness. 

Panathinaikos took the early lead with a magnificent shot from Ibarbro which curled into the side netting in the 12 minute. The Greek side was well disciplined tactically, allowing very little space for Standard Liege to attack throughout the first half. In the 36th minute, Panathinaikos doubled their advantage when a simple one-two between Leto and Ibarbo set the Colombian up with an open shot, leaving no chance for Gillet and giving Panathinaikos the 0-2 lead. Panathinaikos was cruising before the referee, Daniel Stefanski, gave a ridiculous penalty to Standard Liege in stoppage time. Koutroubis was called for a foul on Sa and from the spot Junior’s shot barely beat Steele to cut Panathinaikos’ lead to one. 

With Standard back in the game, the hosts played with much more confidence in the second half and pressed Panathinaikos in their half. Despite the pressure, Panathinaikos were only threatened on one occasion, but Sa could not convert from close range in the 66th minute. Panathinaikos looked to hold onto the three points, but Belfoldi’s powerful free-kick from outside the penalty area got passed the wall and beat Steele to bring Standard Liege level on the night. The hosts pressure paid off and Panathinaikos saw another good performance in this year’s Europa League end in disappointment. 

Panathinaikos earned their first point in the group and remain only three points behind second placed Celta, who drew Ajax 2-2 in the other group match. In matchday 4, Panathinaikos will need all three points when they host Standard Liege to have hopes of finishing in second place in Group G.
 


CURRENT GROUP G STANDINGS

Rank Team GP W D L GF GA GD Points
1 Ajax 3 2 1 0 5 3 2 7
2 Celta de Vigo 3 1 2 0 5 3 2 5
3 Standard Liege 3 0 2 1 3 4 -1 2
4 Panathinaikos 3 0 1 2 3 5 -2 1
 
Image Source: gazzetta.gr
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