-- With Momentum Into the Derby --
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - GROUP STAGE (GROUP B)
|Olympiacos||4 - 1||Astana|
Seba 34', 65'
Olympiacos easily defeated Astana 4-1 at the Karaiskaki Stadium, sending a message to PAOK before Sunday’s derby in the Superleague. Olympiacos was ahead 3-0 by halftime with goals from Figueiras, Elyounoussi, and Seba before Astana pulled one back in the second half. Astana was left with 10-men in the 58th minute and Seba added his second goal in the 65th minute. The win puts Olympiacos atop the group along with APOEL.
Bento used a 4-2-3-1 formation with Leali (GK), Figueiras (RB), da Costa (CB), Botia (CB), Retsos (LB), Milivojevic (CDM), Martins (CDM), Elyounoussi (RMF), Fortounis (AMF), Seba (LMF), and the surprisingly Cardozo instead of Ideye as the lone striker.
Olympiacos was clearly the better side in tonight’s match needing only 10 minutes to solidify the three points from their encounter against Astana. After dominating the opening 20 minutes, the breakthrough came in the 25th minute when Figueiras tapped-in Fortounis’ pass after a great solo effort from the young Greek star. The goal took the pressure off of the hosts as Olympiacos doubled their lead in the 33rd minute with a great strike from Elyounoussi that ended up in the back of the net. Two minutes later, Olympiacos’ advantage increased to three goals when Seba was played in on goal by Elyounoussi and the Brazilian’s strike beat Eric rounding off a tremendous first half from the Greek Champions. Astana did come close to a goal before the break but Anicic was denied by the crossbar.
With their mind on Sunday’s derby against PAOK, Olympiacos took the foot off of the gas and Astana was able to pull one back after an awful pass from Leali left Kabananga with an open net to make the scores 3-1. Any hopes of a comeback were laid to rest when Astana was left with 10-men in the 58th minute and 7 minutes later Seba scored his second goal of the night, tapping-in a great pass from Cardozo. The final 25 minutes were played at a slow pace as Olympiacos comfortably held onto their 4-1 victory at the final whistle.
The win puts Olympiacos in first place in Group B along with APOEL, who lost 3-1 in Switzerland to Young Boys. In matchday 4, Olympiacos will hope to avoid defeat in Kazakhstan against Astana as a point will give keep them as favorites to advance from the group. On Sunday, Olympiacos will host PAOK in yet another big match for the Greek Superleague.
CURRENT GROUP B STANDINGS