-- A Slap in the Face… --
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - GROUP G (MATCHDAY 4)
|Panathinaikos||0 - 3||Standard Liege|
Belfodil 76', 90'+3'
Panathinaikos played their final card to stay alive in Group G but were handed a heavy defeat by Standard Liege, falling 0-3 at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium. Standard Liege opened the scoring midway through the second half and two late goals from Belfodil gave Standard the emphatic victory. The loss means that Panathinaikos will need a mini-miracle to progress from group G.
Panathinaikos came into today’s fixture against Standard Liege knowing that only a win would do if they wanted to stay alive in Group G. The Trifylli faced many challenges as key players were ruled out before today’s match including Zeca, Ledesma, Samba, Villafanez, and Wakaso.
Standard saw more of the ball in the first half, but it was Panathinaikos who came close to an opener when M’Poku’s effort was denied by the woodwork. Berg added to Panathinaikos’ injury worries when he was subbed off in the 30th minute, something that will worry the club before Sunday’s derby against Olympiacos.
In the second half, it was Standard Liege who opened the scoring with Cisse’s brilliant effort, giving Standard Liege the 0-1 lead. Panathinaikos was unable to whip up a response and the visitors put the game to bed when Belfodil doubled his side’s lead in the 76th minute. Shortly thereafter, M’Poku was sent off with a second yellow and Standard Liege added a third in stoppage time to cap off a great 0-3 victory.
Today’s result practically eliminates Panathinaikos from progressing out of Group G. However, the Prasini are still mathematically alive and will need to win their final two fixtures and hope that in Matchday 5 that Celta and Standard Liege play to a draw (any other result will mathematically eliminate Panathinaikos). Panathinaikos will travel to Amsterdam to play Ajax in Matchday 5, who defeated Celta 3-2 in the group’s other match and currently sit in first place in the standings.