Big Ben at the double as Olympiacos beat Partizan

Big Ben at the double as Olympiacos beat Partizan


Partizan 1 - 3 Olympiacos
Kana 11'

Ben 6', 56'
Emenike 90'

Olympiacos have one foot in the Champions League playoffs after Ben scored twice to lead the Greek champions to an impressive 3-1 away win over Partizan Belgrade in Serbia on Tuesday.

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French forward Ben Nabouhane was the success story of the night, opening the scoring in the sixth minute before adding a superb solo effort 11 minutes into the second half after Leandre Tawamba had earlier equalised for the home side.

Olympiacos’ NIgerian striker Emmanuel Emenike capped a superb night for Bensik Hasi’s men by adding a third goal in added time to put the visitors firmly in the driving seat ahead of next week’s return leg in Piraeus.

When the draw was made and Olympiacos were paired with Partizan there was plenty of anxiety among the Greek media about the SuperLeague champions chances of progressing.

But any doubts will have been extinguished - at least temporarily - with a classic away performance from the Red and Whites.

Ben Nabouhane, who spent last season on loan at Panionios and helped the Nea Smyrni club reach the Europa League qualifiers in an excellent campaign, showed why Olympiacos decided to give him his chance this season.

The Frenchman received Vadis Odjidja’s pass before coolly beating Filip Kljajić at his near post with a powerful driving effort.

Partizan responded almost immediately with Leandre Tawamba prodding in an equaliser from Marko Janković's low ball four minutes later.

But Olympiacos did not panic, and Ben Nabouhane restored the visitors' lead with a stunning individual strike in the 56th minute.

Partizan put Olympiacos under pressure in the latter stages a they desperately went in search of an equaliser, but Emenike, who had just replaced Ben three minutes earlier, broke clear and rounded Kljajić before gleefully tapping the ball into an empty net.

Olympiacos can be more than satisfied with an excellent evening’s work in Serbia and will be confident they can complete the job in the second leg scheduled for August 2 at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium in Piraeus.

by Graham Wood
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