Olympiacos Complete Worst UCL Campaign For Greek Team
Olympiacos’ 2-0 defeat to Juventus on Tuesday ended the Greek champions’ European campaign for this season. Olympiacos finished fourth in a group that also included Barcelona and Sporting Lisbon.
The draw gave the Erythrolefki an extremely difficult task from the start. Barcelona and Juventus were always the favorites and realistically Olympiacos supporters were hoping to fight it out with Sporting for 3rd place in the section. A Matchday 1 win by the Portuguese side however killed that dream for all intents and purposes. And what followed was a fairly dire campaign that has gone down as the worst in history for a Greek side in the Champions’ League.
The single point Olympiacos recorded in this group (a 0-0 home draw versus Barcelona on Matchday 4) means that the club beats out AEK and Panathinaikos for worst-ever Group Stage points total in the Champions’ League.
AEK and Panathinaikos co-held that record for the last few years with two points from a single campaign. AEK picked up two points in the 2003/04 season in a group that included Deportivo La Coruna, Monaco, and PSV. Panathinaikos could also only manage two draws in their Champions’ League group in 2010/11 when they took on Barcelona, Copenhagen, and Rubin Kazan.
Surely, the strength of the teams in Olympiacos’ group this season deserves consideration. Even though Olympiacos’ displays improved to some degree after Matchday 1, the strength of the opposition ensured that this was always going to be tough going for a team that struggled to find form early on this season.
The Piraeus club were far from the only perennial participant that failed to perform in this season’s competition. Teams with strong European pedigree such as Feyenoord and Benfica struggled mightily. Feyenoord, the reigning Dutch Eredivisie champions, went pointless in a group that including Manchester City, Napoli, and Shakhtar Donetsk. Benfica did the same thing. The Portuguese champions losing all six games with a -13 goal difference against the likes of Manchester United, Basel, and CSKA Moscow.