Olympiacos succumb to Sporting and bomb out of Europe
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - GROUP D (MATCHDAY 5)
|Sporting Lisbon||3 - 1||Olympiacos|
|Dost 40', 66'
Olympiacos crashed out of Europe on Wednesday after going down to a 3-1 defeat to Sporting Lisbon at the Jose Alvalade stadium, a result which leaves them rock bottom of UEFA Champions League Group D.
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Takis Lemonis’ men arrived in Portugal hoping to get an unlikely win that would have kept their hopes alive of finishing third in this group and claiming a Europa League place, but goals from Netherlands international Bas Dost and another from Bruno César condemned the Piraeus club to a fourth defeat in five matches.
And that means no European football post-Christmas for Olympiacos, who will close out what has been a disastrous Champions League campaign - albeit in an extremely tough group - against Juventus on December 5 at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium.
Having secured a creditable 0-0 draw with Barcelona on Matchday 3, the Greek champions took to the field knowing that this was their one final chance to make their impact felt in this year’s European campaign.
But despite matching a below-par Sporting, who looked far better here in their games against Barcelona and Juventus, for long spells in the first half, all of their hard work came undone within three minutes just before half-time when the home side struck twice in quick succession.
Dost put Sporting ahead in the 40th minute with a clinical close-range finish after a neat exchange of passes between Christiano Piccini and Gelson Martins.
Within three minutes it was 2-0 and the game was over as a contest, with Bruno César robbing possession from Leonardo Koutris and scoring with a low shot.
Sporting continued to attack Olympiacos in the second half while the visitors found it tough to create any openings of note against Jorge Jesus’ well-organised and energetic side.
So it came as little surprise when Dost made it 3-0 in the 66th minute, the Dutchman towering above everyone to score with a downward header from Bruno Fernandes’ inviting corner.
There was one final, limp show of defiance by Olympiacos, however, in the closing stages when Vadis Odjidja arrived to meet Diogo Figueiras right-wing cross and score with a low shot to deny the Portuguese side a clean sheet four minutes from full-time.