Sporting Lisbon make Olympiakos suffer in Piraeus
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE - MATCHDAY 1
|Olympiacos||2 - 3||Sporting Lisbon|
|Pardo 89', 90+3'
A stunning first half-display from Sporting Lisbon helped the Portuguese club clinch an impressive 3-2 away win over Olympiakos Piraeus on Tuesday on the opening night of the Champions League group stage.
Early goals from Seydou Doumbia in the second minute and Gelson Martins just over 10 minutes later shell-shocked the home side and created the platform for Sporting to go on and win this Group D match comfortably.
Bruno Fernandes added Sporting’s third goal before two late second half goals from substitute Felipe Pardo softened the scoreline from the hosts' perspective.
The result means that in a group with Barcelona and Juventus, Olympiakos is now the firm favorite to finish bottom from day 1.
The lack of any adequate holding midfielders in their starting line-up and the sheer quality of Sporting cost the Reds dearly on the night, and it appeared the Greek team was more distracted at the start by the intimidating atmosphere inside the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium than the visitors, as the Portuguese got to score twice in the first quarter of an hour.
It was barely 69 seconds after kick-off when the Olympiakos defense failed to clear a Marcos Acuna free-kick from the right and Doumbia headed the ball home to open the score.
Sporting quickly made it 2-0 through a counter-attack after an Olympiakos corner kick, with Martins beating Olympiakos goalkeeper Stefanos Kapino amid jeering by the home fans.
The problems in midfield continued for the Greeks, with Sporting coming close to a third goal on the 18th minute by hitting the woodwork through a Bruno Fernandes shot from outside the area, and next Gelson hit the woodwork again in the counter on the 40th minute.
Three minutes later Fernandes added Sporting’s third goal, outsmarting Kapino with the Reds’ defence conspicuously absent.
Sporting clearly dropped a gear at half-time, made some substitutions later on and Olympiacos asked some questions at the Portuguese goal in the second half.
Pardo finally cut the deficit for the Reds with his left foot and deep in injury time he added a second that somewhat eased the suffering for the home fans.
While Sporting are off to a dream start, life is not going to get any easier for Olympiakos as they must next visit Juventus on September 27.