Piraeus Means Knockout again
This week, Olympiacos welcome Dynamo Kyiv to the Karaiskakis Stadium in the UEFA Europa League, with continental knockout football returning to Piraeus after a two-year hiatus.
Piraeus Means Knockout. As the famous banner once read, knockout football is back in Piraeus, with Olympiacos taking on Dynamo Kyiv. In an interesting statistic, Olympiacos are yet to beat a Ukrainian club at home, drawing three and losing two of the five matches. The trip to Kyiv promises to be a difficult one, so if Olympiacos are to give themselves a realistic chance of making the Last 16, they have to win the first leg at the Karaiskakis Stadium.
Let’s take a look back at all of Olympiacos’ European knockout ties since the 1998/1999 season:
1998/1999 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. Juventus - Olympiacos - 3:2 (2:1, 1:1)
In the first leg, Olympiacos found themselves 0:2 down to Juventus, however a late penalty from Andreas Niniadis registered a vital away goal. At home, the Erythrolefkoi took a 1:0 lead with a goal from Sinisa Gogic, but with only five minutes remaining, Antonio Conte broke Greek hearts to send Juventus through to the semi-finals in dramatic circumstances.
1999/2000 UEFA Cup third round. Olympiacos - Juventus - 3:4 (1:3, 2:1)
This tie was lost in Greece. Initially, Stelios Giannakopoulos gifted Olympiacos the advantage, however three goals from Igor Tudor, Darko Kovacevic and Filippo Inzaghi registered a 3:1 victory for Juventus at the Olympic Stadium. A week later, a Predrag Djordjevic brace in Turin gave Olympiacos a glimmer of hopes, but the 2:1 victory wasn’t enough to overturn the 1:3 deficit from the first leg.
2000/2001 UEFA Cup third round. Olympiacos - Liverpool - 2:4 (2:2, 0:2)
It was a four-goal thriller in the leg. Thanks to Alexandros Alexandris scoring twice, Olympiacos pegged Liverpool back twice, keeping intrigue alive in the tie ahead of the second leg in England. However, the Thrylos were no match for their opponents at Anfield, going down 0:2 to exit the tournament.
2004/2005 UEFA Cup Last 32. Olympiacos - Sochaux - 2:0 (1:0, 1:0)
Giannis Okkas’ marker won the first game at home, and in the return, Ieroklis Stoltidis scored the only goal which sealed a comfortable, routine 2:0 aggregate victory over Sochaux to advance to the Last 16 of the UEFA Cup.
2004/2005 UEFA Cup Last 16. Olympiacos - Newcastle United - 1:7 (1:3, 0:4)
The Last 16 tie against Newcastle United was nothing short of a nightmare. Alan Shearer, Laurent Robert and Patrick Kluivert scored the three away goals for the English organisation in Piraeus, before Newcastle subsequently thrashed a sorry Olympiacos side 4:0 at St. James’ Park. Two games to forget.
2007/2008 UEFA Champions League Last 16. Olympiacos - Chelsea - 0:3 (0:0, 0:3)
Olympiacos frustrated Chelsea in the first leg as they held their illustrious opponents to a 0:0 draw in Greece. Unfortunately for Olympiacos, they were no match for Chelsea in London, with the English club claiming a 3:0 triumph with a dominant performance.
2008/2009 UEFA Cup Last 32. Olympiacos - St. Etienne - 2:5 (1:3, 1:2)
A thoroughly disappointing first leg saw Olympiacos lost 1:3 at the Karaiskakis Stadium and give themselves a mountain to climb in the second. In France, St. Etienne duly put the tie to bed, emerging victorious 2:1 at home and consequently sending Olympiacos packing.
2009/2010 UEFA Champions League Last 16. Olympiacos - Bordeaux - 1:3 (0:1, 1:2)
A poor home result put paid to Olympiacos’ chances of advancing to the quarter-finals. Playing against Bordeaux, it was a golden chance for the Greeks to make a real statement in the competition, but Michael Ciani stole a 1:0 win for the French club at the Karaiskakis Stadium. Konstantinos Mitroglou scored in the return as Olympiacos lost 1:2 to bow out 1:3 on aggregate.
2011/2012 UEFA Europa League Last 32. Rubin Kazan - Olympiacos - 0:2 (0:1, 0:1)
Trips to Russia are notoriously difficult, especially given the cold weather conditions. As a result of the pitch in Kazan not being up to standards, Rubin had to host Olympiacos at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, and they conceded a decisive 0:1 loss with David Fuster striking for the Thrylos. Rafik Djebbour scored the sole goal in Piraeus to secure the 2:0 aggregate win.
2011/2012 UEFA Europa League Last 16. Metalist Kharkiv - Olympiacos - 2:2 (0:1, 2:1)
Olympiacos were heading to Eastern Europe again as they were drawn against Ukrainian team Metalist Kharkiv. In Ukraine, Fuster scored for a 1:0 victory, and it seemed certain that Olympiacos would go through. The Erythrolefkoi were leading 1:0 in the second leg until the 81st minute, but in a shocking Greek collapse, Kharkiv struck twice to stun Olympiacos and win on the away goals rule.
2012/2013 UEFA Europa League Last 32. Levante - Olympiacos - 4:0 (3:0, 1:0)
The Thrylos were thrashed 3:0 in the first leg by Levante, and seven days later, the Spanish side then picked up a 1:0 victory in Piraeus as Olympiacos were far from their best.
2013/2014 UEFA Champions League Last 16. Olympiacos - Manchester United - 2:3 (2:0, 0:3)
We were close to witnessing one of Greek club football’s greatest victories. During an incredible evening in Piraeus, Alejandro Dominguez and Joel Campbell netted to beat Manchester United 2:0, but it all went wrong in England. A hat trick from Robin van Persie inspired a United comeback as Olympiacos failed to score that decisive away goal.
2014/2015 UEFA Europa League Last 32. Dnipro - Olympiacos - 4:2 (2:0, 2:2)
Down 0:2 from the first game in Ukraine, Mitroglou halved the aggregate deficit for Olympiacos early in the second fixture, but Dnipro weren’t to be denied and scored two goals of their own in Greece.
2015/2016 UEFA Europa League Last 32. Anderlecht - Olympiacos - 3:1 (1:0, 2:1)
Konstantinos Fortounis’ first half penalty took Olympiacos to extra time as he cancelled out a 0:1 loss from the match in Belgium. Olympiacos were pressing, but on the counterattack, Frank Acheampong netted two goals to book Anderlecht’s ticket for the next phase.
2016/2017 UEFA Europa League Last 32. Olympiacos - Osmanlispor - 3:0 (0:0, 3:0)
The doubters were out in force after a lacklustre 0:0 draw in Greece, but Olympiacos silenced them in the return, scoring three goals through Karim Ansarifard (2) and Tarik Elyounoussi to demolish Osmanlispor on Turkish soil.
2016/2017 UEFA Europa League Last 16. Olympiacos - Besiktas - 2:5 (1:1, 1:4)
A terrible goalkeeping error from Nicola Leali was the turning point, handing Besiktas forward Vincent Aboubakar an equaliser when Olympiacos were leading 1:0 at home. In Istanbul, Besiktas were too powerful for Olympiacos, grabbing an emphatic 4:1 victory at the Vodafone Park.