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Olympiakos Piraeus secured a surprise 3-2 victory last night. Unbelievably their opponent was last year’s Champions League runners-up Atletico Madrid. It was quite a dream start for the Greek Champions.
Olympiakos went ahead on 13 minutes at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium. The young French defender Arthur Masuaku found space for a low shot.
The hosts got advantage just after the half hour mark. This time Ibrahim Afellay doubled the score for them.
Seven minutes before halftime, Atletico Madrid’s Mario Mandzukic pulled a goal back. But again the visitors had to fall behind. Kostas Mitroglou got strike at the 73rd minute for Olympiakos. It was his only goal for last ten months.
Just before the last four minutes, Atletico substitute Antoine Griezmann set up another tense finish. It was quite a close-range strike for him. But late enough, as Michel’s team clung on for victory.
Olympiakos vs Atletico:
The match opening was a little tentative. Olympiakos went ahead from the first clean chance. Alejandro Dominguez’s short corner was teed up by Afellay for Masuaku. Then just outside the area, Masuaku had to beat Jan Oblak with a superb low strike.
Atletico Madrid fought back sometimes. But striker Mandzukic was wasteful in front of the bar. The La Liga Champions were punished against the run of play. And thereafter, Afellay put the hosts 2-0 ahead.
Dominguez showed a determined run for the goal. Mitroglou just dummied his pass then. Afellay had to finish into the bottom corner clinically.
Suddenly Mandzukic found the target. Atletico clawed their way back into the match. Cristian Ansaldi provided the precise cross head the ball home. Eric Abidal was there, but Mandzukic perfected to escape his attention.
The hosts restored their two goal lead. This time again Mitroglou. He just superbly controlled Pajtim Kasim’s cross and swiveled past Oblak from close range.
Last time he scored at the World Cup playoff against Romania. That was last November and he was playing for Greece.
Substitute Griezmann struck from Koke’s superb cross. The final few minutes were real nervy. But still the hosts held on to claim the points and celebrations following the final whistle.