SPORTS

Betrayed by their defense, the Reds blow two-goal lead at Spurs to lose 4-2

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

Olympiakos led 2-0 at Tottenham Hotspur but lost 4-2 in its penultimate game for the Champions League group stage on Tuesday, largely due to its numerous defensive errors. All is not lost for the Reds though, as they can still make the Europa League knockout stages if they win their last game.

Cheered on by over 5,000 fans, Olympiakos just over five minutes into the game shocked the hosts with a long-range shot by Youssef El-Arabi that tossed the Tottenham goal net.

With Jose Mourinho fuming off the London team’s bench, Tottenham started putting some pressure on Olympiakos, with the Greeks responding well.

Then on the 19th minute, after winning a couple of corner kicks, Guilherme crossed the ball into the box, the Tottenham defense failed to react and Ruben Semedo doubled the Reds’ lead against the odds.

The hosts’ pressure grew and just before half-time Dele Alli made the most of an unforced error by Yassine Meriah in the box to reduce the arrears for the Spurs and give them hope for a recovery in the second half.

The left-hand side of the defense proved the Reds’ black hole, gifting two more goals to the hosts in the second half. Lucas Moura chased a seemingly lost ball for Tottenham down its right flank, Costas Tsimikas protested for a foul but the game went on and Harry Kane equalized from the edge of the six-yard box on the 50th minute.

Serge Aurier, who had also played a part in the first goal, completed Tottenham’s comeback on the 73rd minute, capitalizing on another error by the Olympiakos defense. It was not long before unmarked Kane headed home his second from close range for 4-2 after a Christian Eriksen freekick on the 77th minute.

Despite the defeat, Olympiakos remains alive in the chase of a spot in the Europa League, as on December 11 it can beat Red Star Belgrade in Piraeus and end up third. It currently is on one point from five games, while Red Star has three.

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