Olympiakos shows it’s not ready yet for Europe

Olympiakos opened its Champions League campaign with a painful 2-1 home loss to Germany’s Schalke 04, who also missed a penalty and had a goal wrongly disallowed.

The Reds left much to be wanted at the Karaiskakis stadium, with fans jeering at the players and the coach of Olympiakos at the end of the game.

The Greeks were expected to have problems at the back, with the departure of Olof Mellberg and the injury to Avraam Papadopoulos in the summer, but proved too frail at the back by Champions League standards.

Schalke had a goal disallowed in the 39th minute when its Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos was wrongly deemed to have fouled Olympiakos keeper Balasz Megyeri before heading the ball in.

Yet the Germans did not have to wait long to score as the Olympiakos defense failed to clear a Jefferson Farfan corner from the right that Benedikt Hoewedes headed into the net in the 41st.

Thirteen minutes into the second half Olympiakos equalized as despite Rafik Djebbour?s slipping in the box the ball rolled to Djamel Abdoun who scored from close range.

While the Karaiskakis stadium was still celebrating Schalke responded immediately with Klaas Jan Huntelaar from inside the box as the Greek defense was caught red-handed.

A minute later the Reds also conceded a penalty, but Huntelaar hit the upright from the spot in the 61st minute.

In the rest of the game the hosts produced next to nothing in attack, with fans being clearly unhappy with new manager Leonardo Jardim in the end.

Still, Arsenal’s 2-1 win at Montpellier on the night means the Reds are still in with a chance of finishing third, to continue at the Europa League.

Olympiakos will face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium next.

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