SPORTS

Mitroglou’s hat-trick signs Reds’ triumph at Anderlecht

Costas Mitroglou scored a hat-trick in Brussels to gift Olympiakos a 3-0 win at Anderlecht on Wednesday, its fifth away victory in its Champions League history.

The Greek champion also had Spanish goalkeeper Roberto to thank for his numerous saves, including a penalty in the first half with the score at 1-0.

The Reds opened the score against the run of play, given that the Belgians were far superior to the Greeks in the first hour of the game but lacked the finishing touch.

A wonderful effort by Javier Saviola from the left concluded with a cross into Mitroglou’s path who beat the keeper from the edge of the six-yard box in the 17th minute.

Anderlecht earned a penalty for a clumsy Andreas Samaris challenge on Sacha Kljestan in the 24th minute. Yet Roberto saved his second penalty in as many Champions League games this season denying Aleksandar Mitrovic a minute later.

Anderlecht kept pushing and missing chances as its players lacked the confidence that is necessary when attempting the final touch. This allowed Olympiakos to get away with a rather miserable performance in defense in the first half.

Then 11 minutes into the second half a looping header by Delvin N’Dinga reached Mitroglou who controlled the ball after beating the offside trap and with only the goalkeeper to beat he slotted it home for 2-0.

Mitroglou’s most spectacular goal came on the 72nd, as he made room for himself outside the area to unleash a right-foot swerving shot that found the top right corner of Thomas Kaminski’s goal, sending the 1,200 Olympiakos fans delirious at the stands.

This was the first ever hat-trick by a Greek player in the Champions League.

The Reds are now joint second in the group with three points from two games. They are level on points with Benfica which they will face next on October 23. Coach Michel’s job is safe for now.