Olympiakos was on Thursday smarting from the elimination from the Champions League by Manchester United the night before, with coach Michel saying the result was not fair on the night and his team deserved to go through on the strength of the two games.
“We were not so bad on the night as to lose 3-0,” Michel told Spanish radio Cadena SER on Wednesday night, adding to Greek state television that “when people hear the 3-0 score they may think it was a clear result, but that was not the case.
“We had the chances to score the goal that would have seen us through. Soccer is played in both boxes, in defense and attack, and when you get the chances in Europe and you do not score you pay for it dearly,” noted the Spanish coach of Olympiakos.
Delvin N’Dinga conceded in the early hours of Thursday that it just did not work out for Olympiakos at Old Trafford. “We made a great effort but the result was not in our favor. We got the advantage from the first leg, we chased and fought, but it just did not work out for us. United is a big club and it showed it.”
The Greek sports press reacted with disappointment to the elimination of Olympiakos given the hopes created after the 2-0 result in the first leg: “Devilish” was the headline of Goal News, followed by the front-page comment that “Olympiakos fought up to the 95th minute for the golden qualification, but was stopped by De Gea, bowed to the grandeur of Giggs and was betrayed by the errors of its defense.”
Similarly, SportDay’s headline asked Olympiakos players “Why, lads?” adding that the defensive errors deprived the Reds of a dream qualification, while the Olympiakos president Vangelis Marinakis pointed to next season saying “we are not stopping to dream”. “Unlucky, it just needed one goal and deserved it,” read the Fos Ton Spor front page.