SPORTS

Olympiakos misses chance for win at Juventus

Olympiakos missed the chance for a historic win in Turin over Juventus as it squandered its lead and fell behind within one minute, to lose 3-2 for the fourth round of games of the Champions League group stage on Tuesday.

However the result means that should Olympiakos and Juventus end up level on points, as they are now (on six), the Reds will have the edge having beaten the Italian champion 1-0 at home and scored two away goals.

Although the game was played under continuous rainfall and with the grass wet and tricky, the first four goals of the match came from set pieces.

Andrea Pirlo scored a spectacular opening goal from a free-kick on the 21st minute, but Olympiakos responded immediately, as a corner by Chori Dominguez was headed home by central defender Alberto Botia for 1-1.

The Reds stood the Italians’ pressure and threatened on the break on occasions, but it was another set piece that gave the Reds an unlikely 2-1 lead on the hour mark, as a free-kick resulted in a Yiannis Maniatis cross from the right that Delvin N’Dinga headed into the Gianluigi Buffon goal. This was another short-lived lead though, lasting just five minutes.

Juventus’s equalizer had so many ball deflections that it would have made any snooker player proud. Another free-kick from the right by Pirlo was headed by Maniatis to the head of Fernando Llorente, the ball then hit the upright, the ankle of Roberto and rolled into the net for 2-2. It was recorded as a Roberto own goal on the 65th minute.

As if that hadn’t been enough, one minute later Paul Pogba showed his quality doing an about-turn, attempting a blocked shot and then powering the ball into the Roberto net for Juventus’s full comeback and the Frenchman’s first Champions League goal.

There was more drama in injury time, as Juventus earned a penalty that Arturo Vidal took but Roberto parried to keep the score at 3-2 for Juventus.

As things stand, Olympiakos could still finish from first to fourth, as it now is joint second with Juventus, three points behind leader Atletico Madrid that it will visit in three weeks’ time.

There actually was a Greek to score on the night in the Champions League, but it was not an Olympiakos player. It was Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos who scored Borussia Dortmund’s second goal over Galatasaray in the Germans’ 4-1 home triumph.