Win over Malmoe sends Olympiakos to Europa League

Olympiakos’s European season will continue in the Europa League from February, as the Reds defeated Swedish champion Malmoe 4-2 in Piraeus on Tuesday to finish third in their Champions League group.

The Greeks kept their perfect record at home, with nine points from three games, but reaped no points on the road, to trail Atletico Madrid and Juventus at the standings of their group.

On Tuesday they did not emerge from their erratic form that had seen them lose 4-0 at Atletico Madrid and drop five points in two league games at home within four days, but at least they proved efficient enough in attack to overcome their defensive shortcomings that saw them concede two goals on the night and reach a total record of 13 goals conceded in six group games.

Olympiakos led 1-0 at half time, as a great throw-in by Arthur Masuaku from the left on the 22nd minute picked Pajtim Kasami who headed the ball across goal to the path of David Fuster and he headed it in, getting injured in the process by an opponent’s boot on his face.

Former Greece striker Costas Mitroglou was responsible for wasting several chances that could have extended the Greeks’ advantage; instead it was the visitors who scored just before the hour mark.

Malmoe’s supersub Simon Kroon came on 12 minutes into the second half and within a couple of minutes he scored the equalizer slotting the ball past Olympiakos keeper Roberto in an exemplary counterattack by the Swedish for 1-1.

Chori Dominguez responded four minutes on showing his quality that stands out in Olympiakos’s roster. He unleashed a spectacular right-foot volley from the edge of the box that restored the Reds’ lead.

Yet another break for Malmoe allowed Anton Tinnerholm to perform a great run from the left and cross to Marcus Rosenberg. The Swedish striker made no mistake and punished the Greek defense to make it 2-2 with nine minutes left on the clock.

Mitroglou redeemed himself and settled nerves in Piraeus with Olympiakos’s third goal three minutes from the end as he tapped in from close range a Dominguez corner kick from the left.

Les than three minutes later a Kassami run onto the Malmo defense ended in a pass to Ibrahim Afellay, and the Dutchman sealed the victory for the Piraeus club in its farewell to the Champions League, in front of a capacity crowd of Greeks and Swedes at the Karaiskakis Stadium.