Panathinaikos too weak

PSV Eindhoven battled to a 1-0 win over Panathinaikos to move into second place behind leader Arsenal in Champions League Group E late on Wednesday. With 10 minutes remaining, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink broke the deadlock with a deflected header to beat Greek goalkeeper Costas Chalkias. Against an extremely defensive-minded side that failed to create a decent chance, PSV kept calm and were finally rewarded. Both sides now have three points from two games, one fewer than Arsenal, who were held 1-1 in Norway by Rosenborg Trondheim. PSV created the first danger after 11 minutes when Peruvian Jefferson Farfan hit the crossbar from a free kick and Alex missed the rebound from close range. Without Emmanuel Olisadebe, sidelined with knee problems, the Greeks never threatened seriously. Seven minutes before the break PSV’s John de Jong came close after being set up by Lee Young-Pyo but his shot went just wide. A mistake by Chalkias four minutes later as he punched the ball to the feet of Mark van Bommel should have been punished, but his shot from outside the box missed the empty target. PSV kept up the pressure after the break and coach Guus Hiddink brought Gerald Sibon on as extra target man with 27 minutes remaining. Midfielder De Jong had two more chances, but his first shot was deflected over the goal and a second strike was cleared off the line by a Greek defender. With time running out Chalkias tipped a fierce shot by Sibon over the bar and from the corner kick Vennegoor of Hesselink headed home. Hiddink said, «We fully deserved this win but we should have scored more than one goal.» «PSV played a good match and we didn’t. But in this group the decision will be made on the final match day. Rosenborg are also a good team. You see what they achieved tonight, holding Arsenal 1-1,» Panathinaikos coach Itzhak Shum said. Four Greek teams were engaged in matches for the UEFA Cup yesterday. Aegaleo, in its first-ever European outing, drew 1-1 away with Turkish club Genclerbirligi, advancing 2-1 on aggregate. In late matches, PAOK faced Dutch club Alkmaar and Panionios played Italy’s Udinese, both away, and AEK played Nova Gorica of Slovenia at home. (Reuters, Kathimerini)