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UEFA Champions League
18 September 2012
• Stadio Georgios Karaiskáki, Pireás (Piraeus)
Referee: David Fernandez Borbalan
• Attendance: 30922
D. Abdoun 58'
B. Höwedes 41'
K. Huntelaar 59'
That's it from me, it's been a pleasure. Till next time!
A whirlwind five minutes in the second half told the story of this game, as both teams scored within seconds of each other, while Huntelaar also missed a penalty. In truth, Schalke were the better side, their quality told in the end, and they deserve the points. 2-1 the final score.
90' + 4'
90' + 4'
Yellow Card Joel Matip
90' + 4'
That's all as the ref signals for full time!
90' + 2'
Djebbour almost conjures up a special at the death! He dribbles past two players expertly on the byline, and drives the ball into the six yard area. No one is quick enough to attack it though, and it goes begging!
90' + 1'
Really, just a big exercise in keep-ball here from Schalke in the dying embers of the game. Olympiakos look burnt out and finished.
Not much from Olympiakos as the game draws to a close. A bit disappointing from them to be honest, they really have nothing to lose at this point.
Huntelaar chance!!! Jones sends a great cross into the heart of the area, but the Dutchman's header is thwarted by Megyeri at point blank range!!
Afellay almost, almost makes something happen out wide. He twists and turns to the byline, but his low centre is booted away for a corner.
Yellow Card Lars Unnerstall
A slight surge for Olympiakos in the last few minutes. They win a corner, taken by Machado, but it trickles out for a goalkick after a failed header.
Farfan and Holtby link up on the right. The former tees up the latter on the edge of the box, who lets fly, but it goes harmlessly wide.
There is a yellow card in a tussle involving Jones, but surprise, surprise, he is the one that was fouled. Ibagaza is cautioned.
Yellow Card A. Ibagaza
Schalke slow the ball down to walking pace. They patiently pass the ball around in the opposition half. This is a great result for them if it holds, make no doubt about it. Still time though...
A slight lull in the game in the last few minutes. A few substitutions have disrupted the momentum as both teams reshuffle.
Ibagaza's turn to join in the shooting fun, but his good-looking shot cushions off the roof of the net!
Farfan sends another effort into orbit from range.
More from the visitors, as both Farfan and Barnetta miss with attempts from outside the area! They look extremely hungry!
All of a sudden we have a game on our hands! An explosion in the last five minutes! It's about time too!
Missed Penalty Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Huntelaar misses!!! Struck hard, low and true, but it cracks off the base of the post! Megyeri guessed right, but didn't need to make the save!
Yellow Card Kostas Manolas
PENALTY TO SCHALKE! Barnetta twists and turns towards goal. He beats one defender, but Manolas brings him down clumsily inside the area!
Assist Lewis Holtby
Goal Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
BANG! Schalke are back in front! immediate reply from the visitors. A slick passage of play from the restart sees the ball worked to the Netherlands international in the area, and he sweeps home with aplomb!
Assist Rafik Zoheir Djebbour
Goal Djamel Abdoun
No worry, because Olympiakos have drawn level! A long goal-kick is missed by Djebbour and Howedes, and Abdoun attacks the loose ball to stroke into the back of the net!
HOW DID OLYMPIAKOS NOT SCORE! Matip's poor header puts the visitors in all kinds of danger inside the area. Djebbour rounds the keeper and strikes from close range, but Matip manages to get back on the line and block! Then Abdoun attacks the rebound, but Howedes blocks again! Last ditch stuff!
Barnetta is playing a lot more centrally in the second half. It's allowing Fuchs the opportunity to come forward on the left, while Farfan pulls ever wider on the right. Interesting development. It's been fairly positive so far.
Jones picks up a booking for a typically hard challenge on Fuster.
Yellow Card Jones
Suddenly all kinds of avenues are opening up around the Olympiakos penalty area. Schalke, however, do not move the ball fast enough to exploit them, and another attack breaks down.
That should have been 2-0!!! A failed Olympiakos break sparks Schalke on one of their own. Fuchs cuts in from the left and drills a cross in that inadvertently tests the keeper, who spills into the path of Barnetta. But with an unguarded net, he fires over the bar! Bad miss.
A brief nervous moment for the home defence, as Farfan's cross is controlled in the area by Barnetta. The Swiss international takes it on the turn, but Contreras makes a timely block and clears.
Olympiakos, pressuring early, win a corner. Papadopoulos, however, is alert to head away from danger.
Here we go again! Remember to get in touch on Twitter @keeghann for any thoughts on the game!
Not one for the neutrals, I suspect. Both sides haven't been particularly ambitious, but Schalke have maybe just shaded it, and take a one-goal lead into the break thanks to Howedes' header. Second half in just a bit, so stay tuned!
No stoppage time as the ref blows for the half.
Some real urgency being shown by Schalke as the half draws to a close. They sense blood, and are really playing with some cut and thrust.
It's little surprise that the first goal came from a set piece, because from open play, both sides have looked pretty sterile. Hopefully this shakes things up.
Assist J. Farfán
Goal Benedikt Höwedes
It doesn't really matter now, because Schalke have taken the lead! THey win yet another corner, Farfan sends in yet another delivery, and Howedes pops up at the near post ahead of his marker to head the away side in front! 1-0!
Now, was that a goal? Schalke work the ball back into the area, and Papadopoulos wins an aerial battle with Megyeri and heads the ball home. The Germans celebrate, but too son, as it's disallowed thanks to that baffling rule where keepers cannot, apparently be touched when coming for a cross. Looked completely legitimate to me, Schalke have every right to be annoyed.
Glimpse of an opening for Schalke. Farfan's high corner is flicked by Papadopoulos, and Jones gets a touch on is at the far post, but can't control it in time and it goes out for another corner. Which comes to nothing.
Another Holebas free-kick from a deep area is headed clear by Schalke. If anything, both sides have been alert and committed in defence.
Thoughts on how things are going so far? Reach me on Twitter @keeghann.
Yellow Card Benedikt Höwedes
Howedes becomes our first booking with an ungainly challenge on Machado, after harrying him in the middle.
Olympiakos have a solid defensive record at home, having not conceded more than one goal in their last 13 Champions League appearances here in Greece. We'd be lucky to get even one the way things are going.
Schalke flood men forward in one of their first real spells of pressure in the opposition half. The ball is worked to Fuchs on the left, his cross is a decent one towards the far post, but Modesto manages to head clear.
That should have been better from Djebbour! Machado sends a fantastic ball into the area from which the striker connects in a great position, but he sends his effort just, just wide!
Half a chance there on an Olympiakos break, following a failed Schalke move. Fuster leads the charge, but Howedes tracks him well all the way down the pitch to poke out for a corner.
Really cagey here after the first 20 minutes. Neither side look particularly hungry in the attacking third.
A late looking challenge there from Howedes disrupts Machado, but despite furious protests from the home fans, only a throw in is given.
Holebas takes charge of a free-kick about 25 yards from goal and blasts it low about a foot wide of the post. Not far wide...
Huntelaar should have done a lot better there! Normally, that's bang on target for the Dutch hitman. But from Fuch's cross, he heads wide! Decent opening!
Ooh that was a close one! Torosidis sends a deep cross into the six yard area, where Djebbour just, just fails to get his head to it! Papadopoulos was doing a good job of marking the striker, it has to be said.
Now the Peruvian tries to link with Holtby on the right hand side again, but a one two fails, and it goes out for an Olympiakos throw.
Farfan tries to make something happen for the visitors, collecting a pass on the corner of the box, accelerating into an inch of space, but his cross is easily claimed by Megyeri.
A seemingly promising break for Schalke is called back by the ref after a foul by Barnetta in the centre circle. Still, that gave a glimpse of Olympiakos' less then stellar shape defending the counter. Avenues to exploit down the flanks for the Germans, methinks.
Olympiakos have looked good going forward early on. Schalke are struggling a bit in getting the ball out of their own half.
Early chance for the home side! Machado breaks, completely unmarked, down the left and advances well into the area. He squares to the centre of the area, over Unnerstall, but Papadopoulos is on the line to head clear the danger!
Decent start from Schalke, showing a tight defensive unit at the back. They win an early corner that's cleared with ease.
And we're off! The new Champions League season gets underway!
We're less than five minutes away. The players are about to emerge from the tunnel. Any pre-match predictions or thoughts? Hit me up on Twitter @keeghann.
This is the first ever meeting between these two sides in a competitive match. The fans at the Karaiskakis Stadium are already whipped into a frenzy. This venue's become known for its intimidation factor over the years, but the quality of football in the Champions League hasn't always matched the ferocity in the stands.
For the home side, Paulo Machado wins out in midfield ahead of the more experienced Ariel Ibagaza. The veteran Argentine is on the bench though, just in case Leonardo Jardim needs some invention late in the game.
The main surprise for Schalke is the inclusion of Tranquillo Barnetta ahead of Julian Draxler on the flanks. The Swiss international was signed up during the summer for just this purpose, to provide competition for the young and developing Draxler out wide. Let's see if he can stake his claim for a permanent XI spot.
Schallke (4-2-3-1): Unnerstall; Howedes, Papadopoulos, Fuchs, Matip; Holtby, Jones; Barnetta, Neustaedter, Farfan; Huntelaar. Subs: Faehrmann, Uchida, Afellay, Hoeger, Draxler, Kolasinac, Pukki.
Olympiakos (4-2-3-1): Megyeri; Contreras, Holebas, Manolas, Torosidis; Maniatis, Modesto; Machado, Abdoun, Djebbour; Fuster. Subs: Carroll, Ibagaza, Fejsa, Siovas, Greco, Mitroglou, Diogo
Lineups are in...
Greetings one and all, and welcome back to the Champions League! Goal.com is bringing you the live play-by-play for the Group B clash between Olympiakos and Schalke! I'm Keeghann Sinanan, glad to bring you all the action. Stay tuned.
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