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UEFA Champions League
September 17, 2013
• Stadio Georgios Karaiskáki, Pireás (Piraeus)
Referee: F. Brych
• Attendance: 31253
V. Weiss 25'
E. Cavani 19'
Thiago Motta 68', 73'
Olympiakos started the game so well but they dropped off dramatically, particularly after the break. Players like Weiss and Fuster sparkled in the opening stages but they could not keep it up for the whole game and PSG's superior quality shone through as they scored three second-half goals.
FULL-TIME: OLYMPIAKOS 1-4 PSG A much-improved performance in the second half ensured Blanc's side started their Champions League campaign with a win. Two headed goals from Motta, a firm header from Marquinhos and an easy finish from Cavani secured all three points for Les Parisiens, after they shrugged off a disappointing start to take control of the game.
90' + 2'
And there is the final whistle! PSG have run out comfortable 4-1 winners in Piraeus after a rampant second half performance.
There will be three minutes of added time here in Piraeus.
The clock is ticking on and Olympiakos do not look like changing the scoreline here. They have been dismal since half-time.
Yellow CardGregory van der Wiel
MARQUINHOS MAKES IT 4-1 TO THE VISITORS! The 19-year-old defender marks his debut with a firm header after being left unmarked by the hosts. That is three goals from corners for PSG now!
I think Michel knows what his side need to practice in training tomorrow.
MIRACULOUS DOUBLE SAVE FROM ROBERTO!! The Olympiakos goalkeeper does brilliantly to keep out Ibrahimovic, not once but twice. He dived low to his right to stop the initial effort before diving at the Swede's feet as he tried to convert the follow up.
Missed PenaltyZlatan Ibrahimovic
PSG win a penalty! Ibrahimovic draws a foul from Samaris on the left side of the box and the French side have a chance to add yet more gloss to the scoreline.
PSG move the ball out to van der Wiel on the right wing after some confident passing in the centre of the park but the Dutchman's chipped cross is poor and Maniatis is able to beat Cavani to the ball.
Cavani sends a driving effort at goal from the left side of the penalty area that Roberto has to have his wits about him to keep out.
Olympiakos have brought on the former 'next Maradona' Javier Saviola as they try and turn this game round late on.
PSG PRODUCE A CARBON COPY OF THEIR SECOND GOAL!! Motta again evades the challenge of Samaris to flick Lavezzi's corner into the bottom right corner. PSG are cruising thanks to two identical set pieces!
PSG win another corner on the left-hand side. Lavezzi trudges over to take the set piece. ..
MOTTA GIVES PSG THE LEAD!! The Brazilian midfielder gets ahead of Samaris to nod a Lavezzi corner from the left past Roberto and make it 2-1 to Les Parisiens.
Lavezzi has provided a breath of fresh air for Blanc's side since he was introduced at the break. He has been at the heart of their good play in this second half.
GREAT CHANCE FOR PSG!! A brilliant scooped pass from Cavani found Lavezzi racing down the left and he whipped an inviting ball towards the onrushing Ibrahimovic that the Swede appeared to refuse. He made little effort to connect with the ball as it bounced all the way out for a throw-in to Olympiakos.
An extended period of Parisian pressure culminates in a well-struck effort from van der Wiel being palmed away by Roberto. The French side are forcing the issue in this second half.
Campbell's first touch is a good one as he heads the ball down for Fuster in the area but the Spaniard's opportunist volley flies high over the bar.
Olympiakos make their first change of the evening by bringing on Joel Campbell, the striker on loan from Arsenal, for Dominguez.
SNAPSHOT FROM CAVANI! The PSG frontman hammers an effort at goal from the right side of the Olympiakos box and Roberto does well to parry the ball behind.
Mitroglou is again flagged offside! That's sloppy from a man who has been in fantastic form in recent weeks. PSG are ramping up the pressure in this second half and you get the feeling the hosts will have to make the most of any chances that come their way.
Weiss crunches into Lavezzi on the right-hand side and is lucky not to go into the referee's notebook. PSG waste the set piece though, as Siovas heads the ball away from danger.
We have just seen the good and the bad of Ibrahimovic in the space of two minutes. On this occasion he tries an ambitious back-heeled near the halfway line and had Mitroglou not strayed into an offside position he would have been one-on-one with Sirigu.
Pure flair from Ibrahimovic. The ball loops up in the air and the technically-gifted Swede flicks a nonchalant volley towards the near post from a tight angle on the left that catches the side netting.
Mitroglou give the ball away cheaply to Verratti and the Italian youngster chooses to go it alone for the visitors much to Cavani's obvious annoyance. After picking the ball up he drives past two tackles before attempting to curl the ball towards goal, but his effort is blocked by Siovas.
PSG look to break as Cavani nicks the ball from Maniatis but the move breaks down as Ibrahimovic is flagged offside.
The hosts get the second half underway and immediately find Weiss on the right-hand side.
PSG are making a change at the break. Lucas goes off to be replaced by the Argentina international Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Join me in 15 minutes for the second half of this finely-poised Champions League encounter!
HALF-TIME: OLYMPIAKOS 1-1 PSG The home side are deservedly level at the break after a pulsating opening 45 minutes. They went within inches of taking the lead in the very first minute when Vladimir Weiss watched on in despair as his long-range strike cannoned back off the crossbar, before David Fuster struck the woodwork with a looping volley 15 minutes later. Completely against the run of play PSG took the lead through Edinson Cavani, after he supplied the final touch to a well-worked team move involving Maxwell and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The highlight of the half was still to come though, as Weiss made it 1-1 in the 25th minute with a neat finish after showing some sensational footwork to dance past the challenges of Marquinhos and Thiago Silva.
45' + 1'
And there is the half-time whistle! It's all square here in Piraeus.
I feel slightly sorry for the young Brazilian centre-back Marquinhos this evening. He is being put under all sorts of pressure by Mitroglou, Weiss and Fuster on his debut for Les Parisiens, and is being afforded little support by his far more experienced team-mates.
Weiss finds Bong with the set piece but the left-back's flicked header is off target and PSG have a goal kick.
Silva lambasts the referee after he awards the hosts a free kick 40 yards from goal for a foul on Mitroglou. Can Olympiakos take the lead before half-time?
PSG play the ball short to Motta who swings a pass out to van der Wiel on the right. The Dutchman takes a touch to set himself before whipping a fine cross towards the penalty spot. Ibrahimovic is hurtling in from outside the area but as he throws himself at the incoming cross he is gently nudged off course by Mariatis. That could have been a penalty!
We've got a bit of a recurring theme here... Down goes Ibrahimovic under a fairly legitimate challenge from Samaris and PSG have another dangerously-positioned free kick, this time on the left-hand side.
Over in Lisbon, Luisao has made it 2-0 for Benfica against Anderlecht in tonight's other Group C encounter.
Silva flops to the floor after Weiss brushes the back of his head. The manner in which the PSG captain went down you would have thought he'd been punched!
PSG – considering the players at their disposal – have been very poor in possession so far.
Van der Wiel shows good composure to shake off the attention of Bong in the right-back position for PSG and clear the ball away after Marquinhos had stitched him up slightly with a weak pass.
Verratti indulges in a spot of showboating a yard or two from his own penalty area by juggling the ball in front of Mitroglou. The Italian's skill is roundly booed by the Olympiakos fans. Not surprising that.
Motta whips the ball towards Cavani at the back post but Medjani does just enough to put the Uruguayan off and the ball bounces out for a goal kick.
Yellow CardG. Bong
Bong picks up a yellow card after flying into a challenge with Lucas and PSG have a free kick to the right of the penalty area. The Brazilian appeared to go to ground quite easily but he was motoring when the young left-back obstructed his route to goal.
Machado sweeps a pass out to Weiss on the left. On this occasion he tries to find a team-mate first time rather than taking his marker on, but his pass is underhit and Silva is able to knock the ball upfield.
Weiss and Fuster are enjoying themselves out there for the home team. Playing just behind Mitroglou they are seeing a lot of the ball and have both showed they are unafraid to shoot from distance when the opportunity arises.
THAT IS AN OUTRAGEOUS EQUALISING GOAL FROM WEISS!! The nippy winger picked the ball up on the right, nutmegged Marquinhos, shimmied past Silva, and then flicked a finish past Sirigu to make it 1-1. Sensational footwork!
STAT: The Greek champions are 25 games without a draw in UEFA competition, winning 13 and losing 12 since their Champions League meeting at AZ Alkmaar ended goalless on 24 November 2009.
CHANCE FOR MITROGLOU! The in-form Olympiakos striker looks to get in between Silva and Marquinhos inside the PSG box to get on the end of an enticing cross on the right but the former recovers well to flick the ball out for a corner.
A hat tip to Ibrahimovic though, his pass to Maxwell in the build-up to that opening goal was sumptuous.
That was the first time PSG had really threatened in this game, and they have the lead. Michel in the Olympiakos dugout must be fuming.
PSG TAKE THE LEAD THROUGH CAVANI! The Uruguayan striker gives the visitors an undeserved lead after a delightful through ball from Ibrahimovic finds Maxwell inside the box and he flicks it into the path of Cavani for an easy finish, with Roberto pulled out of position.
Ibra tussles for the ball with Medjani about 40 yards from the Olympiakos goal before committing a foul. He does not happy!
PSG are riding their luck here! Twice Olympiakos have hit the post in the first 17 minutes. The home side have made the far better start to this game.
OLYMPIAKOS HIT THE POST AGAIN!! The corner is hooked to David Fuster on the edge of the PSG box and he shows great technique to send a looping volley at goal that pings off the left-hand post and away to safety.
Sloppy from Motta! The PSG midfielder loses possession in the corner before Silva hacks the ball behind for a corner to the hosts.
Van der Wiel hurtles into a challenge with Weiss on the near side, yet despite taking a large chunk of the man as he stretches to win the ball the referee awards only a throw-in.
Weiss is looking very bright in the opening exchanges here. He's popping up in front of the PSG backline and causing trouble on the right, the left, and in the centre.
Machado sprays a fine ball out to Maniatis on the right for the home side and they do very well to move it back to Weiss on the left. The Slovakian cuts in past the challenge of van der Wiel before rifling a shot towards the bottom left corner that just flies wide of the post.
Lucas crumples to the deck under a challenge of Gaetan Bong and the Brazilian looks like he might be in a bit of trouble here. The physios are on the pitch giving the pacy attacker treatment while Blaise Matuidi picks at his chin in midfield.
Michel's side waste a good chance to test the PSG debutant Marquinhos in the air after they win a free kick just inside the French side's half. Instead of lifting it high into the box the ball fails to beat the first man and the Ligue 1 champions are able to clear the ball away.
Gregory van der Wiel drives down the right with the ball for PSG but his intended cross to Ibrahimovic is intercepted well by Siovas. The Swedish striker looks a bit miffed by that challenge, but the Olympiakos defender won the ball fairly.
Elsewhere in Group C Benfica have taken a 1-0 lead at home to Anderlecht thanks to a goal from Duricic.
STAT: Ibrahimovic is playing ins his 96th Champions League match tonight. His team-mate, Marquinhos, is playing in his first.
The visitors have settled down slightly since that early scare, and only some alert goalkeeping from Roberto stopped Zlatan Ibrahimovic from getting on the end of a searching cross from Maxwell on the left that was nodded on to him by Edinson Cavani.
This is not the start Blanc will have planned for his side. Olympiakos could easily be ahead already.
WHAT A STRIKE FROM WEISS!! Olympiakos go within a whisker of taking the lead after just 58 seconds! The former Chelsea academy player Vladimir Weiss crashes an effort onto the crossbar with his right foot from distance after drifting in from the right-hand side.
Away we go in Greece! PSG take the kick-off and quickly sweep the ball back to Thiago Silva in defence.
And there is that magnificent Champions League anthem! That does not fail to give me goosebumps.
There is a huge roar as the two sides make their way out onto the pitch here. The Olympiakos fans are raising white and red sheets to the sky to greet their team. Wonderful scenes!
The atmosphere looks electric over in Piraeus. It will be interesting to see how PSG's players respond to the vocal (to put it lightly) support of the home fans.
Some familiar faces on both benches there. Keep an eye on each team's Argentine substitute, Saviola for the hosts and Lavezzi for the visitors. Both are capable of turning a game on its head with a twinkle of magic.
PSG TEAM NEWS: Marquinhos comes into Les Parisiens' starting XI for the first time to fill in for the injured Alex, while Lucas starts in an attacking three alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani as Ezequiel Lavezzi makes do with a place on the bench. The French side are also without Javier Pastore tonight, although Jeremy Menez is fit enough to line up among the substitutes.
OLYMPIAKOS TEAM NEWS: Michel hands Champions League debuts to Andreas Samaris, Gaetan Bong and Carl Medjani, while as expected the in-form Mitroglou leads the line upfront. The hosts make three changes from the side that trounced Xanthi at the weekend, as Javier Saviola, Kostas Manolas and Leandro Salino make way for Giannis Maniatis, Alejandro Dominguez and Dimitrios Siovas.
SUBS: Douchez, Camara, Digne, Jallet, Menez, Rabiot, Lavezzi
PSG (4-3-3): Sirigu; Van der Wiel, Marquinhos, Silva, Maxwell; Matuidi, Motta, Verratti; Cavani, Moura, Ibra
SUBS: Megyeri, Holebas, Manolas, N'Dinga, Campbell, Yatabare, Saviola
Olympiakos (4-2-3-1): Roberto; Maniatis, Medjani, Siovas, Bong; Machado, Samaris; Fuster, Dominguez, Weiss; Mitroglou
Anyway, enough chitter chatter for the time being, 'where is the team news?', I hear you all ask. Kind of.
However, things aren't going quite so to plan for Laurent Blanc's side in the French capital. Despite being unbeaten in their first five Ligue 1 games, they have drawn twice. Those dropped points have proved costly, with Saint-Etienne and Monaco occupying second and first place respectively.
The Greek giants come into the game off the back of a comfortable 4-0 victory over Xanthi in the Greek Super League. Their striker Kostas Mitroglou in particular will be raring to go this evening having scored back-to-back hat-tricks in the league. Not bad at all.
My name is Charlie Scott and I'll be your go-to point this evening for insightful updates and descriptions of all the action as the game unfolds at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus. As ever I'll be available on Twitter if you'd like to get in touch with your thoughts on the game - @charliefscott.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to tonight's live coverage of the Champions League Group C clash that does actually adhere to the competition's name. Both Olympiakos and Paris Saint-Germain are reigning 'champions', having won their domestic leagues last season.
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