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UEFA Champions League
December 10, 2013
• Stadio Georgios Karaiskáki, Pireás (Piraeus)
Referee: W. Stark
• Attendance: 31444
J. Saviola 33', 58'
A. Domínguez 90'+
S. Klještan 39'
Olympiakos' win means that they progress as group C runners-up behind Paris Saint-Germain despite Benfica's win over the France capital outfit. Mind you, they will need to perform much better if they are to advance to the latter stages of the competition. Thanks for joining me, Max Bentley, on a thrilling night of Champions League action. Until next time, goodbye!
I doubt you will see a more tense, action-packed and quite simply, bizarre half of football all season. You have to credit Anderlecht as they refused to sit back despite seeing Kouyate, N'Sakala and Proto all sent off. To be honest, I'm surprised Mitrovic didn't save that penalty at the end!
FT: Olympiakos 3-1 Anderlecht. The Greek champions seal their place in the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since 2009/10 but they were made to work for it! It took three penalties to finally wrap up the win after a simply sensational second half in Piraeus.
90' + 5'
Penalty Goal Alejandro Domínguez
DOMINGUEZ SEALS OLYMPIAKOS' PLACE IN THE KNOCKOUT STAGES! The Argentine steps up to take the penalty and he strikes the ball against the inside of the post and into the net. Mitrovic went the right way but had no chance of saving that one!
90' + 3'
Red Card Silvio Proto
OLYMPIAKOS REDUCED TO EIGHT MEN! Proto has been marvellous in the second half but he is sent off after bringing down Weiss in the box. There did not appear to be much contact, if any, but the referee awards a third penalty. Mitrovic will take the gloves for the penalty as Anderlecht have used all three substitutions.
90' + 1'
WHAT A CHANCE FOR OLYMPIAKOS TO WRAP UP THE POINTS! Anderlecht are simply refusing to sit back and Weiss' hopeful long ball is flicked on by Campbell. The Costa Rican races onto the ball and with two teammates positioned in the middle, he wastefully hits his pass into the nearest defender. The home support are furious.
Olympiakos look shaky in the closing stages despite their two-man advantage and they try to keep the ball by the corner flag. We are into stoppage time in Piraeus.
Alejandro Dominguez looks to wrap up the win but his drilled low free kick is blocked by the Anderlecht wall. Delvin N'Dinga comes on to replace David Fuster.
Yellow/Red Fabrice N'Sakala
N'SAKALA SENT OFF! Anderlecht are reduced to nine men for the closing stages as N'Sakala caps a miserable display when he is shown a second yellow card for a lunge on Weiss outside the box.
Anderlecht are pushing for the equaliser here and Tielemans and Kljestan both tee up Mitrovic on the edge of the box, but the young Serbian cannot get the ball out from under his feet on both occasions. Regardless of the result, John van den Brom will pleased with his side's spirit in this game.
Five minutes remaining. Can Olympiakos hold on and secure their place in the last 16?
FUSTER GOES CLOSE! Campbell once again causes N'Sakala problems down the right before picking out Fuster on the edge of the box. The stand-in captain lines up a shot but it flashes inches over the crossbar. That third goal continues to elude Olympiakos.
There is a final change for Anderlecht here as Youri Tielemans, who became the third youngest player to play in the Champions League earlier this year, replaces Dennis Praet.
Joel Campbell has showed his potential in this second half and Nuytinck fails to cut out his neat through ball but Weiss cannot finish from a narrow angle as he is denied once again by Proto.
Olaitan has struggled to shine in Mitroglou's absence and the Nigerian striker sees his angled shot comfortably saved by Proto. There is a nervousness amongst the Olympiakos crowd now. Can they hold on?
You would not predict that Anderlect have ten men here as Olympiakos are struggling to get bodies into the box to cause Proto problems. It will be one of football's greatest mysteries if the Greek champions fail to reach the knockout stages.
GILLET GOES CLOSE! This game is certainly not over just yet and Roberto produces a neat fingertipped save to turn Gillet's well-executed half-volley over the bar. What a second half this has proved to be!
GREAT SAVE FROM PROTO! The goalkeeper has been marvellous in this second half and he frustrates Olympiakos once again to deny Olaitan from close range after the Nigerian had been played in brilliantly by Campbell. Will these misses prove costly?
Anthony Vanden Borre
Missed Penalty Vladimir Weiss
PROTO SAVES AGAIN! The Belgian goalkeeper keeps Olympiakos nervously waiting for the win as he dives to his right to keep out Weiss' effort. Unbelievable scenes in Piraeus, the home fans cannot believe it.
Penalty save Silvio Proto
Yellow Card Fabrice N'Sakala
SECOND PENALTY TO OLYMPIAKOS! N'Sakala has been reckless all evening and he gives away a penalty after bringing down Weiss ruthlessly in the box. The Slovakian will step up to take it himself...
Joel Campbell shows some twinkling footwork to jink past N'Sakala once again but the youngster shows his inexperience as he tries to pick out a teammate when he should really have taken a shot. The Costa Rican looks to have a bright future.
You have to credit this Anderlecht side as they are refusing to sit back despite having ten men. Admittedly, they have nothing to play for in the competition but they are giving it a real go here.
WHAT A SAVE FROM ROBERTO! The Olympiakos goalkeeper has produced some brilliant performances in the Champions League this season and he makes a wonderful reflex save to prevent Gillet's thumping effort from inside the box. What a valuable stop that could prove to be!
Yellow Card Sacha Kljestan
There are two quick yellow cards in succession for Anderlecht as Alexsandar Mitrovic is cautioned for dissent before Kljestan joins him in the book for a mistimed lunge on Dominguez.
Yellow Card Aleksandar Mitrović
Alejandro Dominguez looks to make an impression from the bench and he finds space outside the box before slicing a shot narrowly wide of the post. Can Olympiakos find a third goal to finish the tie?
THE DRAMA CONTINUES! It's not all over for Olympiakos just yet as Benfica have taken a 2-1 lead over Paris Saint-Germain. A goal for Anderlecht now would send the Greek champions out.
Saviola receives a standing ovation from the Olympiakos crowd as he is replaced by Alejandro Dominguez. The attacking midfielder has scored in his previous two games.
Assist David Fuster
Goal Javier Saviola
OLYMPIAKOS RETAKE THE LEAD! It's proving quite an eventful night for Javier Saviola as he redeems himself for his penalty miss by hooking Fuster's miskicked shot high into the net from close range. Surely Olympiakos are in the last 16 now?
WHAT A CHANCE FOR ANDERLECHT! Najar almost caps his Champions League debut with a goal as he wins the ball off of Siovas. The Honduran holds off the shirt-tugging of the Greek centre back before his tame shot is easily saved by Roberto. I wonder if he would have got a penalty if he had gone down there.
Holebas whips a teasing corner into the middle which is cleared straight back to him by N'Sakala's header. The left-back has plenty of blue shirts to cross to in the middle but he opts to strike from a narrow angle and it is saved easily by Proto, much to the frustration of the home support.
Anderlecht look to introduce a central defender to cope with Kouyate's dismissal and Bram Nuytinck comes on to replace Luka Milivojevic. Michel responds with an attacking change for Olympiakos as Vladimir Weiss comes on for Paulo Machado.
Yellow Card David Fuster
David Fuster will be particularly frustrated that Saviola spurned that spot kick and he picks up Olympiakos' first booking after a cynical challenge on Mitrovic.
Missed Penalty Javier Saviola
PROTO SAVES FROM SAVIOLA! The Argentine cannot double his tally as his penalty is a comfortable height for the Belgian goalkeeper who guesses the correct way to make a good stop. Will that come back to haunt Olympiakos?
Penalty save Silvio Proto
Yellow/Red Cheikhou Kouyaté
KOUYATE SENT OFF! The Senegalese defender is given his marching orders as he flings himself in front of Fuster's goalbound shot but it strikes him on the arm. The referee spots the infringement and shows him a second yellow card. What an opportunity for Olympiakos now.
Manolas has looked solid at the back for Olympiakos today and he produces another good interception to prevent Mitrovic from getting on the end of N'Sakala's long pass. The Serbian has been isolated up front for Anderlecht.
Wolfgang Stark blows his whistle and Anderlecht get the second half underway. Can they break Greek hearts to claim only their third Champions League win in 31 matches?
There has been a huge goal in the other match in group C as Benfica have equalised against Paris Saint-Germain on the stroke of half-time. Olympiakos will still be heading through as things stand but a goal for the Portuguese side or for Anderlecht in the second half will mean that Benfica will head through.
HT: Olympiakos 1-1 Anderlecht. As things stand, the Greek champions will be heading to the Champions League knockout stages. Javier Saviola's second goal in the competition in nine years gave Michel's side the ideal start but they were pegged back shortly before half-time by Sacha Kljestan's close-range effort. All square at the break.
OLYMPIAKOS GO CLOSE! Joel Campbell will be featuring for Costa Rica at the World Cup and he jinks inside the challenge of N'Sakala before his dangerous low cross is deflected just wide by Mbemba. The Anderlecht defender was extremely fortunate there as Olaitan was waiting to tap in from close range.
That goal has given Anderlecht a renewed sense of confidence and the Belgian side suddenly look more dangerous in possession. It seems that we are set for an interesting second half as things stand.
From despair to elation! A huge roar goes around the stadium as the home fans hear the news that Paris Saint-Germain have taken the lead against Benfica.
Assist Guillaume Gillet
Goal Sacha Kljestan
KLJESTAN EQUALISES FOR ANDERLECHT! The Belgian champions have hardly threatened but they catch Olympiakos out on the counter attack. Najar finds himself surrounded by three blue shirts but he manages to poke the ball into the middle for Gillet who unselfishly squares for Kljestan to pass the ball into the net. That has stunned the home crowd.
It's all Olympiakos at the moment and the home fans roar on their side in search of a second goal which would all but seal their place in the knockout stages. Mitrovic has hardly touched the ball up front for Anderlecht.
That goal for Saviola, who turns 32 tomorrow, means he has scored for four different teams in the Champions League.
Goal Javier Saviola
GOOOALLLL SAVIOLA! The Argentine striker immediately atones for his miss as Fuster's shot deflects kindly into his path and he sends an arrowed shot into the far corner from the left corner of the box. It's a top finish from a man who had only scored one Champions League goal in the last nine years!
WHAT A CHANCE FOR OLYMPIAKOS! It's the best move of the game so far as Saviola and Fuster combine with a splendid one-two. The Argentine breaks beyond the Anderlecht back line but his finessed shot goes wide of the post.
Moments after Praet spurns a glorious counter attack opportunity for the visitors, Campbell nearly punishes him but the on-loan Arsenal youngster's shot lacks conviction and is comfortably gathered by Proto.
Holebas floats another teasing free kick into the box but Kouyate produces a vital clearance to deny Manolas from scoring the opening goal. The Senegalese defender suffered a nasty clash of heads there and receives a lengthy spell of treatment.
Anderlecht have not won in eight Champions League group stage games away from home since a 1-0 win over Real Betis in December 2005.
Honduran attacked Andy Najar is looking to shine on his Champions League debut but he gets it all wrong as he wildly overhits his cross over Roberto's crossbar. Neither coach looks impressed on the touchline with what they have seen so far and who can blame them?
N'Sakala is fortunate not to be cautioned after his reckless tackle on Campbell and from the resulting free kick, Holebas fires wastefully over. It's been a fairly low-key 23 minutes in Piraeus.
Yellow Card Luka Milivojević
Milivojevic becomes the second Anderlecht player in Stark's notebook after challenging Saviola from behind despite getting the ball. The Argentine has taken a fair few knocks already today.
Anderlecht are conceding a lot of free kicks however and allowing their opponents to get the ball into the box. Holebas whips a fantastic delivery into the mix but N'Sakala produces a crucial header to deny Manolas from nodding in from close range.
Olympiakos are dominating possession here but Anderlecht have shown signs of their danger, especially down the left. It remains 0-0 here and in the other group C game between Benfica and Paris Saint-Germain.
Saviola's dribbling is causing Anderlecht problems and he is fouled by Milivojevic outside the box. Machado whips the free kick over the wall expertly but Proto gets down low to his left to turn the ball around the post.
Incidentally, this is the seventh successive Champions League group stage campaign that Anderlecht have finished bottom.
Kljestan pokes a neat ball out to the left wing for Praet to chase and the youngster tussles with Samaris before going to ground. It looked like a free kick for the Anderlecht attacker but the referee waves away the appeals. John van den Brom looks bemused on the touchline.
Anderlecht show their first attacking threat of the game when Kljestan finds space down the left. His deflected cross finds Mitrovic on the edge of the box but the Serbian can only skew his volley well off target.
Yellow Card Cheikhou Kouyaté
Kouyate picks up an early booking after he brings down Olaitan after good skill from the Nigerian youngster. The reaction was delayed by the striker but it certainly was a foul. The Anderlecht defender needs to be careful now.
Javier Saviola turns 32 tomorrow and he wins a free kick on the edge of the box when he is tripped by Mbemba. However, Holebas' low drilled effort is well blocked by the Anderlecht wall.
It's a brilliant start from the home side and Holebas once again gets clear down the left before his teasing low cross somehow evades three Olympiakos shirts in the middle. Can they find that early goal to ease the pressure?
CHANCE FOR OLYMPIAKOS! It is almost the perfect start for the Greek side as Holebas embarks on a fantastic run down the left before he crosses towards the back post. Joel Campbell meets it on the volley and his goalbound effort appears to strike the arm of a defender but Stark waves away the appeals.
Wolfgang Stark blows his whistle and Olympiakos, in their away blue strip, get the game underway. A typical vociferous atmosphere awaits the first Anderlecht touch.
The players pay tribute to former South African president Nelson Mandela who sadly died at the end of last week. The sign "Madiba, The World Will Never Forget" is well received by both sets of fans.
The two sides emerge from the tunnel and there is a fantastic reception from the home support with a giant Olympiakos shirt being passed on by the fans. The Champions League anthem echoes around the stadium as captains David Fuster and Guillaume Gillet begin the respective handshakes.
As for Anderlecht, they endured their worst start to a Jupiler League season in 15 years although they have found some form recently to occupy third place. However, they certainly have a goalscoring threat and are the top scorers in Belgium.
Olympiakos are bidding to reach the knockout stages for the first time since 2009/10 and they are unbeaten in their last seven home games in all competitions. Michel side's have proved imperious in the Greece's top flight this season, winning 13 and drawing one of their 14 matches.
As for Anderlecht, John van den Brom is forced into just one change from the side which defeated Waasland-Beveren 2-0 on Saturday as Serbian midfielder Luka Milivojevic replaces the suspended Massimo Bruno. Olivier Deschacht and Matias Suarez are ruled out through injury. 19-year-old defender Chancel Mbemba is the only player in the Anderlecht starting XI to have scored in the Champions League group stages this season. Honduran attacker Andy Najar makes his debut in the competition.
Michel makes four changes to the side which defeated Asteras Tripolis 2-0 on Saturday. Leandro Salino and Kostas Manolas return to the defence in place of Miguel Torres and Avram Papadopoulos. Alejandro Dominguez is replaced by Javier Saviola whilst Nigerian striker Michael Olaitan is preferred to Marko Scepovic after coming off the bench to score at the weekend. Giannis Maniatis is suspended whilst Mitroglou is ruled out until the New Year with a foot injury.
ANDERLECHT (4-3-3): Proto; Vanden Borre, Kouyate, Mbemba, N'Sakala; Milivojevic, Gillet (c), Kljestan; Najar, Praet, Mitrovic.
OLYMPIAKOS (4-2-3-1): Roberto; Salino, Manolas, Siovas, Holebas; Machado, Samaris; Fuster (c), Saviola, Campbell; Olaitan.
However, Olympiakos will have to do without the services of their top goalscorer Kostas Mitroglou who became the first Greek player in the history of the Champions League to score a hat trick when he notched three against Anderlecht in that 3-0 win. Here is the team news...
Standing in their way is an Anderlecht outfit who have only one point from their five games in Europe this season but John van der Brom's team are determined to seek revenge after the 3-0 defeat in the reverse fixture at the beginning of October. Can the Belgians spoil the party? Bringing you all the action from the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus, my name is Max Bentley.
The final matchday of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stages are upon us and for Olympiakos, the prospect of a place in the last 16 is only 90 minutes away. Michel's side are currently second in group C, ahead of Benfica on the head-to-head record and the Greek champions must better the Portuguese side's result this evening to finish as runners-up behind Paris Saint-Germain.
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