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Olympiakos Piraeus v Crvena Zvezda Match Report, 11/12/2019

FT
1 - 0
OLY
CZV
Y. El-Arabi (87 pen)
Stadio Georgios Karaiskáki
Olympiacos 1-0 Red Star Belgrade: El-Arabi's late penalty secures Europa League spot
01:00 GMT+3 12/12/2019
El-Arabi cropped
A late penalty from Youssef El-Arabi helped Olympiacos clinch a 1-0 win over Red Star Belgrade and secure Europa League football in 2020.

Youssef El-Arabi scored a dramatic late penalty to give Olympiacos a 1-0 win over Red Star Belgrade that secured third place in Champions League Group B and a spot in the Europa League.

The spot-kick was emphatically converted three minutes from full-time by the Morocco forward after Brazilian defender Jander handled a cross inside the penalty area.

Red Star, who just needed to avoid defeat to finish third, had been awarded a penalty of their own in the first half but Portuguese forward Tomane blasted it against the crossbar.

The result ensured Olympiacos finished on four points - a point ahead of bottom side Red Star.

In the first half, Red Star seemed content to soak up Olympiacos' pressure and then look to hit their opponents on the counter-attack.

Olympiacos were much more adventurous and midfielder Mady Camara whistled an early effort just past the post.

Red Star goalkeeper Milan Borjan was forced to make a fine double save just after the half-hour mark when he pawed away powerful angled shots from Daniel Podence and Omar Elabdellaoui.

Red Star were awarded a penalty against the run of play three minutes before half-time when Guilherme scythed down Marko Marin, but Tomane struck the spot-kick against the woodwork.

Olympiacos continued to carve out opportunities after the break but were missing a killer touch.

On the hour, El-Arabi saw his header bounce back out of the post while Borjan saved superbly at the feet of Podence a few minutes later.

Podence had his head in his hands with 20 minutes left as he dragged wide after the ball dropped to him from yet another Borjan save.

However, Jander handled late on as he leapt to try to head a high cross and El-Arabi sent Borjan the wrong way and buried the spot-kick.


What does it mean? Red Star make Europa League

Bayern Munich finished as winners of Champions League Group B with Tottenham as runners-up but this match mattered greatly to both sides. A battling Red Star display seemed to have done enough but Olympiacos' persistence was rewarded. They will have the added bonus of Europa League football in 2020. Red Star will only have domestic commitments to focus on.

Pulsating Podence creates havoc

The Greek winger posed Olympiacos' most likely goal threat. The tricky wideman almost seemed to be having a personal duel with Red Star goalkeeper Borjan. Despite not scoring he never stopped trying and embodied the spirit shown by Olympiacos.

Terrible Tomane squanders big chance

A miserable performance by the ineffective Red Star forward was capped by a nervy penalty kick that ultimately proved costly.H e was replaced by the much livelier Rajiv van La Parra just after the hour.

Key Opta Facts

- Olympiacos picked up their first win in the Champions League since November 2015 (2-1 v Dinamo Zagreb), ending a run of 13 games without a victory in the competition.
- Red Star have lost all six of their away games in the Champions League, conceding 22 goals and scoring just two in return.
- Olympiacos scored with what was their 24th shot of the game – they attempted 27 shots in total; their most in a single Champions League game (since 2003-04).
- El-Arabi has netted three goals in his last four Champions League appearances for Olympiacos, including each of the last two (versus Spurs and Red Star).

What's next?

Olympiacos have a Greek Super League fixture away to Asteras Tripolis on Sunday. Red Star also return to domestic action and have a home league clash with Cukaricki on the same day.