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Girondins de Bordeaux 2-1 Olympiacos: Greeks Crash Out On Fine French Evening (Agg: 3-1)

Despite a late scare by Olympiacos, Bordeaux survived much adversity as goals from Yoann Gourcuff and Marouane Chamakh propelled the French side past Olympiacos 2-1 at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.

Olympiacos did make the evening interesting as Kostas Mitroglou bagged the only goal for the visitors, but ultimately the effort was not enough to see the Greek Champions through to the next round.

Already in the driver’s seat after the first leg, Bordeaux immediately tightened their grip on the tie as Gourcuff gave the hosts a perfect start. A seemingly harmless set-piece turned lethal as Gourcuff smashed his shot into the top corner of the Olympiacos goal.

With history already against them coming into the second leg, Olympiacos’ task turned even more complicated. Bozidar Bandovic’s side was now forced to push forward immediately, but a stubborn Bordeaux defence continued to stymie the Piraeus giants.

Jaouad Zairi appeared to be Olympiacos’ best threat going forward as the Moroccan’s trickery looked like the only tonic capable of solving the home side’s defence. However, even when Zairi zoomed his way through the maze of Bordeaux defenders a lack of Olympiacos bodies inside the box eluded the visitors of a decent scoring opportunity.  

Meanwhile, Bordeaux were knowledgeable of Olympiacos’ will too push forward as the French side looked content to repel the Greek side and catch them on the counter-attack.

It was Marouane Chamakh who looked to catch Olympiacos off-guard as the Moroccan striker freed himself to collect a pass from Gourcuff, but the final effort was light-work for Nikopolidis.

Still the French side approached the match with a will of their own, and nearly found the back of the net for a second time when Benoit Tremoulinas provided Gourcuff with a delightful ball inside the box. The latter looked nimble as he eluded a confused Avraam Papadopoulos before firing a hard-effort into the chest of an on-guard Nikopolidis.

Hoping to help their ‘keeper out, Olympiacos pushed forward on a rare break into the Bordeaux end. Raul Bravo provided a pin-point cross inside the box, but the Spaniard’s work was put to waste as Zairi hit his aerial effort wide of the goal.

It was Bordeaux who came closest to the match’s second goal as a set-piece once again posed problems for the Greek side. Catching Nikopolidis off his line again, Gourcuff was just inches away from securing a brace as his long-distance effort smashed off the frame of the goal.

Counting their blessings, Olympiacos made time for one last effort before the break and the visitors likely thought they had levelled the score on the night. Matt Derbyshire ricocheted Lomana Lua Lua’s cross off the crossbar and into the back of the net, but the goal was ultimately ruled offside.

The goal would have been the perfect send-off for Olympiacos before half-time as the task only looked uphill for the visiting side.

With a mountain to climb, Olympiacos’ approach to the match looked optimistic at the start of the second frame as Enzo Maresca’s early effort was at the best speculative.

Bordeaux, meanwhile, looked to replicate their first half effort with an early attempt. Again Gourcuff was the mastermind behind the Bordeaux attack as he found Chamakh at the edge of the box. Opting to lay-off a pass for Jaroslav Plasil, the Czech midfielder lashed a grounded strike just wide of Nikopolidis’ net.

A lack of initiative going forward limited Olympiacos’ chances of an equaliser on the night, and the Greek side’s problems were only compounded with the dismissal of Derbyshire. The Englishman was shown a red card for his tackle on Plasil, leaving his side to battle with just ten men. Immediately, the Olympiacos line-up was altered with Kostas Mitroglou introduced as Olympiacos’ only forward.  
On the pitch for just a few minutes, Mitroglou made an immediate impact as he revived Olympiacos’ hopes of progression with a sweet volley past Cedric Carrasso. Staying clear of his markers, Mitroglou found just enough space to make his first touch a useful one for the Greek side.

Boosted by the goal, Olympiacos were given further motivation with the dismissal of Alou Diarra after the Frenchman was shown his second yellow on the night.

But still there was work to do for Olympiacos, as another goal was required for the guests to move on. With the tie’s intensity renewed, Bordeaux were put under the microscope with Olympiacos pushing forward.

The Greek side had a handful of opportunities to grab the crucial goal but efforts from Mitroglou and Torosidis were nothing but wasteful.

Instead it was Chamakh who proved the hero as Bordeaux qualified for the quarter-finals with a late goal eliminating Olympiacos. The Moroccan made up for all his misses on the night as he rose above Raul Bravo to head a pass from Tremoulinas into the Olympiacos net.  

Having survived a late scare Bordeaux are set for Friday’s draw, while Olympiacos are left to concentrate on domestic football for the remainder of this season.