Olympiakos failed to secure a positive result in the freezing town of Dnipropetrovsk against home team Dnipro for the Europa League. Ruslan Rotan (50′) and Jaba Kankava (54′) scored the two goals that give the clear advantage to the Ukrainian club.
The Reds were unable to bring a team together capable of fighting off the cold climate as well as the Ukrainians’ appetite to play their first official game in over a month (the Ukrainian league takes a long break during the winter). While the shaky defensive duo of Dimitris Siovas and Felipe Santana made us wonder if they are true futbolistas or wiggle walkers trying to dance “tsamiko” the rest of the team was debating whether the trip to Ukraine was a swell idea this time of the year. Apart from left back Arthur Masuaku, we were witnessing amateur football at best.
Dnipro did not miss out on the opportunity presented and after wasting the first half away trying to bring their skills to action, managed to scored two goals at the break of the second. The kindergarden Greek defense refused to put their heads back on their shoulders and fight for a comeback score, instead they allowed their opponents to search for a third goal. Of course, the two month hiatus did little to help the hosts track down the much needed third goal which would have handed them the ticket to the round of 16 sooner than expected. They themselves seemed unable to form an attack, which in return, made us viewers question our sanity for trashing two valuable hours of our lives away.
Sarcasm aside, Olympiakos missed out on picking up a result which would have shared some hope to its fans in the second leg of the round. Instead, they fed the media with much reason to criticize owner Vaggelis Marinakis’ decision of ditching former head-coach Michel in the middle of the season. Current coach Vitor Perreira will now have to explain the presentation of an atrocious correlation of players who frankly, do not deserve to have reached this round.
The Piraeus club will fly back to Athens tomorrow to prepare for their next mission, that of holding the Greek league’s scepter. Rivals Panathinaikos are just six points behind them in the championship race and an eventual loss will introduce concerns about their dominance within the domestic boarders. Last week’s tie to 2nd division’s leaders AEK Athens for the Greek cup already put that trophy in steak so after tonight’s result the game against Panathinaikos is doomed as one of great magnitude.