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Mitroglou caps Olympiacos' Montpellier revival

Published: Wednesday 24 October 2012, 22.45CET
Montpellier Hérault SC 1-2 Olympiacos FC
The Greek champions came from one down to claim their first points, Kostas Mitroglou's added-time winner lifting them off the bottom of Group B.
by Ian Holyman
from La Mosson

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Published: Wednesday 24 October 2012, 22.45CET

Mitroglou caps Olympiacos' Montpellier revival

Montpellier Hérault SC 1-2 Olympiacos FC
The Greek champions came from one down to claim their first points, Kostas Mitroglou's added-time winner lifting them off the bottom of Group B.

Substitute Kostas Mitroglou broke Montpellier Hérault SC hearts by scoring in added time as Olympiacos FC registered a 2-1 come-from-behind win in Group B.

Olympiacos had lost on three of their last four visits to France, and appeared likely to suffer another reverse after UEFA Champions League debutant Gaëtan Charbonnier gave the hosts a 49th-minute lead. However, the French champions were pegged back by visiting captain Vassilis Torossidis sweeping home with 17 minutes remaining before Mitroglou capped a swift counterattack with seconds left to give the Greek Super League leaders a first victory of the group stage.

As a veritable blur of blue and orange charging in numbers towards Roy Carroll's goal, a forward-thinking Montpellier lineup initially appeared nerveless, just as coach René Girard had promised. They were distinctly more jittery, though, when the lunging Rafik Djebbour grazed an enticing Leandro Greco cross with his studs; a cleaner contact would most likely have put Olympiacos ahead.

That scare aside, Montpellier were unworried, though they struggled to translate territorial domination into genuine goal threat. Charbonnier finally provided some as the break loomed, fashioning a looping volley from Henri Bedimo's cross that Carroll palmed down comfortably. Drafted in from Angers SCO this summer to fill the boots of Olivier Giroud, Charbonnier's early days at Montpellier have been far from sunny, but the clouds lifted somewhat when he fired his team in front. Having first headed down for John Utaka, the young striker was ideally placed when the ball was touched away from his Nigerian team-mate to drill home from the edge of the area.

Montpellier have proven themselves prone to lapses in concentration this season, and another – shortly after they had gone in front – might have cost them a goal, yet the unmarked David Fuster headed wide. A Djebbour through ball aimed towards Greco would have found its target but for the timely intervention of Bedimo, though Olympiacos were themselves indebted to Giannis Maniatis's own acute sense of timing when he blocked a Younes Belhanda shot that capped a fluid Montpellier move.

The Moroccan international then cunningly worked space for a shot only to bend his effort wide of the post, and the Ligue 1 outfit's inability to press home their advantage would prove costly. First, Torossidis reacted sharpest when José Holebas's free-kick curled into the six-metre box to level. Then Djamel Abdoun supplied the perfect ball for fellow substitute Mitroglou to give Olympiacos the momentum ahead of the teams' reunion in Piraeus on 6 November.

Last updated: 04/12/13 19.09CET

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