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Olympiacos desire heartens Mirallas

Published: Thursday 24 November 2011, 8.45CET
Kevin Mirallas says Olympiacos FC "played with their hearts" in securing a vital 1-0 win at Olympique de Marseille, a result André Ayew finds "difficult to digest and hard to accept".
by Matthew Spiro
from Stade Vélodrome
Olympiacos desire heartens Mirallas
Olympiacos celebrate victory in France ©Getty Images
 
 
 
Published: Thursday 24 November 2011, 8.45CET

Olympiacos desire heartens Mirallas

Kevin Mirallas says Olympiacos FC "played with their hearts" in securing a vital 1-0 win at Olympique de Marseille, a result André Ayew finds "difficult to digest and hard to accept".

Kevin Mirallas said Olympiacos FC "played with their hearts" in winning 1-0 at Olympique de Marseille and, with home support, is backing the revitalised Greek side to beat Arsenal FC in their final UEFA Champions League Group F game. OM remain second in the pool but with a trip to Borussia Dortmund next, their progress to the last 16 is in jeopardy – leaving Jordan Ayew to rue "a big opportunity missed".

Tonight we showed a lot of desire and fight. We played with our hearts and got the reward
Kevin Mirallas
It's difficult to digest and hard to accept. We've had a lot of setbacks this season and it's starting to become too much
André Ayew

Kevin Mirallas, Olympiacos forward
We are playing better now than when we first faced Marseille [losing 1-0 at home on matchday one]. The fact we have more games behind us has helped. Tonight we showed a lot of desire and fight. We played with our hearts and got the reward. We expected Marseille to play with more aggression and put us under more pressure. When you look at the players they have, you expect more from them, but they're going through a difficult patch.

At home, with the fans behind us, we could get a result against Arsenal. They might rest some players as well, but we'll just give everything we have got and do our best to secure qualification.

Balázs Megyeri, Olympiacos goalkeeper
It was a great performance. We defended really well from start to finish and also created a few chances. Fortunately we managed to put one away near the end. We are now in a position where we can hope to continue in Europe. I'm not expecting Arsenal to play a second team in Greece, but we want to beat whichever team they put out.

Goalkeepers are always happy when they keep a clean sheet but it's thanks to the whole team that we won. I am just happy to be playing regularly. I've had to wait for my chance. It's not easy to play only from time to time. Now I am playing match after match, I'm feeling more confident.

Olof Mellberg, Olympiacos defender
We have improved as the campaign has gone on. I felt like we'd played well in the away games against Arsenal and Dortmund without getting the results our performances deserved, so it's nice to get an away win under our belt. We defended really well. They didn't have a lot of chances until the end when they threw everything forward. We knew they were a physical team with lots of tall players and we managed to defend well on set pieces, limiting them to only a few chances. I think we deserved to win overall.

André Ayew, Marseille midfielder
It's difficult to digest and hard to accept. We've had a lot of setbacks this season and it's starting to become too much. The coach wasn't happy but we weren't expecting him to have a smile. He's annoyed about this result and so are we. We have to make sure we turn things around, starting with the game on Sunday against PSG. We have to win at all costs.

We still have a chance of qualifying by getting a result at Dortmund, but this evening we are just feeling disappointment because we've made the task much harder than it needed to be.

Jordan Ayew, Marseille forward
We have missed a big opportunity because even a draw would have virtually taken us through. Dortmund lost to Arsenal so now it's going to be very tense because Olympiacos have six points and everyone has a chance to qualify. We are going to have to go to Dortmund and win.

I honestly don't know why we underperformed. I felt like everything was going well. There's a great atmosphere in the team, everyone laughs and gets on well together. We all really wanted to get three points after losing at Montpellier. But we didn't do the business. Now we have to pick ourselves up for Sunday because that's not going to be easy.

Last updated: 24/11/11 13.14CET

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