By Paris Ayiomamitis at Apostolos Nikolaidis
Two goals from Markus Münch and one each from Dimitrios Papadopoulos and Lucian Sanmartean earned Panathinaikos FC victory against already-qualified PSV Eindhoven, but it was not enough to prevent the Greek title-holders exiting the UEFA Champions League.
To survive, Panathinaikos needed all three points and for Rosenborg BK to avoid defeat in Group E's other match against Arsenal FC in London. But Arsenal's 5-1 win forced Panathinaikos to settle for third and a place in the UEFA Cup's last 32, as PSV advanced for the first time in nine attempts as runners-up.
Panathinaikos opened the scoring on 30 minutes through Papadopoulos before PSV restored parity through DaMarcus Beasley eight minutes later. A penalty from Münch just before the break put the home side back in front and the German added another on 57 minutes. Substitute Lucian Sanmartean completed the rout nine minutes from time.
Panathinaikos coach Zdenek Šcasný's squad was effectively at full strength after midfield player Angelos Basinas had shrugged off a groin strain to start, and he chose to rest Michalis Konstantinou, Rudolf Skácel and René Henriksen. Šcasný opted for pace up front with Papadopoulos linking up with Emmanuel Olisadebe. Mario Galinovic started in goal in place of Konstantinos Chalkias, while Nasief Morris deputised for Henriksen at centre-back.
PSV coach Gus Hiddink, already assured of a place in the knockout stages, did not have the same luxury of choice with Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, John de Jong, Theo Lucius and Kasper Bøgelund all injured. The void in attack was filled by Jefferson Farfán with Ji-Sung Park on the right and Beasley on the left in a 4-3-3 formation.
PSV looked more lively in the opening exchanges as Beasley's low drive was blocked by Galinovic after four minutes, before the same player burst into the box to shoot wide five minutes later. Panathinaikos responded in the 12th minute when Pantelis Konstantinidis crossed but Papadopoulos could not link up.
PSV relied on a tight pressing game and came close in the 20th minute when Morris inadvertently fed Beasley, whose shot from close range was smothered by Galinovic. Yet Panathinaikos still looked dangerous, especially through Münch and Konstantinidis down the left, and took the lead in the 29th minute when Papadopoulos tapped in Münch's cross from the left.
But the home side's joy was shortlived as PSV levelled on 37 minutes when Mark van Bommel headed the ball into the path of Beasley who easily chipped past Galinovic. With Arsenal comfortably beating Rosenborg at Highbury, Panathinaikos were going out, but impressively they regained the lead two minutes before the interval, Münch converting a penalty after Papadopoulos had been brought down by Heurelho Gomes.
PSV seized the initiative after the interval and Beasley continued to provide the major threat to Panathinaikos, who looked to increase their lead on the break. And the Greek side's tactics paid off in the 57th minute when Münch carved out space on the edge of the box before firing in a low drive which went in off Gomes's left post.
The game then opened up and PSV missed a golden chance to get back into the match in the 63rd minute when Van Bommel's penalty was saved by Galinovic after the goalkeeper had brought down Park. Galinovic was on hand again in the 70th minute to stop substitute Johan Vonlanthen's close-range shot, before Panathinaikos made sure of the points when Sanmartean drilled in the fourth nine minutes from the end.