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Olympiacos held by solid Chelsea

Published: Wednesday 20 February 2008, 0.56CET
Olympiacos CFP 0-0 Chelsea FC
Panagiotis Lemonis's side were forced to settle for a draw despite their enterprising performance in Athens.
by Graham Wood
from Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium
Olympiacos held by solid Chelsea
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba attempts to wriggle free ©Getty Images

Match statistics

OlympiacosChelsea

Goals scored0
 
0
Attempts on target2
 
3
Attempts off target4
 
7
Corners5
 
2
Offsides4
 
4
Fouls committed15
 
17
Yellow cards1
 
4
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Matches

19 February 2008

Schalke
1-0
Porto
Liverpool
2-0
Internazionale
Roma
2-1
Real Madrid
Olympiacos
0-0
Chelsea

20 February 2008

Celtic
2-3
Barcelona
Lyon
1-1
Man. United
Arsenal
0-0
Milan
Fenerbahçe
3-2
Sevilla
 
Published: Wednesday 20 February 2008, 0.56CET

Olympiacos held by solid Chelsea

Olympiacos CFP 0-0 Chelsea FC
Panagiotis Lemonis's side were forced to settle for a draw despite their enterprising performance in Athens.

Olympiacos CFP produced an impressive display to tame Chelsea FC and earn a scoreless draw in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie.

Olympiacos merit
Panagiotis Lemonis's men refused to be overawed by their English opponents on their first appearance in the knockout stage since reaching the quarter-finals in 1998/99 – enjoying the lion's share of possession and chances in a closely contested encounter. Chelsea's Avram Grant, however, will be the happier of the two coaches after his team kept a clean sheet to occupy the driving seat going into the return leg at Stamford Bridge on 5 March.

Terry and Lampard out
Grant, who had urged caution before the match, sprang a surprise by leaving captain John Terry and midfield talisman Frank Lampard on the bench, while African Cup of Nations returnees Michael Essien and Didier Drogba started. On the evidence of the early exchanges the visitors were not holding back, however, with Essien trying his luck after 30 seconds, his shot drifting just wide of the right post.

Great support
Olympiacos, backed by deafening and frenzied support, responded. After Luciano Galletti's strike was blocked by Claude Makelele, Ieroklis Stoltidis surged on to Predrag Djordjević's pass but opted to cross when a shot looked the better option and his centre was cut out by Ricardo Carvalho. Chelsea saw a lot of the ball during a tentative first half, while Olympiacos looked dangerous on the counterattack. The first effort on target, though, arrived with Florent Malouda's snapshot – saved by Antonios Nikopolidis – after 16 minutes. Nikopolidis was again in the right place five minutes later to keep out Carvalho's downward header.

Chelsea press
Stoltidis, who had scored twice in the Greek title-holders' 3-0 win over Werder Bremen on Matchday 6, then had Chelsea hearts fluttering when his near-post header zipped just past the left post on the half-hour. At the other end Drogba, who seemed to be struggling with a right hamstring problem, saw a speculative attempt saved comfortably by Nikopolidis as the home goal came under increasing pressure.

Absorbing contest
The quick-slow tempo of what was becoming an absorbing contest continued after the break. Olympiacos had the first sight of goal five minutes into the half when Stoltidis's left-wing cross just evaded the head of the onrushing Galletti. Clear-cut opportunities were at a premium, however, and it appeared that a speculative strike or dead-ball situation would be the only route to a goal.

Čech saves
Right on cue, Djordjević tested Petr Čech for the first time in the game with a well-struck shot which the Chelsea keeper saved low at his right post. Then, on 65 minutes, Galletti volleyed narrowly over from another left wing-cross by Stoltidis as the hosts searched for the breakthrough. Chelsea were finding it hard to make inroads in attack, with Malouda's effort from distance on 70 minutes being their sole second-half attempt at that point. Grant brought on Salomon Kalou and Nicolas Anelka for the last 15 minutes, yet neither could make an impression with the Londoners seemingly content with a draw.

Last updated: 20/02/08 10.02CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2008/matches/round=15106/match=301893/postmatch/report/index.html#olympiacos+held+solid+chelsea

Lineups

olympiacos

Olympiacos

chelsea

Chelsea

71
NikopolidisAntonis Nikopolidis (GK)
1
ČechPetr Čech (GK)
5
Júlio CésarJúlio César
3
A. ColeAshley Cole
Yellow Card90+1
6
StoltidisIeroklis Stoltidis
4
MakeleleClaude Makelele (C)
Yellow Card63
7
GallettiLuciano Galletti
Substitution83
5
EssienMichael Essien
9
KovačevićDarko Kovačević
Substitution87
6
CarvalhoRicardo Carvalho
11
P. DjordjevićPredrag Djordjević (C)
Substitution76
10
J. ColeJoe Cole
Substitution75
14
ŻewłakowMichał Żewłakow
11
DrogbaDidier Drogba
18
AntzasParaskevas Antzas
13
BallackMichael Ballack
Substitution86
28
LedesmaCristian Ledesma
15
MaloudaFlorent Malouda
Substitution75
30
PantosTasos Pantos
33
AlexAlex
Yellow Card35
35
TorossidisVassilis Torossidis
35
BellettiJuliano Belletti
Yellow Card56

Substitutes

87
SifakisMichalis Sifakis (GK)
23
CudiciniCarlo Cudicini (GK)
2
PatsatzoglouChristos Patsatzoglou
8
LampardFrank Lampard
Substitution86
4
LeonardoLeonardo
Substitution83
12
MikelJohn Obi Mikel
10
NúñezLeonel Núñez
Substitution87
21
KalouSalomon Kalou
Substitution75
22
MitroglouKostas Mitroglou
24
Wright-PhillipsShaun Wright-Phillips
25
BelluschiFernando Belluschi
Substitution76
Yellow Card90+1
26
TerryJohn Terry
77
ŠišićMirnes Šišić
39
AnelkaNicolas Anelka
Substitution75

Coach

Panagiotis Lemonis (GRE) Avram Grant (ISR)

Referee

Konrad Plautz (AUT)

Assistant referees

Egon Bereuter (AUT), Markus Mayr (AUT)

Fourth official

Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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