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Málaga braced for Panathinaikos riposte

Panathinaikos FC are plotting another famous comeback against Málaga CF as the Spanish club take a 2-0 lead to Athens for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off.

Málaga's Jérémy Toulalan tussles with Kostas Katsouranis during Panathinaikos's 2-0 defeat in Spain
Málaga's Jérémy Toulalan tussles with Kostas Katsouranis during Panathinaikos's 2-0 defeat in Spain ©AFP/Getty Images

Panathinaikos FC will need to produce one of their greatest European comebacks to deny Málaga CF a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time.

• Málaga took control of the play-off tie with a 2-0 first-leg win through goals from Martín Demichelis and Eliseu, leaving Panathinaikos with it all to do at the OAKA Spiros Louis Stadium, where visiting coach Manuel Pellegrini has already won once before.

Match background
• Panathinaikos have twice overturned a two-goal deficit in recent UEFA Champions League campaigns. In the 2009/10 third qualifying round against AC Sparta Praha, they lost 3-1 in the Czech capital but were 3-0 home winners via goals from Josu Sarriegi, Kostas Katsouranis and Dimitris Salpingidis. They did the same in the 2005/06 third qualifying round, losing 3-1 at Wisła Kraków then winning 4-1 in Athens.

• Panathinaikos have produced other spectacular fightbacks in the past. In the 1987/88 UEFA Cup third round they went down 5-2 at Budapest Honvéd FC but won 5-1 at home. In the 1970/71 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-final against FK Crvena zvezda a 4-1 away loss preceded a 3-0 triumph.

• However, Panathainkos's record against Spanish sides shows just three wins from 24 matches. They have lost their last three home games against Liga clubs, including a 3-2 reverse against Club Atlético de Madrid in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League play-offs and a 2-1 defeat by Pellegrini's Villarreal CF in the 2008/09 round of 16.

• This is only Málaga's second European campaign. In their first, in the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup and 2002/03 UEFA Cup, they won five and lost just one of eight away fixtures – including a 1-0 success at AEK Athens FC in the fourth round of the UEFA Cup to reach the quarter-finals.

• Pellegrini led Villarreal to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals on their debut appearance in 2005/06.

• Panathinaikos, who are eyeing a tenth appearance on the UEFA Champions League stage, beat Motherwell FC 3-0 at home in the last round having won the first leg 2-0 in Scotland.

Team ties
• Panathinaikos coach Jesualdo Ferreira took charge of Málaga in June 2010 but lasted just five months before being replaced by Pellegrini.

• As FC Porto, coach Ferreira enjoyed an away-goals victory against Atlético in the last 16 of the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League, and home and away wins in the following season's group stage.

• Málaga's Enzo Maresca recorded two derby victories over Panathinaikos with Olympiacos FC in 2010/11.

• Málaga's Julio Baptista was in the Sevilla FC side that overturned a 1-0 loss at Panathinaikos – current Panathinaikos player Loukas Vyntra scoring – with a 2-0 home win after extra time in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup round of 32. At the same stage in 2009/10, however, his AS Roma team lost 6-4 on aggregate to Panathinaikos, with Lazaros Christodoulopoulos among the scorers.

• Panathinaikos's Stefanos Kapino, Spyros Fourlanos, Nikos Marinakis and Charis Mavrias took on Málaga's Juanmi when Greece lost to Spain in the group stage of July's UEFA European Under-19 Championship. All bar the suspended Kapino were involved again in the final, which Spain won 1-0.

• Málaga's Demichelis scored for Argentina in a 2-0 victory over a Greece team including Panathinaikos's Kostas Katsouranis, Nikos Spyropoulos and Loukas Vyntra at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

• Panathinaikos's Katsouranis and Giourkas Seitaridis were in the Greece side that drew 1-1 with Joaquín's Spain at UEFA EURO 2004.

• Seitaridis and Málaga's Ignacio Camacho were team-mates at Club Atlético de Madrid. Seitaridis was at Atlético from 2006-09 and faced Málaga once – a 4-0 home win in August 2008.

• Panathinaikos's Jean-Alain Boumsong and Málaga's Jérémy Toulalan played together at Olympique Lyonnais and were also France team-mates.

• Canary Islander Vitolo had spells with CD Tenerife, Real Racing Club and RC Celta de Vigo before moving to Greece in 2008.

• Toché played for Atlético, CD Numancia, Hércules CF, Real Valladolid CF, Albacete Balompié and FC Cartagena before joining Panathinaikos.