Defeat of Dortmund has Olympiacos on the rise
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Olympiacos FC 3-1 Borussia Dortmund
José Holebas, Rafik Djebbour and François Modesto scored the goals that gave the Greek title holders fresh hope of progressing from Group F.
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Olympiacos FC breathed life into their UEFA Champions League campaign by collecting their first points with an impressive home victory against Group F rivals Borussia Dortmund in Piraeus.
The visitors were looking good, enjoying the greater share of possession, after Robert Lewandowski's smart finish cancelled out José Holebas' early header. Yet Rafik Djebbour restored Olympiacos's advantage against the run of play five minutes before half-time and François Modesto headed a third late on to clinch the points for Ernesto Valverde's team. The result takes Olympiacos into third place, above their opponents ahead of the teams' meeting in Germany on 1 November.
With just one point and a pair of goals between them after two matches, the contest took on extra significance for two teams desperate to kick-start their campaign. After withstanding fierce early Dortmund pressure the hosts responded in the best possible fashion by taking the lead in the eighth minute. Iván Marcano swung over an inviting cross from the left and Holebas directed a fine downward header past Roman Weidenfeller.
Dortmund, low on striking power without injured forwards Mohamed Zidan and Lucas Barrios, looked to midfielder Mario Götze for inspiration and the 19-year-old duly obliged. Only a superb last-ditch Olof Mellberg tackle stopped a surging run from Dortmund's danger man but the home defence could do nothing two minutes later as Götze engineered an equaliser. The teenager's darting run and cross from the right set up Lewandowski, who had time to steady himself before volleying low into the left corner.
Shinji Kagawa could then have put the German champions ahead but blazed over while Götze was denied by Franco Costanzo shortly afterwards. The visitors were made to pay for their profligacy when, after good work from Kevin Mirallas, Djebbour turned Neven Subotić neatly inside the penalty area and lashed a powerful shot past Weidenfeller.
Dortmund desperately sought a way back into the game in the second half, exerting pressure on the home defence for long spells without seriously threatening a second goal. Instead it was the hosts who could have extended their lead, Modesto heading Ariel Ibagaza's free-kick straight at Weidenfeller before Mirallas failed to connect with Djebbour's cross.
Modesto was more accurate with 11 minutes remaining, rounding off an outstanding evening for the hosts by flicking in Ibagaza's free-kick to get Olympiacos off and running.