Champions League round-up: Greeks beat Juventus, Arsenal get late goals to win
Minnows Olympiakos stunned Italian giants Juventus 1-0 in their Champions League game on Wednesday morning.
Swiss midfielder Pajtim Kasami scored in the first half as they held off fierce pressure by Juventus in the second half to clinch their fifth straight Champions League home win.
Kasami’s goal came in the 36th minute after constant pressure from the home team.
Argentine midfielder Alejandro Dominguez set up the goal for a charging Kasami, whose left-footed shot beat Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Pajtim Kasami celebrating his goal against Juventus. Photo AFP
Victory sees them go joint top of Group A along with last season’s finalists Atletico Madrid – whom Olympiakos beat in the opening game – on six points.
Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid secured their biggest ever Champions League victory when they smashed five goals pass a helpless Malmo.
They initially struggled to break down Malmo.
Iit was only when Koke ran on to Arda Turan’s clever dinked pass and fired into the corner three minutes after the break that the floodgates opened.
Koke shooting to score pass Malmo's goalkeeper. Photo AFP.
Mandzukic made it 2-0 in the 61st minute when he poked Koke’s low cross into the net.
Antoine Griezmann added a third two minutes later when he picked up a Koke pass and unleashed a powerful shot that looped up off Malmo goalkeeper Robin Olsen and into the net.
Diego Godin headed Koke’s out swinging corner powerfully into the net three minutes from time and substitute Alessio Cerci completed an easy win for the La Liga champions when he lashed a shot into the corner in the third minute of added time.
“We played a great match,” fullback Juanfran told reporters. “We were very intense and we kept up the pressure,” added the Spain international.
“The coach told us to keep pressing, that eventually the ball would go in, and in the end the goals came.”
Meanwhile Arsenal’s need two late goals to secure a dramatic 2-1 Champions League win against Anderlecht.
Lukas Podoski saving from dropping points. Photo: AFP
The goals by defender Kieran Gibbs and substitute forward Lukas Podolski rescued three valuable points.
But the victory only served to paper over the ever-widening cracks.
Arsenal should reach the knockout rounds for a 12th consecutive season, but it will probably be as runners-up, meaning their chances of surviving to the quarter-finals for the first time in five seasons would be diminished.
Sources: AFP, Reuters