UEL: Olympiakos: 1 Beşiktaş: 1

Updated: March 10, 2017

Beşiktaş return from their first leg in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 with a 1-1 draw against Olympiakos Piraeus in Greece, a decent result thanks to that critical away goal.

Olympiakos started the match in a surprisingly defensive lineup, which the Black Eagles didn’t exactly seem to expect as Şenol Güneş had opted for a few tactical changes with the idea of playing a more counter attacking style. Neither goalkeeper had a lot to do in the first half but when Dusko Tosic simply allowed a cross from the Olympiako’s right wing the experienced Estéban Cambiasso popped up at the near post to leave Fabri chanceless: 1-0 to Olympiakos after 36 minutes. The hosts hadn’t been to dangerous up to that point apart from some set-pieces but the Black Eagles’ first half performance was below average and several players simply weren’t playing at the expected level.

Vincent Aboubakar bags his 5th European goal in 8 appearances for the Black Eagles!

Şenol Güneş responded immediately at halftime and took off a very disappointing Tolgay Arslan and put in his captain Oğuzhan Özyakup, which had a near instant impact on the match but not before Olympiakos would miss a huge opportunity to go 2-0 up on another set-piece (in truth, apart from their goal, their only source of danger throughout the match).

But while Olympiakos missed their chance, Beşiktaş did not. The Greek’s Italian goalkeeper Leali dealt poorly with a back pass and booted it straight in to possession of the Black Eagles, Vincent Aboubakar still had to take on some defenders but the combination of power and placement in his shot was too much for Leali to handle: 1-1 after 53 minutes from the edge of the penalty area.

Five minutes after the goal the Black Eagles could’ve dealt Olympiakos the death blow when Ricardo Quaresma came one on one with the goalkeeper, the experienced Portuguese international attempted to go around the Italian but the goalkeeper did briliantly to swipe the ball out of Quaresma’s feet preventing a second goal for the Black Eagles.

Following that opportunity for Quaresma he turned provider in the 69th minute, his cross in to the far post was met by a Dusko Tosic header but again Nicola Leali made an excellent save to keep the Black Eagles at bay.

Cenk Tosun replaced goalscorer Vincent Aboubakar after 81 minutes and 6 minutes later he had nearly gotten that golden second goal for Beşiktaş, but once again Nicola Leali prevented his team from losing at home; Anderson Talisca played it in well to Ryan Babel in the middle, but the Dutchman’s final pass forced Cenk slightly too far out which made his finish more difficult and gave the Italian keeper the momentum he needed to get another save off.

In the end, both teams seemed to take satisfcation with the draw. Olympiakos seemed at their limits and Beşiktaş seemed comfortable enough going in to the second leg with this scoreline.

Looking back at the entire 90 minutes, it was really a tale of two halves in which Beşiktaş put themselves forward as the favourites for the return leg after having absolutely dominated the final 40 minutes of the match with several good chances, will Beşiktaş regret not taking those chances next week, or can they finish the job at Vodafone Arena?

Who was your man of the match?


Interesting facts:

  • Beşiktaş have attempted & made more passes (511/598) w higher passing accuracy (%85.4) than any other European game this season.
  • Beşiktaş have drawn in each of their three European games against Greek teams.
  • Vincent Aboubakar has scored in his seventh touch of the game.
  • Estéban Cambiasso has been the oldest goalscorer in Europa League this season (36 years 6 months 19 days).

Stadium: Stadio Georgios Karaiskáki

Official: Danny Makkelie (NED)

Olympiakos XI: Nicola Leali; Diogo Figueiras – Panagiotis Retsos – Aly Cissokho – Alberto Botia (64′ Manuel Da Costa); Estéban Cambiasso (70′ André Martins) – Kostas Fortounis (74′ Marko Marin) – Alaixys Romao; Georgios Manthatis – Tarik Elyounoussi – Karim Ansarifard

Reserves: Lefteris Choutesiotis, Alberto De La Bella, Manuel Da Costa, Antré Martins, Athanasios Androutsos, Marko Marin, Óscar Cardozo

Head coach: Vasilis Vouzas

Beşiktaş XI: Fabricio Ramirez; Gökhan Gönül – Marcelo Guedes – Dusko Tosic – Adriano Correia; Atiba Hutchinson – Tolgay Arslan (46′ Oğuzhan Özyakup) – Anderson Talisca (90+2′ Gökhan İnler); Ricardo Quaresma – Vincent Aboubakar (81′ Cenk Tosun) – Ryan Babel

Reserves: Tolga Zengin, Andreas Beck, Atınç Nukan, Matej Mitrovic, Gökhan İnler, Oğuzhan Özyakup, Cenk Tosun

Head coach: Şenol Güneş

Goals: Estéban Cambiasso (36′), Vincent Aboubakar (53′)

Yellow cards: Tolgay Arslan (15′), Marcelo Guedes (66′)

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Kaan Bayazit

Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International
Freelance sports writer specialized in Turkish football and Beşiktaş. Co-host of the Black Eagles podcast. Frequently featured in World Soccer Digest Japan and many other international media outlets. Following Turkish football for close to two decades. Proud father to Aedin.
Kaan Bayazit
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