Champions League: Atlético 4 – 0 Olympiacos

Atleti gain revenge with a comprehensive win over Greek champions

Mandzukic celebrates his hat-trick - (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Mandzukic celebrates his hat-trick - (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Atlético Madrid have qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League after running out deserved 4-0 winners over Olympiacos in a game that the Spanish champions dominated from start to finish.

Raúl García opened the scoring early on, and a clinical Mario Mandžukić added a hat-trick to secure the points for Atlético in a fantastic European night at the Vicente Calderón.

The first chance came in the very first minute, when a scramble in the Olympiacos penalty area almost ended in the first goal. Mario Mandžukić, starting despite a neck injury, couldn’t turn it into the back of the net.

However Atleti didn’t have to wait too long for their first goal, and it came from the man starting in place of Antoine Griezmann – the real Raúl – Raúl García.

It was another display of defensive woe from the Greek side that led to the opener. An excellent Juanfran crossed the ball in, but it wasn’t cleared at all.

It soon ended up at the feet of former Atleti goalkeeper Roberto, who for a moment must have forgotten which team he played for, as he rolled a pass calmly back to Juanfran.

Our right-back pinged it back across goal and a waiting Raúl García got an exquisite touch to turn the ball into the roof of the net.

What followed was relentless attack from Atleti, targeting the left-back position of the Greek champions. They couldn’t deal with Juanfran and Arda Turan, and this ended up in cross after cross.

Olympiacos were extremely weak in defence and struggled continuously to clear the ball. Another defensive error led to the second goal, and Mandžukić’s first.

A cross from Ansaldi, the other half of a fantastic set of performances from our full-backs this evening, was completely missed by Botia, and Mario Mandžukić must have thought it was Christmas come early as he slammed it into the back of the net from six yards out. 2-0.

The first half should have ended 3-0 but a chance that fell to Arda Turan wasn’t converted, and Olympiacos went into the break lucky to only be two goals behind.

Míchel, the Olympiacos manager who had played for Real Madrid for over a decade, tried to fix things with two defensive changes at half time, but it did little to stop the Atleti attack who piled more pressure onto the Greeks.

Roberto had another moment to forget soon after the restart, when he let a backpass get away from him. The Atlético youth product had to scramble back to stop the ball crossing the line, preventing a bizarre own goal.

It was only a matter of time before Olympiacos went further behind, and it was Mario Mandžukić with the goal, getting his name on the scoresheet twice for the first time in his short Atleti career.

The third goal from open play this evening, a well timed Arda Turan cross picked out our Croatian striker, who steered the ball into the far post with his head, showing no sign of the neck injury he had been struggling with all week.

Just three minutes later, Mandžukić had his third of the evening and his first hat-trick for Atlético. A Gabi set piece found the head of our number nine, who buried the ball in the far corner to make it 4-0 to the home side.

It was Mandžukić’s fifth goal in five Champions League games this season. The numbers tell you that he’s becoming an excellent replacement for last season’s hero, Diego Costa.

The Croatian was brought off with 20 minutes to go, replaced with Antoine Griezmann, who was sporting an interesting new haircut.

The Frenchman almost made it 5-0 straight away, after a phenomenal bit of skill from Juanfran saw the right-back beat three Olympiacos defenders, before picking out Griezmann in the middle of the penalty area. The 23-year-old couldn’t get the ball on target though, and headed it half a metre over Roberto’s crossbar.

The ex-Sociedad man did get his name on the scoresheet soon after – or so everyone thought. A delightful cross found Griezmann, unmarked at the far post, who steered a header past a helpless Roberto.

Raúl Jiménez, who was brought on to replace Arda Turan with 30 mins to go, was judged to be in an offside decision, despite not touching the ball, and the goal was ruled out by the German officials.

The result, however, was never in doubt, and Atlético will be delighted to have exacted some revenge over a side that inflicted defeat upon them at the start of this year’s Champions League campaign.

The only downside for this evening was an injury to Tiago, who was replaced at half-time with Mario Suarez after a muscle strain to his right thigh. It’s not known how serious this is yet.

Atleti move into the knockout stages, but must first travel to Turin to face Juventus in a fortnight. A draw, or even a defeat with a better head-to-head record, will see them clinch top-spot and go into the last 16 as group winners.

Atlético Madrid Olympiacos
Atlético Madrid 40 Olympiacos
Raul Garcia 9' 
Mandzukic 38' 
Mandzukic 62' 
Mandzukic 65' 
Competition UEFA Champions League
Location Vicente Calderón
Date 26 November 2014
Kick Off 20:45 CEST

Team Lineups

Atlético Madrid
Tiago (45')
Arda Turan (66')
Raul Garcia
Mandzukic (69')
Substitutes used
Mario Suarez (45')
Raul Jimenez (66')
Griezmann (69')
Maniatis (45')
Afellay (45')
Dominguez (72')
Substitutes used
Kasami (45')
Fuster (45')
Bouchalakis (72')

Match Stats

On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
  • This is the first time in Atleti history to qualify to UCL knock-out stage in 2 consecutive seasons
    And if we qualified to next season’s group stage it will be also the first time in our history to do that in 3 consecutive seasons
    El Cholo is leading a revolution with Atletico de Madrid

    Despite the fact that Olympiacos are led by a Madridista, but I don’t know why I wish we beat Juventus and send them to the Europa League and help the Greeks to qualify ?! .. maybe because Juve are not really playing like Champions ?!

    I won’t talk about Raul Garcia & Mandzukic, because I’m convinced that their haters will never change their opinions about them no matter what

    Another big win with Gimenez instead of Miranda .. I wish that gives Simeone more “coraje” to rotate, especially at the Calderon against relatively weak teams

    192 days to Berlin

  • Amr Misir Mukadaffi

    Something was wrong with Olympiacos.. Very very wrong. If you take the game in Greece, they played for their lives, pressure, 3 goals, good play.. And here in Madrid, they didin’t even tried.. Maybe matchfixing?

  • Erhan Eminov

    ^^^ LOL

  • Adnan Khan

    That just shows how important the home crowd can be. Olympiacos doesn’t have a good enough defence too keep out atletico’s attackers. In greece we made mistakes. In madrid they made.

  • I agree with you. El Cholo really need to start rotating. I really would like to see the team playing with Cerci on Mandzukic’s spot. He guy is good, has a good technique and is incredible fast.
    But I keep wondering that there is something about Cerci that we an the press don’t know. I think El Cholo doesn’t trust in him and is awaiting for a bid to let him leave. Something from inside we might never know.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    That’s how champions should play. Great win now on to the next one

  • Cerci can’t take Mandzukic’s spot, the first is a winger while the second is a striker, a classic number 9
    Cerci can replace Raul, Grizi or Arda, while Jimenez is the only one in this squad who cab take Mandzukic’s spot

    Maybe there are something we don’t know about Cerci, but that dose not mean that we can’t speculate,
    one obvious speculation is his fitness, we know how El Cholo & El Profe put the fitness bar so high, and Cerci didn’t catch a single day of our very important pre-season
    another speculation is that Cerci didn’t master yet his defensive tasks, and we are a team where all the 10 players have an important defensive role .. we all saw how Griezmann’s minutes increased when his defensive contribution increased