Champions League: Olympiacos 3 – 2 Atlético

Atleti fall to defeat away in Greece to spirited Olympiacos team

Atleti have a disapponting night in Greece (pic: EMD)

Atleti have a disapponting night in Greece (pic: EMD)

Atlético Madrid have started their Champions League campaign with a disappointing 3-2 defeat away to Olympiakos, despite dominating large portions of the match in Athens.

Goals from Mario Mandzukic and the substitute Antoine Griezmann twice brought Atlético back to within one goal, but it wasn’t to be as the hosts made the most of their opportunities to record a massive win over last season’s Champions League finalists.

German Burgos, on orders of the again-suspended Diego Simeone, handed a debut to Jan Oblak this evening, who makes his first appearance since completing a €16 million move to Madrid in the summer.

It’s been hard for him to dislodge Miguel Angel Moya, who got the nod from Simeone at the start of the season and hasn’t looked back since.

Either goalkeeper would have struggled with a defence that doesn’t concentrate – and that’s exactly what happened for the first goal this evening.

A cross from the right-hand side was cleverly hooked over his own bar by Miranda, giving up a corner to the Greeks. It was from the resulting corner that Olympiacos took the lead.

A short corner from Ibrahim Afellay, the former Barcelona player, wasn’t picked up, and it allowed a pass to tee up Arthur Masuaku. The 20-year-old French defender wasn’t put under any kind of pressure, and he fired a low shot across goal into the corner of Oblak’s net.

Immediately after the goal, Atleti began to string some passes together and build some attacks, and Mandzukic, who had already had a pretty nasty elbow to the face at this point, had a number of headers that were over and wide of the uprights.

Juanfran created a good opportunity, skilfully making his way past 2 Olympiacos defenders and crossing at the touchline, but Raul Garcia was unable to provide the finish.

With pressure mounting, and it only seeming like a matter of time before Atleti found an equaliser, it was of course Olympiacos who scored the next goal.

Afellay, after nabbing an assist at the start of the game, found the back of the Atleti net after Mario Suarez and Godin looked to collide after both trying to cut out the same loose pass. The Dutch winger cooly slotted the ball past Oblak to make it 2-0 to Olympiacos.

Atleti got their first goal back just 6 minutes later, after a spectacular cross in from Cristian Ansaldi. The Argentine whipped in a cross from the left hand side and Mandzukic beat 2 players to get a well timed head to it, nodding the ball past the former Atlético goalkeeper Roberto.

For the remainder of the first half Atleti dominated the game, and for the majority of the second looked the most likely team to score.

Antoine Griezmann came in for the substituted Gabi, for his Champions League debut with Atleti, and had three or four chances straight away.

He first stung the hands of Roberto with a blistering shot from outside of the area, before testing the goalkeeper’s reflexes with a powerful low shot down to his right.

In an attempt to make the most of the chances, Atleti brought on Alessio Cerci for his debut to replace Raul Garcia, but the Italian did very little to help the cause.

Griezmann had another shot which looked like it could have been the moment – but this was followed again by another goal from the home side.

Pajtim Asali burst down the right side of the box and crossed to the out-of-form Kostas Mitroglou – who took some time to pivot before sticking it through the legs of our debutant Jan Oblak to make it 3-1.

A late goal four minutes from time from Antoine Griezmann, after a brilliant cross into a danger area from Koke, was nothing but a consolation in the end, despite triggering a frantic end to the game.

Atleti look increasingly like they are struggling without the presence of Diego Simeone on the touchline – but the difficulty of travelling to an atmosphere like that in Athens tonight would have been a test for any team.

Atlético will be glad to have gotten what could be the toughest trip of the tournament out of the way early. However they find themselves third in the group after Juventus beat Malmo 2-0 in Turin.

What did you make of tonight’s performance, and tonight’s debutants?

Olympiacos Atlético Madrid
Olympiacos 32 Atlético Madrid
Masuaku 13' 
Afellay 31'Mandzukic 38'
Mitroglou 73'Griezmann 86'
Competition UEFA Champions League
Location Karaiskakis Stadium, Greece
Date 16 September 2014
Kick Off 20:45 CET

Team Lineups

Afellay (69')
Kasami (84')
Dominguez (57')
Substitutes used
Fuster (57')
Ndinga (69')
Giannoulis (84')
Atlético Madrid
Mario Suarez (75')
Gabi (56')
Arda Turan
Raul Garcia (66')
Substitutes used
Griezmann (56')
Cerci (66')
Saul (75')

Match Stats

On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
  • didn’t watch the game, just the goals
    I don’t know if Moya could have saved any of them, but anyhow, giving Oblak his debut in such an important and difficult game was a strange decision from Simeone, he could have waited until Celta game at the Calderon

    too many people are mad at Mario Suarez, I don’t know how bad was he .. but I can imagine !

    Gabi and Koke are exhausted, they ran more than any other player last season .. they need some rest
    but despite that, Koke just made his 4th assist this season and the 38th in his career with Atleti, which makes him the 7th top assistant in the club history, passing 2 Atleti legends : Adelardo & Garate who both have 37 assists
    now he needs 3 more to pass another legend, or THE legend Luis Aragones who had 40 assists

    on the positive side, Mandzukic is keep scoring, Grizi started too, and it could be a decisive goal if we needed to go for the head-to-head results

    another positivity (but thousands miles away) : Manqui played the whole game with Liverpool and won a penalty in the last minute that gave the reds the 3 points
    on twitter, many Liverpool fans are regretting not signing him permanently .. but I’m not regretting loaning him, Juanfran is a constant for El Cholo .. nobody can take any minute from him

  • We loaned him with a fair and resoanable buyout clause for an EPL top club. I don’t expect having him back.

    Weird choice for Oblak.

  • actually it’s called a purchase option, not buyout clause, and I’m not sure if it means that we will be forced to sell him if they chose to activate that option, but even if that was the case, we still have a buyback option, for almost the same amount of money of their purchase option
    weird and complicated stuff .. but the important thing is that he will comeback .. unless he doesn’t want to

  • Wowie

    I watched the whole thing and at no time did I think Oblak had full control of the box. Putting him in for the first time in a UCL game is like pushing him out of a moving car while running. Terrible.

  • Rahul Ramachandran

    I’m a Chelsea fan but I keep track of you guys like a second team of sorts. Apparently, Oblak made some mistakes along with the defense too.

    Are you guys missing Thibaut Courtois or is it just a matter of time before the keepers and defense start to gel?

  • atleti10

    He wont want to come back, he’s starting for Liverpool, one of the biggest clubs in Europe. He wont want to come back as a rotation option for Juanfran. I think by the time Juanfran is finished he’ll be happy at Liverpool unfortunately.

    I though Koke looked better tonight. Does anyone else prefer Ansaldi over Siquera or is it just me?

  • Gary Cohen

    Koke assisted a goal in a bad game for him, that’s how important he is to the team. Griezmann played very good yesterday, really changed the game for Atleti, unfortunately it wasn’t enough. Mandzukic keeps scoring, ansaldi was as good as Siqueira in the wings when Atleti attacked, but like Godin and Miranda didn’t cover well, and wasn’t sharp in the defence. I don’t think Oblak is to blame for any of the goals, it is all on the defence. Cerci played but you could see that he was nervous yesterday, let’s hope he’ll find his place soon enough. Mario Suarez is just not good enough and he makes a lot of mistakes, Tiago is much better, in almost every parameter.

  • from another point of view, Oblak is a GK, so he must not suffer any pressure and he should be able to start in any game no mater how important and how difficult it is .. maybe this is what Simeone was thinking

  • I don’t know why many people are dealing with Manqui like we have sold him, they are very sure that he will never comeback ?!!
    am I missing something ?! or did they still have no faith in Atleti, despite wining La Liga and reaching UCL final, and despite seeing the 4 canteranos Gabi, Koke, Mario & Saul starting together in some games ?!!
    or did they forget that Liverpool hasn’t won EPL since 1990, and didn’t qualify to UCL in the last 5 seasons, and maybe this season is the exception and they will miss it again next season with the tough competition with Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal & Man Utd and even Everton and Tottenham, especially after losing the one player who alone put them in UCL, Suarez ?!!

    Real Madrid didn’t loan Carvajal to Leverkusen, they sold him, and after his great performance they activated their buyback option and got him back .. the same thing could happen with Morata who was sold to Juventus, but I bet that there is no single Real Madrid fan is sceptical like us !!

  • Parsa

    What has happened to our beloved Gabi ? He has been subsitituted in two games in a row for a bad performance … It’s one of the main reasons we’re not playing particularly well right now … He is our engine & He lifts everybody else in the team … I hope we see our captain in his real shape once again … We need our leader more than any other time right now …

  • AaX

    Sorry Guys, I just don’t see Oblak is the better replacement for Courtois, I think Moya is hungrier and more serious. Since when have we so easily conceded this many (3goals), why don’t find it out ?
    I think it’s not Oblak, it’s Moya. I sense he has more of the Atleti Spirit in him.
    Regardless, Atletico since Simeone didn’t so easily conceed. Don’t let this start, bring back Moya who has been proving himself and let Oblak prove his abilities in a more suitable game.

    Last match choice of players were wrong and we were punished with a defeat that in the merit it should not be. But Luckily Griezmann’s crucial goal provide us with an acceptable realistic Hope. From now on Saul should start over Mario who has to regain his best form and have to better Saul as the replacement Defensive Mid role. Gabi and Tiago are the natural starters.

    The most Important thing in this match is that lesson (defensively) is learnt from this mistake to not be repeated,
    And victory over Celta is crucial.


  • Chewie

    I am happy with Moya, he looks much more mature and confident. The only thing we need is for the left backs to stop making mistakes. Then the defense will return to its usual solid state.

  • Courtois has conceded 5 goals in one game vs Barca, 4 vs Real (twice), 3 vs Real, 3 vs Athletic & 3 vs Osasuna
    but all of you admit that he is one of the best 5 GKs in the world, so why don’t you do the same with Oblak and stop judging him from one freakin game ?!
    could you please do that ?!!!

  • Kris

    It really is wrong to be judging the young, aspiring, Jan Oblak just from one performance. All in all, it was the defense’s fault for all three of the goals and you can’t deny it; no matter how much you despise Oblak. Just the loss of one player in the defensive line has caused us some problems recently, of course, with the dip in form of Gabi and the stupid Mario Suarez mistakes contributing to the errors. Hopefully this gets sorted out soon and Saul starts alongside Tiago for some games before Gabi is back to his best bossing the midfield and shutting down the attacks. Many people have been critical of Mario Suarez and that’s rightly so. He hasn’t been performing like a true CDM and is playing very lazily for a CDM, imo. Give him some bench time to think about getting his act straight and we will have four CDMs fighting for the starting position, until then he is fifth choice after Gabi, Tiago, Saul, and Koke.

    Jan Oblak isn’t the player we should be bashing on right now. We bought him for tons of money and he technically didn’t make any mistakes against Olympiacos. He should definitely be given more chances. But, the best feeling here is having two goalkeepers in Oblak and Moya who are capable of starting any game, which unfortunately wasn’t the case last year with Courtois and the wonderful, Lord Aranzubia. One thing is for sure, we will certainly improve this term as a whole and we will go on to win something big. Forza Atleti!

  • Mandzukic will have a nasal surgery this Thursday and could be sidelined for 2 weeks
    I guess the logical replacement is Jimenez, although he said himself that he prefers to play outside the box as a false striker, but so far he didn’t impress me in that position, from the few games I watched him with Mexico and from the videos, I think he is a good box player
    I believe we will also see Hector on the bench, may even have some minutes like he did vs Rayo

  • Yon

    God Mario needs to be dropped or improve! I still like the guy, but play him at home v ‘lesser’ teams for now, give him some confidence at least!
    It’s also far too early to properly judge Oblak, but he really did not look like he was communicating with our back-line at all, Courtois and MAM constantly look like they do, I feel for him though, getting handed your debut, away from home, in the champions league in an atmosphere like that, no an easy task, same with Cerci, although he linked up well with Koke for the assist for Griezmann, speaking of him Mono/Cholo left it far too late getting him on!

  • Atleti10

    Liverpool as a brand is bigger than Atletico. Real is bigger than Leverkusen. It’s unfortunate but true, I don’t think the Manquillo and Caravjal cases are comparable. And this doesn’t mean I don’t support Atleti or believe in the club, I’m simply looking at reality. Anyway of course there’s a chance he’ll come back, as long as we continue to grow.

  • 23 December 2011 – 18 September 2014 : 1000 Days of Simeone

    And the whole world knows what happened in between .

    Happy First Millennium Cholo .. We Want At Least 3 More

  • davie

    my personal opinion is i prefer moya in goals to oblak this might jus be because iv actually seen moya make a save!!!! being fair thou i dont blame oblak for any the goals conceded on tues night! think saul was good when he came on maybe he and koke should play in the centre with griezman and arda down the wings at the weekend!!! it would give gabi a game off

  • The first goal for Olympiacos ended a streak of 933 minutes of clean sheets for Oblak, the last goal he conceded was on March 20th against Tottenham
    He is a great Goalkeeper

  • Ursus Major

    well on the sunny side of things, the new aphex twin has leaked

  • Mohammad Zakaria Kreidieh

    Hi guys, i am a devoted atletico fan since 10 years now and i am kind of obssessed with Atleti, trust me it takes so much of my time, following up on the team and watching them play. I am lebanese and live in kuwait and accidently i found some supporters in kuwait through instagram. The account is in arabic 🙂 it would be great if you follow this account @atleticodemadridkw
    Thanks for your support in advance. Regards

  • BlasiusMagnus

    word, man. i think its a great album, listened it 3 times and i think its lived up to the hype.