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Nov 5, 2013 at 7.45pm UK
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Live Commentary: Olympiacos 1-0 Benfica - as it happened

:Headline: Live Commentary: Olympiacos 1-0 Benfica - as it happened:
Live text coverage of the Champions League meeting between Olympiacos and Benfica in Group C.
By , Reporter | 6y

Olympiacos hosted Benfica on Wednesday night as both sides looked for a crucial victory in Group C of the Champions League.

The hosts made the breakthrough in the first half when Kostas Manolas headed home from close range to take full advantage of some poor marking from the visitors.

Benfica had the better chances throughout the game but they were frustrated by Roberto, who made a number of important saves to help the hosts hold on for the 1-0 win.

Read below to find out how Olympiacos improved their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages.

Good evening everyone. The Champions League is back tonight. I'll be bringing you coverage of Benfica's trip to Greece to face Olympiacos in Group C.
It was only a fortnight ago when these two teams played out a 1-1 draw in horrendous conditions in Portugal. How that game was ever allowed to finish I'll never know, but that result does set this match up perfectly.
Paris Saint-Germain are five points clear at the top of Group C and it looks certain that the French side will go through to the next round with ease. Anderlecht are yet to pick up a point, which leaves these two clubs battling for second spot. They both have four points heading into tonight's game.
If one of these teams earns all three points tonight, it really could be a crucial result. Both will expect to beat Anderlecht again but a win over their nearest rivals would see them take a step closer to the knockout stages.
We're still awaiting team news but it will be interesting to see if Javier Saviola starts for the hosts after being left out of the game two weeks ago.
OLYMPIACOS: Roberto, Leandro Salino, Manolas, Siovas, Holebas, Maniatis, Samaris, Yatabaré, Saviola, Fuster, Mitroglou
BENFICA: Artur, Maxi Pereira, Garay, Luisão, Sílvio, Ruben Amorim, Matic, Pérez, Gaitán, Markovic, Cardozo
There's the confirmation from Greece that Saviola does start for the hosts. He'll more than likely play just behind Kostas Mitroglou, who has been in superb form this season.
Lazar Markovic is given a start for Benfica in what looks like a 4-2-3-1 formation from Jorge Jesus. Nicolas Gaitan and Nemanja Matic didn't really shine against these opponents a fortnight ago but they're performances tonight will be crucial.
Despite producing a very impressive display in Portugal a couple of weeks ago, Olympiacos did have problems getting support to Mitroglou in attack. In front of their own supporter they'll surely be more inclined to commit players forward and with Saviola being named in the team, they have two very good finishers on the pitch.
Oscar Cardozo is one of the finest forwards on the continent when he is on top form. If a chance falls his way tonight, expect him to score. Benfica need their star striker to deliver this evening.
OLYMPIACOS SUBSTITUTES: Megyeri, Papadopoulos, Medjani, Bong, N'Dinga, Campbell, Dominguez
BENFICA SUBSTITUTES: Oblak, Jardel, Almeida, Djuricic, Cavaleiro, Lima, John
If Olympiacos were to lose tonight, it would be their 100th loss in a UEFA competition. Not a statistic which will make you reach for the champagne.
Mitroglou needs just four more goals to become the club's highest goalscorer in Europe. He won't do that tonight, will he? That would be cause for celebration.
It's obvious that Olympiacos will always carry a threat with Saviola and Mitroglou in their side but the way their defence performs tonight could be key. If Gaitan, Matic and Markovic can find their form tonight and link well with Cardozo, Benfica could take control of the game. However, we just don't see enough consistency from the Portuguese side to suggest that we'll see them at their best tonight.
PREDICTION: There's just over 20 minutes until the match gets underway, so it's time to have a guess at what the result will be tonight. I still think these two teams are evenly matched and I reckon we'll see an entertaining 2-2 draw.
You can follow coverage of the other game from this group by clicking this link - PSG vs. Anderlecht
Remember, a victory for either side would see them open up a three point gap over the other tonight. Could that gap be enough to secure qualification in December?
There's around 15 minutes left until the game gets underway. The players are just about to head back inside following their pre-game warm-ups. It's business time in the Champions League now.
Last season both of these teams finished third in their respective Champions League groups. It looks likely that one of the clubs will suffer the same heartache at the end of this campaign due to PSG's dominance.
One thing I think we can say for a fact is that the conditions will be far better than they were in Portugal two weeks ago. Can you remember the puddles? It was an astonishing match to watch but in truth, it should have never been allowed to finish. The UEFA officials will be happy to know the conditions are completely different in Greece.
Olympiacos have won three matches in a row since they left Benfica a fortnight ago. The Portuguese side have won both of the games they have played since the 1-1 draw.
Both sets of players are in the tunnel now. The excitement is building inside the Karaiskakis Stadium, the supporters know how big this game is tonight.
The famous Champions League anthem has been played and the mascots have been escorted off the pitch. We're a few handshakes away from the action.
Olympiacos will get the game underway.
The home side aren't given too much time to relax in possession early on. Good signs from the Benfica midfield.
Gaitan drifts out wide to collect the ball but his cross from the left is easily collected by Roberto.
Benfica have settled the better of the two sides and the moving the ball around at a good tempo. Gaitan and Markovic have both seen plenty of action already.
Michel will surely be worried with how deep his side are dropping after just a few minutes. They've not been able to keep possession for longer than a couple of seconds so far. Benfica on top.
SAVE! Cardozo collects the ball in a yard of space inside the box and he immediately unleashes a shot which forces a good save from Roberto.
SAVE! Roberto comes to the rescue again to make a good block after Markovic had beaten the offside trap. That was far too easy for Benfica. Markovic probably should have done better.
Neither Saviola or Mitroglou have been able to get involved yet. There's a big gap between the two forwards and the home side's midfield as Benfica continue to dominate.
Mitroglou finally gets a touch of the ball and he chooses to go for goal from 30 yards out. The shot is weak though and it fails to trouble Artur.
Pereira defends superbly well when Holebas threatens to break into the box from the left wing. Benfica's full back is forced to concede a corner.
The home side take the lead against the run of play when Manolas loses his marker with ease inside the box to head home from the corner which Holebas had won. Benfica will be furious with how they defended that set piece. Game on.
Benfica once again settle in a good passing rhythm following the goal. They won't understand how they're behind after the start they made to this game.
Poor from Markovic as he loses possession in a promising position on the left after Olympiacos were left disappointed when a throw in decision went against them.
The opening goal has clearly given the hosts a lot of confidence. They are now playing further up the pitch and a lot more pressure is being applied in midfield.
Gaitan earns himself some space just outside the box but he loses the ball to the opposition when Cardozo drifts into an offside position ahead of him.
Benfica win a free kick on the left but Gaitan's chipped delivery is easily cleared by the hosts, who then compete well to retrieve possession.
The visitors continue to be wasteful from set pieces as Perez lofts a delivery over the crossbar from the halfway line. Cardozo and others look far from impressed.
Benfica are bossing the possession statistics but they're showing a lack of quality in the final third of the pitch as the frustration begins to become clear for the visitors.
We're over halfway through the first half at the Karaiskakis Stadium and the home side are still leading, despite enjoying limited possession in advanced areas of the pitch.
Gaitan targets a much better area from a corner and Luisao climbs highest inside the box. However, the defender struggles to keep his header down while on the stretch.
Dreadful from Amorim as he spoils a sustained spell of possession by chipping a wasteful pass straight to Roberto, who claims the ball with ease.
SHOT! Yatabare fancies his chances from distance when the ball drops to him on the volley but his effort doesn't dip enough to cause Artur any problems.
Saviola is no longer the poacher we used to know. The experienced forward is popping up all over the pitch in an attempt to help his side keep the ball.
Perez seems to have hurt his ankle and he calls the physios on for some treatment. I don't think the problem is severe enough to force him off.
YELLOW CARD! Pereira exchanges passes with Amorim before throwing himself onto the floor when Samaris prepares to challenge him. The referee refuses to be fooled and he shows the full back a yellow card.
Salino is beginning to find some joy down the right as a result of Gaitan's reluctance to track back and follow the full back. Olympiacos would be wise to use that option more often.
Silvio plays a gorgeous pass over the Olympiacos defence but Markovic's first touch lets him down inside the box and the opportunity disappears.
YELLOW CARD! Matic is the second player to be booked after he trips Saviola to prevent the hosts from launching a counter attack.
YELLOW CARD! Yatabare gets in on the act now as he's rightly booked for a late challenge on Silvio. Easy decision for the referee.
Markovic is beginning to test the Olympiacos defence with his runs off the ball. Benfica need to find him more often if they are to find an equaliser soon.
Amorim makes a good run to collect the ball on the left side of the box but his cross is cleared away for a corner by Manolas. Gaitan's delivery is good but Matic cannot turn the ball towards goal inside the six yard box.
YELLOW CARD! Amorim is cautioned for an awful tackle on Fuster in midfield. That's a cynical foul from the midfielder. Four bookings in the first half already.
Great work from Holebas on the left side of midfield as he holds off a couple of challenges before drilling a good cross into the six yard box which Yatabare fails to poke towards goal.
The referee angers the home supporters when allows play to continue after Mitroglou goes down looking for a foul on the halfway line. There will be one minute added on.
Benfica have enjoyed more possession, had the better chances and look the most likely side to score the next goal. However, they go in at the break behind in Greece due to that free header from Manolas.
The visitors will be disappointed to have conceded such a soft goal after enjoying almost complete domination in the early stages. Roberto made a couple of very good saves when the game was goalless and those blocks could prove to be vital later this evening.
Olympiacos will be boosted by the fact that they are ahead despite not playing very well in the first half. Mitroglou has barely had a kick, so there will surely be more to come from the hosts.
You can check the scores and details from all of the games across Europe by following this link: Tuesday live scores
This game certainly isn't over. Olympiacos will feel that they need to improve in the second half to hold onto this lead. Benfica must get players closer to Cardozo, who has been forced to drop deep to often.
Both teams are back out on the pitch. It will be Benfica, playing in black and white, who get the game back underway.
SUBSTITUTION: Olympiacos have made a change at the start of the second half, with Alejandro Dominguez replacing Saviola.
SAVE! Roberto's stunning form continues as he makes a low stop to keep out Markovic's volley when the hosts lose concentration at the back.
Fuster delights the crowd with a great piece of skill to earn himself some space but a lack of supports ensures that a promising move doesn't continue.
Olympiacos are enjoying a good spell early in the second following that missed Markovic chance. They look a bit more solid in midfield, where the visitors were dominating in the first half.
Silvio advances forward on the left before delivering a cross to the back post for Pereira, who heads well over the crossbar.
Benfica are remaining patient in possession as they desperately look for a breakthrough. No opportunity offered by the hosts as they hunt the ball down just outside the box.
SAVE! Good move from Benfica as they move the ball from left to right before Cardozo is picked out inside the box. The forward finds Silvio free on the left but his tame effort is saved by Roberto.
That was a big chance for the visitors but Silvio didn't look confident shooting with his right foot. Roberto continues to impress in the Olympiacos goal.
SUBSTITUTION: Michel makes another change as Delvin N'Dinga replaces Yatabare.
Gaitan wins a free kick and Benfica choose to take it short. Perez launches the ball into the box but hi delivery is poor and Roberto collects.
SAVE! Olympiacos are really hanging on now. Gaitan's cross finds Perez, who volleys the ball towards the bottom corner. However, Roberto is alert again to make the save.
Dreadful waste from Holebas. Olympiacos are awarded a free kick in a promising position but the full back passes the ball straight to Perez.
Olympiacos are offering nothing in attack. Mitroglou might as well have stayed at home this evening. The striker just hasn't been able to get involved in this game. Can they hang on for the win?
The home side enjoy a rare spell in the opposing half of the pitch but Fuster's technique is poor when he lobs a volleyed effort into the stand behind the goal.
It's been a very strange evening in Greece. Benfica have taken their foot off the gas in the last couple of minutes. They might live to regret those missed opportunities.
Benfica win a corner following a good spell of possession but Gaitan's delivery is too strong for Garay to get an effort on goal at the back post.
Fantastic work from Salino as he dispossesses Cardozo just as he was preparing to whip a cross into the box. The Benfica forward takes a painful knock and he requires treatment.
UPDATE! Anderlecht have taken the lead in Paris. That could change things in Group C.
SUBSTTUTION: Cardozo's in too much pain to continue and he's replaced by Lima.
UPDATE! That lead didn't last for long. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has equalised for PSG.
Olympiacos make a rare trip forward but Mitroglou is the only player in the box and he's proved to be offside shortly after volleying over from 12 yards.
SUBSTITUTIONS: Filip Djuricic replaces Markovic for the visitors, while Gaetan Bong comes on for Fuster as Olympiacos look to protect their lead.
The home supporters are starting to get slightly nervous as the game enters the closing stages. Olympiacos haven't been at their best but they will pick up a massive victory if they keep out Benfica.
SAVE! What an incredible performance it has been from Roberto tonight. Djuricic almost makes an immediate impact off the bench after skipping past a couple of challenges but his drilled effort is brilliantly saved by the Olympiacos goalkeeper.
SUBSTITUTION: Benfica make their final change as Ivan Cavaleiro comes on for Amorim. Jesus has shown all his cards now.
Mitroglou is a passenger for the hosts at the moment and he's easily nudged off the ball by the much smaller Perez in midfield, which invites even more pressure from the visitors.
The frustration is obvious when Lima is adjudged to have committed a foul on Salino as he attempted to battle his way into the penalty area.
Benfica are being forced to adopt a more direct approach as they desperately try to salvage something from this game. They seem to be running out of ideas though in the closing stages.
Another Gaitan corner is delivered towards the back post but Luisao can't bring the ball down to keep the move alive.
YELLOW CARD! Roberto is the latest player to be booked as the referee loses patience with the goalkeeper's attempts to waste time.
SAVE! Amazing. Djuricic does superbly well to control a cross but his attempt to poke the ball in from close range is blocked by Roberto. Brilliant goalkeeping.
YELLOW CARD! N'Dinga is booked for a cynical foul on Perez in midfield. That's an easy decision for the referee, who has had a good night.
Maniatis displays great awareness to steal the ball from Matic and pick out Dominguez, who does well to win a free kick on the edge of his own box. The fourth official confirms that there will be three minutes of stoppage time added on.
Benfica are applying all the pressure in stoppage time but every cross is being cleared away by the home defence.
YELLOW CARD! Dominguez is the seventh player to be booked when he hauls down Matic in midfield. The free kick into the box is cleared and Salino breaks away with the ball. However, he fails to get a shot away when he has the opportunity and Pereira makes the tackle.
Benfica win one final free kick on the left but Gaitan's delivery is very poor and the hosts look like they might hang on.
I'm not quite sure how but Olympiacos have somehow managed to collect all three points. Roberto is the hero for the home side and he receives a hug from every one of his teammates. What a superb performance from the goalkeeper.
Olympiacos are now on seven points in second place, while Benfica remain on four points after a frustrating evening. The Greek club now have a great opportunity to qualify for the next round of this competition.
Thanks for joining me for an intriguing contest between two evenly matched sides. Olympiacos probably haven't played worse than that this season but tonight's hosts are now one step closer to qualification. Goodnight.

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Premier League Table
2Manchester CityMan City26173667293854
3Leicester CityLeicester26155654262850
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs2611784334940
6Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2610972824439
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd2610883829938
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2681263532336
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2687112440-1631
14Crystal Palace2679102332-930
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2669113138-727
17Aston Villa2674153450-1625
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham2666143045-1524
20Norwich CityNorwich2646162448-2418
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