Greece’s three representatives in the Europa League had mixed results on their opening night in the group stage of the competition on Thursday, as Olympiakos won on the road, Panathinaikos lost in Athens and PAOK drew in Thessaloniki.
Olympiakos scored its 100th win in all European competitions, beating Young Boys 1-0 in the Swiss capital of Bern, showing its superiority almost throughout the game on the artificial pitch.
It was the 42nd minute when Marko Marin fed Brown Ideye in the penalty area and Esteban Cambiasso followed up to slot the ball home. In the second half the Reds held on through their experience and got all three points that already put them on the driver’s seat in the group, along with APOEL that beat Astana in Nicosia.
Panathinaikos lost 2-1 to Ajax in Athens, in a game where it saw everything turn against it once it took the lead on the fifth minute with Marcus Berg.
Bertrand Traore made the most of an Ivan Ivanov error to equalize for the Dutch on the 34th, and Jairo Riedeweld capitalized on the slow reaction of the Panathinaikos defenders to a Luke Steele penalty save, to make it 2-1. The Greens ended the match with nine men after Ivanov and Mubarak Wakaso got sent off, as did Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech.
PAOK and Fiorentina shared a goalless draw at Toumba that will leave both of them happy.
Fiorentina was clearly the better team in the game, but without creating so many chances, while the Greeks mainly had defending in their minds and managed to keep a clean sheet against arguably the strongest team in their group.