Match Report: Olympiacos 0-0 Barcelona
Ernesto Valverde’s side were held by a formidable Olympiacos defence, but Juventus’ draw with Sporting keeps Barcelona comfortable with a 3 point lead at the top of the table. The last time the Catalans failed to score in a group stage match was five years ago when Benfica held them to a goalless draw as well, after qualification was assured. Luis Suarez was terrible in front of goal and missed a bundle of chances on the night.
The atmosphere at the Karaiskakis was electrifying and Valverde was welcomed like a hero, to the club he once managed. It didn’t take long for Barcelona to get into their groove and they tested Proto within two minutes from a Semedo effort. Barcelona continued to dominate the match with their assertive and accurate passing but clear chances didn’t arrive easily.
An excellent set piece routine went begging at the 20th minute. Denis found Messi lurking at the edge of the box but Messi’s first time shot was easily saved by the keeper even as Luis Suarez interfered. A few minutes later, Denis put his namesake Uruguyan Suarez through on goal but he toe-poked the ball on the wrong side of the keeper, missing the target entirely.
Messi took an excellent 30 yard freekick but it was saved by the goalkeeper as well. Olympiacos caught Barcelona on the counter in the 37th minute, forcing Marc Andre ter Stegen to make his first save of the match. The first half ended on a low for Barcelona, after Sergi Roberto had to leave the pitch due to a hamstring injury. He was later replaced by Gerard Deulofeu.
In the second half, Olympiacos showed more attacking intent and made Barcelona struggle with some couple of on-point high crosses. Around the 62nd minute, Barcelona created an excellent chance. Leo Messi cleared a through ball to Luis Suarez who unselfishly returned the favour to the Argentine who missed the frame of the goal under pressure.
Suarez had two more chances in the 72nd minute, one was blocked while the second, an improvised bicycle kick hit the crossbar. Luis Suarez missed another chance in the 80th minute after he was unassumingly put through with a deep pass. But instead of hitting it first time, he took it on the bounce, which allowed Proto to come out and make the save. The remaining Barcelona attacks didn’t prove to be much fruitful either.
Here’s how twitter reacted to the match:
This was a DREADFUL performance pic.twitter.com/xvvRk8wKNp
— PPMBarca (@Peter10soccer) October 31, 2017
One draw that will leave many culés frustrated. Especially knowing it’s against a team that’s having an awful domestic season.
— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) October 31, 2017
Botia and Koutris have been animals tonight! Amazing at the back. Fortounis & Tachtsidis impressive too. #OlympiacosBarça
— CA (@ChrisAndre6) October 31, 2017
180 minutes played in away UCL matches this season.
1 own goal scored and nothing else.
FC Barcelona is dying.
— Lucas R. (@lucasammr) October 31, 2017
Boring match but you gotta admit that Olympiakos’ defending was so good. I mean it’s not like the chances weren’t there.
— RAHUL (@LionelCruyff) October 31, 2017