Olympiakos beats Juventus 1-0 in Champions League
PIRAEUS, Greece (AP) — Olympiakos pulled off another Champions League upset by beating Juventus 1-0 on Wednesday to go level on points with Group A leader Atletico Madrid.
Swiss midfielder Pajtim Kasami fired the winner past Gianluigi Buffon in the 36th minute. The goal arrived after Alejandro Dominguez found striker Kostas Mitroglou, whose cutback was steered into the back of the Juventus net by Kasami.
“Mitroglou got me the ball with his first touch. You don’t have a lot of time to react in the Champions League ... so I’m very happy,” Kasami said.
Atletico, which routed Malmo 5-0 on Wednesday, tops the group on goal difference ahead of Olympiakos. Both teams have six points, while Juventus and Malmo have three points each.
Dominguez sliced open the Italian defense all evening at Karaiskaki stadium, missing two scoring chances himself and setting up Kasami in the 60th for a shot that rolled just past the post.
Goalkeeper Roberto maintained Olympiakos’ lead as Juventus piled on pressure in the last 25 minutes, twice stopping goal-bound shots from Alvaro Morata and also denying Carlos Tevez.
Morata, who saw his second shot hit the crossbar after Roberto’s save, said he regarded the Spaniard as being “one the best goalkeepers in the world.”
Olympiakos, which had already caused an upset in Group A by beating last year’s finalist Atletico 3-2, showed no signs of any nerves after a summer overhaul of its squad had led to lapses in defense in recent weeks.
“It’s a magic night — we had a fantastic crowd and fantastic players. It’s a real team, that’s what we want,” Olympiakos coach Michel Gonzalez said. “I won’t say if I think we are close to qualifying, but I will tell you that we’ll be celebrating tonight’s win.”
The Greek champions earned their victory after overcoming an early scare, with Omar Elabdellaoui heading a loose ball off the line in the 12th minute, while a Tevez header that found the net eight minutes later was ruled offside by Serbian referee Milorad Mazic.
Buffon congratulated Roberto after the match, and veteran Italy star Andrea Pirlo was clapped by the home crowd when substituted in the second half despite his lackluster performance.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said he had no regrets starting the 35-year-old free kick specialist.
“I don’t think the squad was the problem, but the mistakes they made,” he said. “We can still qualify. I believe that.”
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