Real scrape past Olympiakos
Spanish giants see off 10 men as Robinho bags brace
By Andrew Scurr. Last Updated: 24/10/07 10:30pm
Robinho: Second-half strikes
Robinho's second-half double saved Real Madrid against 10-man Olympiakos in the UEFA Champions League.
The Brazil international popped up in the 68th and 83rd minutes after the Spanish giants had found themselves behind, despite having an extra man following the sending off of Vassilis Torosidis.
Raul had given Real the lead in the second minute only for Luciano Galletti to hit back for Olympiakos and Julio Cesar to then give the visitors the lead just after half-time.
But Robinho's brace, as well as a stoppage time goal from Javier Balboa, ensured Bernd Schuster's side eventually ran out 4-2 winners at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real were gifted the best possible start when Robinho gained possession in midfield and put through Ruud van Nistelrooy. Antonis Nikopolidis denied the Dutchman but Raul slotted home on the follow-up.
However, their lead only lasted until the seventh minute as Galletti fired past Iker Casillas after excellent work from Predrag Djordjevic down the left to set up the former Atletico Madrid midfielder.
Olympiakos' joy turned to sorrow five minutes later when Torosidis was shown a straight red card. The defender saw red after cynically pulling Van Nistelrooy down just outside the area.
Nikopolidis kept the 10 men of Olympiakos level heading into half-time with a number of key saves before the break.
Wesley Sneijder and Marcelo were both denied by the veteran goalkeeper before he pulled off a great stop racing from his line to block Robinho's goal-bound shot from 12 yards out.
Olympiakos stunned Real just after half-time when Djordjevic's free-kick from the right touchline was diverted in by the much-travelled Brazilian defender Cesar.
It was always going to be difficult for the Greek side to hold on and so it proved. Midway through the second half Sergio Ramos crossed to the back post where Robinho headed into the bottom corner.
Van Nistelrooy should have got his name on the score sheet in the 75th minute but blazed over from the spot after Robinho had been brought down.
Casillas had to keep Djordjevic out at the other end soon after but Real's extra man finally paid off with seven minutes left when Robinho fired past Nikopolidis following Van Nistelrooy's pass.
Darko Kovacevic almost grabbed a late equaliser with a left-footed strike which produced a brilliant save from Casillas.
Real broke quickly going the other way and Robinho laid the ball on a plate for substitute Balboa inside the Olympiakos area. He made no mistake in beating a helpless Nikopolidis from close range.
|Real Madrid||Team Statistics||Olympiakos|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|10||Shots on Target||8|
|11||Shots off Target||5|
UEFA Champions League
Wed 24th Oct - Group B
Rosenborg2 - 0Valencia
Chelsea2 - 0Schalke
Wed 24th Oct - Group C
R Madrid4 - 2Olympiakos
W Bremen2 - 1Lazio
Wed 24th Oct - Group A
Marseille1 - 1FC Porto
Besiktas2 - 1Liverpool
Wed 24th Oct - Group D
AC Milan4 - 1Shak Donetsk
Benfica1 - 0Celtic
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|3||FC Viktoria Plzen||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H