FOOTBALL NEWS

16/02/2014 12:09, Report by Nick Coppack
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Scouting Olympiacos

Manchester United fans watched the club's next Champions League opponents, Olympiacos, beat Platanias 4-2 on Saturday, live on MUTV.

The channel has secured the rights to show two Olympiacos matches either side of United's visit to Greece later this month, and in Saturday's fixture the Superleague leaders won comfortably to extend their lead at the top of the table to 20 points.

The Greek side made tough work of the Cretan side's visit, however, failing to impress for long periods. Indeed, Platanias, who arrived 46 points and 14 places adrift of the runaway league leaders, were level at half-time after David Torres had cancelled out Michael Olaitan's opener.

It took the introduction of substitutes Nelson Valdez and Ariel Ibagaza to turn Olympiacos' dominance into something more tangible. Valdez netted on 68 minutes to make it 2-1 before Ibagaza set up Olympiacos' third, scored by Hernan Perez, two minutes later.

Platanias pulled one back with a spectacular strike from Panagiotis Vlachodimos (bizarrely, on loan from Olympiacos but allowed to play against his parent club) but the victory was never in doubt and centre-back Ivan Marcano completed the scoring on 78 minutes with a thumping header.

Former United striker Lou Macari, working as an MUTV pundit, said the 4-2 scoreline flattered Platanias, who only managed six shots all game and had to defend 12 Olympiacos corners.

"Olympiacos were much better," Macari said. "I don't think we learned too much about Olympiacos here... we'll learn more from their game against Panathanaikos [also live on MUTV, on 2 March]. 

"I felt that, against Platanias, whenever they needed to up their game they could step up a gear.

"What we did see, though, was that Olympiacos were non-physical. They weren't interested in closing the other team down quickly – they allowed them plenty of time on the ball."

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