Olympiakos were dumped unceremoniously from the UEFA CUP Round of 32 after failing to over-turn their 3-1 first leg loss, losing 2-1 to French outfit Saint-Etienne. Dimitri Payet and Ilan both registered superb long-range efforts as the home side cruised to a 5-2 aggregate victory.
Having brought about an abrupt end to Olympiakos’ run of 16 home wins in all competitions this season with a 3-1 success in last week’s first leg, Saint-Etienne continued to confound their domestic travails with another eye-catching performance back at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
Payet broke the deadlock on the cusp of half-time with a sumptuous, dipping right-footed effort and Ilan, a goal scorer in Greece, was not to be outdone as he struck a similarly spectacular effort before the hour. Olympiakos responded when Oscar Gonzalez scored from range for a late consolation goal but it was too little too late for the reds.
Despite the fact that Saint-Etienne are languishing third from bottom in the French Ligue 1, they negotiated what could have been a tricky opening period with relative ease.
All the Greek visitors had to show for their efforts as half-time approached was a Sebastian Leto cross-shot that fizzed past the upright. And their task became harder before half-time when Payet was given time and space on the edge of the area to unleash an effort that arrowed into the top-right corner.
The goal could not have come at a worse time for the visitors and although they began the second period positively, they were hit by another sucker punch on 58 minutes when Ilan drilled a right-footed effort into the top corner from 20 metres.
Olympiakos got on the score sheet when Oscar Gonzalez broke clear with 15 minutes left unleashing a long-range goal.
Saint-Etienne will meet Werder Bremen in the last 16 of the competition, while Olympiakos will be left to reflect on another yet another failed European campaign.