Olympiakos could not have wished for a more comfortable start to the season as they cruised to a 5-0 win over Albanian side Besa Kavaje in their opening Europa League game on Thursday.
In his first competitive game in charge, coach Ewald Lienen saw his side, containing many of the summer signings, stroll to victory against very poor opposition.
The Reds opened the scoring in the second qualifying round match in just the 20th minute when some neat interchanges led to the ball falling to an unmarked Oscar Gonzales in the box and the Spaniard easily volleyed in the first goal.
Oscar had his second 12 minutes later when he latched onto Dudu’s through ball after a laughable attempt by the Albanians to play the offside trap.
The Spaniard tucked the ball away calmly. Olympiakos scored their third just two minutes into the second half after good play by Belgian debutant Kevin Mirallas, who set up Dudu on the edge of the area, from where the Brazilian’s shot flew into the net.
On the 70-minute mark, Giorgos Galitsios sent over a cross, which was met by Brazilian striker Diogo. Unmarked, he had no trouble planting his header into the net. With seven minutes left, Diogo got his second and completed the rout with a smart finish from inside the box.
The 5-0 scoreline means that the return leg is a formality but Lienen will be happy that apart from Mirallas he also saw new boys Francois Modesto at centre back and Jose Holebas at left-back make their debuts.
Cyprus’s Omonia’s bid to become the third successive Cypriot team to reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League got off to a good start after a dominant 3-0 victory over FK Renova of FYR Macedonia in the second qualifying round first-leg at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia on Tuesday night.
Michalis Konstantinou opened the scoring with a penalty after only seven minutes and by the 28-minute mark, the visitors were two goals behind and down to ten men.
Brazilian defender Davidson Morais scored the second after beating Armend Elezi with a powerful strike, while Konstantinou added a third 17 minutes into the second half when he outjumped Muarem Bajrami to head in Leandro’s cross, making sure that FK Renova has a difficult task in order to turn the tie around next Tuesday in Skopje.