The Piraeus side suffered a nightmare start to their Champions League group stage adventures on Tuesday night, with Sporting Lisbon drawing blood after just 69 seconds of play at Karaiskakis Stadium.
The Portuguese were two goals ahead before 15 minutes were up, and the game was essentially won before the end of the first half, with Bruno Fernandez adding to the goals already scored by Seydou Doumbia and Gelson Martins.
It was disheartening for the Olympiakos faithful who, despite seeing their side rally with two late goals courtesy of substitute Felipe Bardo, know full well that their team’s Champions League adventure is all but over. With nothing gained from their easiest home game in Group D, Besnik Hasi’s men now have two tough games away to Juventus and Barcelona, meaning that they could get to the halfway point of the group stage on 0 points and with a lot of catching up to do in order to even start to think of a third place finish and qualification to the next stage of the Europa League. In fact, Olympiakos face the real possibility of ending their entire group run with absolutely nothing to show for their efforts.
While no-one expected Olympiakos to fare well in one of the toughest groups in this season’s Champions League, fingers were being pointed at Hasi for his continued inablity to properly prepare and ‘read’ upcoming games. His insistence on fielding his team with a high line was a disastrous decision against Sporting, who have pace to burn and eagerly accepted the opportunity to run into the space provided by Hasi’s suicidal tactics.
Whether or not Hasi will be granted the time to make up for his mistakes is another discussion entirely however. For now, the Greek champions need to focus on damage control, although with trips to Italy and Spain on the horizon, that might be easier said than done.