Degenek's Red Star snatch thrilling late win against Olympiakos


Socceroos defender Milos Degenek has helped his Red Star Belgrade side to a thrilling 3-1 comeback win against Olympiakos in their UEFA Champions League clash at Red Star Stadium.

Two headed goals in the final minutes of the match courtesy of Nemanja Milunovic and Richmond Boakye ensured Red Star took home their first Champions League win of the season.  

It was a solid result with Aussie stopper Degenek a presence in the back line after starting the match in his preferred centre back position.

The game featured plenty of twists and turns with Ruben Semedo's first-half goal giving Olympiakos in charge of the contest after 37 minutes.

However, midfielder Yassine Benzia's controversial dismissal in the 57th minute proved a turning point in the match and with only 10-men the visitors were struggling to hold onto their narrow 1-0 lead.

Within five minutes the Serbian side were level courtesy of substitute Milos Vulic's curling low strike.

The visitors looked the bigger threat throughout the first half, with Miguel Angel Guerrero whipping a curling a shot narrowly wide in the 23rd minute.

A minute later the Olympiacos forward had an even more presentable opportunity after fine work down the left from Konstantinos Tsimikas, only for the Spaniard to head just wide.

Eventually, Pedro Martins' side made their dominance count - but they had a helping hand from Red Star goalkeeper Borjan.

Giorgos Masouras' set-piece to the far post found Semedo and the Portuguese defender squeezed home on the volley from the tightest of angles beyond the wrong-footed Borjan, who should have done much better.

Their night got harder, though, when Benzia was dismissed somewhat harshly for a second yellow card after a challenge on Jose Canas. And within five minutes the home side were level courtesy of substitute Vulic.

Tomane's shot was only half cleared by Yassine Meriah and Vulic took full advantage, firing a low shot between the defender's legs and into the far corner.

Meriah almost snatched an unlikely victory for the 10 men and Olympiacos were left to rue that missed opportunity when Milunovic and Boakye headed home two superb Marin corners late on.

What does it mean? Resolute Red Star boost qualification hopes

This was a stirring comeback from Red Star, who once again demonstrated how difficult a foe they can be, particularly at home.

Now two points clear of both Olympiacos and Tottenham, this victory will build belief they can challenge for the second qualification spot behind a rampant Bayern Munich side, for whom qualification already looks a formality.

Red card a turning point

There is no escaping it - referee Benoit Bastien's decision to send off Benzia was the key moment in this match. What looked a fairly innocuous tangle of legs with Canas was rather harshly punished - and Olympiacos paid a heavy price.

Set-pieces from 'German Messi' key

He may not have got on the scoresheet, but do not underestimate the influence here of Marin, once dubbed the 'German Messi.' Two superb corner deliveries late on helped ensure Red Star ended the game with three points rather than one.

What's next?

Olympiacos host Bayern Munich on October 22, while Red Star travel to Tottenham for the first of back-to-back matches which could have a big say on qualification.

Source Omnisport