Last night beleagured Levante took on Olympiacos in a difficult looking encounter. The Greek side had started well, and found themselves amongst the early season pace setters in division four, so will have been going into this encounter confident of getting something from the game.
They were instantly aware however, that it would not be as easy as they expected. A record crowd of 22,249 turned out, and were almost instantly awarded, N’Jie poking just wide in the opening minute. Botia was then booked for the visitors on 8 minutes for remenstrating with the referee.
Olympiacos’ first effort of note came on 23 minutes, but Finnbogsan’s shot was weak & Ruddy took the ball calmly. Ten minutes later though, Levante took the lead. Casadesus played in N’Jie, who showed some quick feet before putting the ball undrneath Roberto and into the back of the net.
Five minutes after the Spaniards went ahead, things got much worse for Olympiacos, with Botia recieving a second yellow for a poor challenge on Garcia.
The half came to an entertaining end with both sides having a couple of chances in the final few minutes, but it was Levante that went in to the break ahead.
The second half started with a bang. Levante’s Cristian going into the book almost immidiately for a foul on Finnbogason. Olympiacos seemed to be turning the screw, and had three or four good opportunities as the second half wore on.
They were soon made to regret those missed chances as Robert Snodgrass got beyond the last defender to open his account for the club, and put his side 2-0 on 69 minutes. A minute later, N’Jie almost had them 3 up, but a good save kept him out. As the game came to a finish, both sides had further opportunites, but a combination of good goalkeeping and poor aim ensured that the score remained 2 – 0.
Levante goalkeeper John Ruddy was voted man of the match for his performance, but Parfitt also felt that both goalscorers were outstanding, along with Kana-Biyik on his debut. Nobody had a bad game however, and the character we showed given recent results was outstanding.
Next up for Levante is a trip to Belgium, and Standard Liege in the first round of the shield tomorrow night. The side will be changed, and the players that come in will be expected to put in a performance to try and get themselves into contention for a run in the side.