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Olympiakos FC vs Wolverhampton Wanderers. Europa League Round of 16.

Karaiskakis Stadium.

Olympiakos FC 1

  • R Borges Semedo (sent off 28th minute)
  • Y El Arabi (54th minute)

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

  • P Neto (67th minute)

Olympiakos 1-1 Wolves: Pedro Neto salvages Europa League draw against 10-man Greek side

Report as Pedro Neto's goal helps Wolves come from behind to draw the away leg of their Europa League last-16 tie at Olympiakos

Friday 13 March 2020 00:02, UK

Pedro Neto celebrates scoring for Wolves against Olympiakos
Image: Pedro Neto celebrates scoring for Wolves against Olympiakos

Wolves came from behind to draw 1-1 with 10-man Olympiakos in the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie in Athens.

Ruben Semedo's first-half sending off presented Wolves with a huge opportunity but when Youssef El Arabi opened the scoring early in the second half it looked like Olympiakos' night.

But substitute Pedro Neto's deflected shot from distance levelled things up for the Premier League side and the tie remains in the balance going into the second leg at Molineux.

The game was played out in an eerie atmosphere in Athens with no supporters permitted inside the stadium because of the situation caused by the coronavirus.

Nuno Espirito Santo had expressed his frustration that the game was even going ahead and his mood will not have been improved after a largely frustrating evening.

Player ratings

Olympiakos: Jose Sa (7), Elabdellaoui (6), Semedo (4), Ba (6), Tsimikas (7), Guilherme (7), Camara (7), Bouchalakis (6), Masouras (5), El Arabi (7), Valbuena (6).

Subs: Cisse (6), Gaspar (6), Fortounis (6).

Wolves: Patricio (6), Doherty (6), Boly (6), Coady (6), Saiss (6), Vinagre (6), Neves (6), Moutinho (6), Traore (6), Jimenez (6), Jota (7).

Subs: Neto (7), Podence (6), Dendoncker (6).

Man of the match: Guilherme

How Wolves drew in Greece

Wolves were content to contain in the early stages of the game but the momentum of the match appeared to change when they launched one of their trademark counter-attacks.

Raul Jimenez put Diogo Jota through one-on-one with Semedo and the Portuguese forward drew the foul from his compatriot resulting in a straight red card for the defender.

More on this story

The man advantage allowed Wolves to begin to dominate possession and also appeared to nullify much of the early threat posed by the Greek side that eliminated Arsenal.

Team news

Nuno Espirito Santo restored Adama Traore to the starting line-up having dropped him to the bench for the goalless draw with Brighton on Saturday. Leander Dendoncker was the man to miss out as Wolves went back to a 3-4-3 formation. With Jonny unavailable again, young left wing-back Ruben Vinagre continued to deputise out wide.

Nuno made a positive change at the interval, bringing on Pedro Neto for Matt Doherty and playing Adama Traore as a forward thinking wing-back in search of the away goal.

But instead it was Olympiakos who took the lead early in the second half with a goal against the run of play when good work from Guilherme gifted a tap in to El Arabi.

Youssef El Arabi celebrates scoring for Olympiakos against Wolves
Image: Youssef El Arabi celebrates scoring for Olympiakos against Wolves

Wolves were suddenly chasing the game in desperation and when Jimenez's shot came back off the face of Jose Sa it seemed like the equaliser might not come.

But more good work by Jota earned a free-kick that Joao Moutinho played into the path of Neto and there was nothing Sa could do when the deflection on the low shot deceived him.

Nuno wanted more than the one goal and brought on Daniel Podence against the club he left in January in another attacking change as Ruben Vinagre made way.

But the winner would not come and - global pandemics not withstanding - these two teams will do it all again for a place in the quarter-finals at Molineux next Thursday.

Opta stats

  • Wolves have lost just one of their eight Europa League away games this season including qualifiers (W5 D2), a 2-3 defeat at Espanyol in the last round.
  • Including qualifiers, Olympiakos have lost just two of their last 10 home games in all European competition against English sides (W5 D3), with both defeats coming against Arsenal.
  • Wolves have conceded the first goal in eight of their last nine away games in all competitions, with the only exception during this run being a goalless draw at Manchester United in February.
  • At 20 years and 3 days, Pedro Neto is Wolves' youngest goalscorer in major European competition (excluding qualifiers) since Steve Daley netted against Ferencvarosi TC in the UEFA Cup in April 1972 (19y 4d).
  • Youssef El Arabi has scored in four of his last five appearances for Olympiakos in Europe (4 goals - Europa League and Champions League combined).
  • No Premier League side has seen their opponents receive more red cards in all competitions this season than Wolves (6 - level with Aston Villa).
  • Olympiakos' Ruben Semedo was sent off in the 28th minute - the fifth fastest red card to be shown in the Europa League this season.

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What's next?

All being well, Wolves will travel to London to take on West Ham in Premier League action on Sunday. That game is live on Sky Sports Premier League from 1pm. Kick-off is at 2pm.

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