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Rovers 0 V 5 Olympiakos


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Thanks to Rover6 for the match report:

On a hot, sticky afternoon in sunny Germany - okay I'll leave the scene setting spectaculars to Scotty in his match reports.

Rovers started the first half against the Greek Champions with a number of luminaries from the glitzy world of international football in the first eleven. Aaron Mokoena (South African international) aka the Axe, was planted in central midfield. Shefki Kuqi and Francis Jeffers (of Finland and England fame) were the spearhead upfront and Dominic Matteo 'The White Elephant' was trumpeting orders from the back.

Robbie Savage won the toss - but that was the full extent of his victories in a match to forget for Savage and the rest of the Rovers players. (Actually, I don't know if he won the toss but it's a good line). Olympiakos had Brazilian ex-superstar Oswaldo Dehors Cheatindo Rivaldo in the line-up and it wasn't long before he was on the receiving end of a Mokoena slide tackle. It was only a momentary set-back for the silky skilled midfielder because before long he was orchestrating Olympiakos' best moves as Rovers struggled to threaten the Greek side.

On the rare occasions that Blackburn got hold of the ball, it was given back with the efficiency of an assiduous ballboy. Michael Gray and Dom Matteo performing that role splendidly, in particular. Didier Agathe was looking tidy in possession as he sought to impersonate Lucas Neill, but his skin colour did not help – nor the fact he refused to perform a two-footed challenge on a the Greek left-winger. A forage forward from the former Celtic man looked promising but his link up play with Steven Reid let him down.

From a counter-attack, Olympiakos scored from long-range. Aaron Mokoena and Robbie Savage managed to get back on the pitch with their ice-creams before the re-start.

The goal gave Olympiakos confidence and Zeus started orchestrating play from up above. (Sorry, I don’t know any of their players’ names apart from Rivaldo and Djordevic). They kept the ball in a style not seen since England last played in a international tournament.

Then Olympiakos scored again and Friedel ran out to berate someone. Then it was half-time and then my stream ,courtesy of Greek satellite TV ERT, displayed a smug-looking long-haired fella talking in Greek. Georgis Donis?

The second half started and it took me a mere 20 minutes to work out that Douglas, McEveley and Bentley had come on. Everyone’s favourite Irishman, Douglas, burst forward and hit a way-ward shot. Soon, Olympiakos scored from a spectacular bicycle kick. Friedel came out to berate someone – probably Jay McEveley who had allowed the winger to cross the ball in.

Suddenly, Pedersen – I mean GAMST appeared on the pitch. Never mind ‘he hides’ – ‘he appeared’. Rovers seemed to have lost the plot and Olympiakos scored the fourth with consummate ease. A cross came in from the left (Agathe was held up at the ice-cream van disputing the change he was owed) and Jay McEveley was out-numbered in the box so he did the best thing in the circumstances – run away from the man about to receive the ball. He volleyed it and someone headed it in.

Tugay and Gallagher appeared on my fuzzy screen and they appeared to add some life to the comatic performance. Only for a Rovers attack to be quelled and for Olympiakos to go down the other end and someone to chip Friedel from 20 yards.

Why Friedel was off his line is a debatable. I think he was about to go and berate someone.

Roberts came on and fell over, earning some free kicks and hugs from Greek defenders. I think they were grateful for being forced into action after playing the first half against Francis Jeffers.

The game ended early, as the referee was fed up with annoying regularity of subs coming on. The intro for Junior Eurovision began on ERT satellite and although I was tempted, I decided against putting myself through further torture.

For more reaction, read the pages 14 onwards of the Pre Season thread.

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