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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Chamakh late show as Bordeaux avoid Greek tragedy

Bordeaux survived an unlikely Olympiakos fightback to book their place in the Champions League quarter-finals at the Stade Chaban Delmas last night with Marouane Chamakh's late winner.

Yoann Gourcuff's superb free-kick gave Bordeaux an early lead, and the France midfielder saw another set-piece come back off the frame of the goal as visiting goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis struggled to cope with his delivery.

There looked no way back for Olympiakos when Matt Derbyshire was sent off in the 60th minute for two yellow cards in the space of seven minutes.

But substitute Kostas Mitroglou made an instant impression, crashing home a 64th minute equaliser, and they received a second boost when the hosts' captain Alou Diarra also saw red.

Bordeaux, though, sealed their progression in the 88th minute, Nikopolidis again caught as Chamakh headed in at the far post.

The Ligue 1 side started the match firmly in control of the tie following their 1-0 win in Greece.

And Gourcuff tightened their grip with a fine opener in the fifth minute.

Gourcuff was becoming a major influence and was denied in the 39th minute by a brave block from Nikopolidis.

At the other end, Jaouad Zairi poked a volley wide of the post before Gourcuff almost caught out the Olympiakos keeper with another free-kick in the 44th minute.

The Greeks had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside when Derbyshire turned in a left-wing cross.

Derbyshire's evening got even worse on the hour mark when he received a second booking for a late challenge on Jaroslav Plasil.

But out of nowhere Olympiakos seized a lifeline.

Mitroglou had only been on the pitch for two minutes when he let Raul Bravo's throw-in from the left run across his body, turned and, as the ball was bouncing, lashed a venomous right-footed effort past Cedric Carrasso from outside the area.

The visitors received another boost in the 69th minute when Bordeaux were also reduced to 10 men, Diarra harshly picking up a second yellow for a tackle on Ieroklis Stoltidis in which he appeared to win the ball.

Chamakh had a great chance to settle Bordeaux nerves when he burst through on goal but a heavy touch allowed Nikopolidis to rush out and claim the ball at the striker's feet.

But the he made amends two minutes from time when the keeper failed to cut out Benoit Tremoulinas's left-wing cross and Chamakh rose well to power home a header at the far post.

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