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Bordeaux snatch victory after Olympiakos equaliser is disallowed

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-24

Title holders Barcelona secured a hard fought draw (1-1) away to Stuttgart. Meanwhile, Michael Ciani (pictured) gave Bordeaux a 1-0 victory over Olympiakos after a 94th minute Greek equaliser was controversially disallowed.

AFP - Bordeaux took a big step towards the Champions League quarter-finals after beating Greek champions Olympiakos 1-0 in the first leg of their last-32 clash here on Tuesday.
The Girondins' victory means they remain unbeaten in the competition and hands the Greek giants their first European home defeat of the season, thanks to a solitary Michael Ciani goal and some goalkeeping heroics from Bordeaux's Cedric Carrasso.
Referee Howard Webb incurred the wrath of the Olympiakos fans when he denied the home side an equalising goal on 94 minutes for a push on Carrasso.
Former Newcastle striker Lomana LuaLua had an earlier opportunity to level the score on 81 minutes when he went clean through from a Matt Derbyshire pass but Carrasso reacted quickly to push his shot around the post.
LuaLua had two further shots saved as the 28-year-old custodian scurried both efforts to safety.
Italian midfielder Enzo Maresca missed a glorious chance to level when he headed a Raul Bravo cross over the bar with the net gaping wide.
Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc had told his players to return to France with an away goal but the former Manchester United man had to wait until the second half before his side turned on the style.
After a quiet first period, Yoann Gourcuff was a constant threat for the French titleholders, providing the inspiration for much of their attacking play.
The 23-year-old former AC Milan man was at the centre of a move that set up Czech midfielder Jaroslav Plasil, who blasted well over from 22 yards out.
A foul by Ieroklis Stoltidis handed Gourcuff his own scoring chance when he wildly challenged Fernando with a high boot on 46 minutes but the French international struck the resulting free-kick straight at the wall.
The visitors opened the scoring when centre-back Ciani headed home his third Champions League goal of the season from a pinpoint Gourcuff cross just before the break.
Bordeaux's trademark free-flowing football had deserted them for most of the first half as the Olympiakos defence cancelled out the attacking threat from the French forwards.
With a backline marshalled by former Aston Villa man Olof Mellberg, the home side dropped deep throughout the first half with a display of resolute defending that frustrated Blanc's men.
The Swedish centre-back should have opened the scoring himself inside three minutes when he headed over from a Maresca free-kick.
Bordeaux's marking was found wanting again on 29 minutes when Stoltidis found himself unmarked but his header was tipped over by Carrasso.
The return leg takes place on March 17 at Bordeaux's Stade Chaban-Delmas.

Date created : 2010-02-24


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