The Greek club Panathinaikos have brought in the services of the former Argentine striker Luciano Figueroa in the hope of improving its goal scoring record over the course of the season. Despite being considered as one of the top teams in Greece, Panathinaikos have struggled for form this season. As a result of the poor form, the club are currently eighth in the Greek table after having taken just 26 points from the 21 matches. Even more worrying for the club is the fact that they have managed to score just 22 goals in these matches.
The arrival of the 31-year-old Luciano Figueroa not only adds to the forward line up, but also provides some much-needed quality and experience as well. The Greek table is currently led by the Olympiakos, who have 54 points from the matches played so far. Figueroa has represented the Argentina national team in 15 matches. He has a decent goal scoring record in these matches as pointed out by his return of nine goals. However, his last appearance for the national team came in 2005. It has been revealed that the 31-year-old will be spending the rest of the season at Panathinaikos. He has included the option of an additional year in his contract, but it will depend upon his performances this season. The club has managed just one victory in the last five matches of all competitions.
They have also managed to score just four goals in these matches. As a result, there is incredible pressure on the manager Fabri Gonzalez. The club needs to find its form as quickly as possible because there are just six points above the relegation zone. Two clubs are relegated from the Greek top division at the end of the season. Olympiakos have a five-point advantage at the top of the table.
The Europa League match played between Panathinaikos and Lazio at Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis on Thursday has ended in a draw. Both the teams scored one goal each.
This was the third match for Panathinaikos in the ongoing Europa League. The Panathinaikos team hasn’t managed to secure victory in any of those three matches. The team has lost one match, while, the remaining two matches have finished without any result. Panathinaikos currently has two points in 3 games.
This was the third Europa League game for Lazio as well. Lazio had won one out of its previous two games, while, the remaining one had finished without any result. Lazio currently has four points in 3 matches.
The match was played at the home ground of Panathinaikos and a large number of spectators turned up to enjoy the encounter. It turned out to be a fantastic football match.
Lazio got the lead in the 25th minute of the match courtesy of an own goal from Giourkas Seitraidis. Lazio maintained that lead till the 89th minute of the match. It seemed that the Panathinaikos team might have to suffer its second defeat in the tournament, but, that didn’t happen. The Panathinaikos players should be credited for showing tremendous composure towards the end of the match.
Panathinaikos managed to level the scores in the very last minute of the match with the goal of Toche. It was a great shot by the Spanish striker under pressure. Vitolo was the one who set up the goal for Toche.
In the post match press conference, the manager of Panathinaikos, Jesualdo Ferreira said, “The boys showed great character under pressure. We played wonderfully well in the last 15 minutes. Apart from that own goal, we didn’t make too many mistakes in the match and I think we deserved three points. But, that’s the way it goes. You don’t always get what you deserve. Overall, I am very happy with my team’s performance.”
The Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has said that complacency was not the problem in the recent Europa league match against Panathinaikos. The Premier league club were taking on the Greek club in the group stages of the Europa league looking to get their first win of the season. However, they were once again denied a chance to victory after they could only manage a 1-1 draw in the match. The Greek club was extremely organised in defence, while also being very penetrative in attack. This combination meant that Tottenham could not get past them despite having much better players in the form of Jermain Defoe, Gareth Bale, and Aaron Lennon.
Panathinaikos are currently 12th in the Greek league and are not expected to finish in the European places this time around. However, they showed that they are looking to make the most out of the chance to compete in the European competition by playing well in the group stages and progressing to the next round. There are currently in a group containing the likes of Lazio and Tottenham, which makes it extremely difficult for them to think about the next round. Michael Dawson scored after just 35 min, but it took a goal from Toché to equalise the match in the 77 min.
“I don’t think we were complacent. We have to give credit to Panathinaikos; they pressed much more and started to gain belief from that, which led to the goal. I think the whole team felt a bit disappointed because the first half was so positive and we were in control of the situation. We were a bit sloppy in the second half. I understand the disappointment at not putting the game to bed,” said the Tottenham manager after the match. Tottenham will now focus on their attention in the Premier league.