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Panathinaikos beat Sparta 3-0 on their way to Champions League groups

06 August 2009 / 02:08:32  GRReporter
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Despite struggling at moments, last night Panathinaikos managed to defeat Sparta Prague with the classic 3-0 and proceed to the final play-off before the Champions League groups. The away goal the Greek side managed to score just a week ago in Prague proved decisive, despite Panathinakos' 1-3 defeat in the Czech Republic.

Following a mundane first half, coach talks on the half-time seemed to have an effect and fans witnessed a completely different second half.

Sarriegi opened the score for Panathinaikos in the 45th minute and Katsouranis doubled the lead in the 54th. A minute before stoppage time, Salpiggidis managed to make Panathinaikos' win more convincing by scoring for 3-0.

The green fans were particularly satisfied with the final score, given the team's unfortunate loss in Prague last week, which almost shattered Panathinaikos' hopes for European glory this year. The Greek side did however win deservedly and despite Sparta's comforting lead from the first leg, the Czechs were knocked out of the tournament.

Strong selection in the summer transfer market, and the heavy training sessions are already starting to provide results for Panathinaikos. The squad is certainly improving its shape with every game they play, which will be mostly important in the following legs of the Champions League, where the team will eventually face stronger opponents. Transfer policy is already paying off with Katsouranis, who joined the squad from Benfica on the 1st of July 2009, scoring his second goal for the Greens.  Furthermore, the new star of the club - Djibril Cisse, who arrived from Marseille in June, is expected to further boost performance.

Panathinaikos have already raised the bar significantly and the team, lead by Dutch specialist Henk Ten Kate, is showing a positive transformation.

Tonight, Greece's second team in the tournament -Olympiakos - faces Slovan Bratislava in Piraeus. The Athenians won the first leg 2-0 away and the return game starts at 21:45 local time. Expect news and highlights from the game, prepared by GrReporter's special reporter at the event.  

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