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EUROPA LEAGUE 2nd leg: Burnley exit Europe with Olympiakos draw

Burnley failed to qualify for their first European competition in 52 years following a 1-1 home draw with Olympiakos going out 4-2 on aggregate despite creating a host of chances.

This was always going to be a big-ask of Burnley to overturn a two goal deficit following a 3-1 defeat at Olympiakos. Even allowing for that away goal the Clarets had to score twice and not concede, but that was against a backdrop of conceding ten in their last three games.

The ones glimmer of hope was that the Greek outfit were poor travellers having lost 12 of their last 13 away games against English teams in European competition.

And the Clarets almost had the perfect start as Phil Bardsley's driven cross was was hacked away by the legs of keeper Andreas Gianniotis.

The rest of the first half was Burnley in possession whilst Olympiakos defended in depth and tried to slow the game down. Chances came and went for Burnley with Sam Vokes having the lions share but headers and shots were either blocked or directed wide. The forward also had an optimistic claim for a penalty turned down by the Hungarian referee Vikto Kassai.

On the stroke of half-time both teams went close. Ashley Barnes toe poked narrowly wide but then the visitors had their best chance as Daniel Podence found space but the Portuguese player blasted over.

The main threat to Burnley was their occasional lapse of concentration and giving the ball away cheaply. This could have proved costly but the Greek outfit failed to find the final ball which could have embarrassed the hosts.

Again Burnley showed early intent as the second half began and Vokes was unlucky as his precise curled shot hit the post. Dwight McNeill then brought a flying save from Gianniotis.

A quickly taken free kick caught the Olympiakos defence cold but in a frenetic scramble inside the area the ball failed to run kindly for the Burnley players.

With the Clarets committed to attack the visitors almost put the game beyond their reach but Kostas Fortounis shot weakly at Tom Heaton.

Burnley made a raft of substitutions to try and rescue the tie but as the minutes ticked down looked to run out of ideas and their fate was sealed with seven minutes remaining as Olympiakos broke quickly and scored through Podence to the delight of the small travelling supporters.

The home side quickly levelled through a scrambled effort from substitute Matej Vydra but the Greeks held out to continue their record of never failing to win a Europa League qualifying match since 2010.

(1) Burnley: 1 (Vydra 86)

(3) Olympiakos: 1 (Podence 83)

Venue Turf Moor

Olympiakos progress 4-2 on aggregate to the Europa League group stages

Ian Ferris
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Ian Ferris

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