Thursday, May 23, 2024

Olympiacos 2-0 Aston Villa (6-2 agg): Villans fall in last four as El Kaabi strikes again

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 May 2024

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Olympiacos will face Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final after an Ayoub El Kaabi double secured a 6-2 aggregate win over Aston Villa.

After a stunning 4-2 win at Villa Park last weekend to take the ascendancy in the semi-final tie, first-leg hat-trick hero El Kaabi struck early before netting again late on to stamp out any hopes of a Villa comeback.

After a strong start from the visitors, El Kaabi scored his fourth goal of the tie just 10 minutes into Thursday’s second leg at Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki, getting on the end of Quini’s low cross to turn home at the far post.

It looked an uphill battle for Villa, who dominated the possession throughout the contest in Greece but struggled to make a dent in the stubborn hosts.

Douglas Luiz saw a long-range effort saved by Kostas Tzolakis while the Olympiacos goalkeeper also denied Moussa Diaby. El Kaabi made sure late on, getting on the end of a long ball to fire past Martinez and secure Olympiacos’ final berth.

The fairytale comeback never materialised for Villa, and it will be Olympiacos who take on Fiorentina at the Agia Sophia Stadium in the Greek capital of Athens on May 29, looking to utilise familiar surroundings to claim their first major European trophy.

Data debrief

El Kaabi was the hero again for Olympiacos as his two second-leg finishes took him to 10 Europa Conference League goals for the campaign, more than any other player, while his 13 strikes in major European competitions are also more than any other player when factoring in his three Europa League goals.

Villa had 73.9 per cent of the ball in the second leg, yet their 1.14 xG (expected goals) was still inferior to Olympiacos’ 1.23 as the Greek Super League side’s ruthlessness clinched their spot in the final.

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