Journalistic cliché or not, o Panathinaikos he has in front of him a “final“, at the European level. A very demanding matchwith – probably – the best team in the 6th group of this year’s Europa League.
The fight of the “greens” against Wrenin Brittany, has on the one hand an increased difficulty index, due to the capacity of the opponent. On the other hand, it will play an important role in their further course in the European Cups!
With qualification at stake, therefore, being enough to give “weight” to the match on Thursday (9/11), there is an additional element, which makes the task of Ivan Jovanovic and his footballers even more difficult .
What is this? The bad history that Panathinaikos has on French soil all these years as guests, in all UEFA competitions.
It is characteristic that, in a total of seven matches, he has not recorded a single victory! On the contrary, he has lost five times, while counting two more draws.
A performance diametrically opposed to his statistics as a host, where he records four wins, one draw and two defeats. Or, even, on the whole against French teams with 4-3-7 as a report.
The fact, obviously, that the “clover” is invited to play its… rest away from home, of course, does not change. Against the leader of the Rennes group, in the presence of his fans, knowing how with a “double” he will remain… for good on the qualification trackby winning one of the first two positions.
In any case, however, even a draw should not be considered a bad result, nor that it will definitively cost Panathinaikos qualification. First of all, in that event, he will need to beat Villarreal – not easy, but not… improbable in the situation he is in – at the end of October in Spain and leave them behind for good.
“Destined” with Nantes
At the same time, with “X” at “Roazon Park”, he will be able to feel more… quiet about securing the 3rd place of the group and therefore his further presence in Europe after December. Through his qualification to the next phase of the Conference League!
And here comes the bad tradition that we mentioned earlier, but with… an asterisk. You see, one of the two draws brought by the “trefoilers” on French soil was combined with qualification.
Against Nantes, 28 years ago, as well that 0-0 also marked their presence in the quarter-finals of the then Champions League, against Legia Warsaw! Something, which, as we explained before, cannot be ruled out to happen now, with history… repeating itself.
But let’s remember the seven previous games of Panathinaikos in France…
Auxerre-Panathinaikos 3-2 (30/09/1987)
Auxerre welcomes Panathinaikos to Abe Deschamps in the second match between them for the UEFA Cup of the 1987-88 season. The hosts lead twice in the first half, with Detuel and Cantonbut an equal number of “answers” follow from Vassiliou-Sarawak, with a direct free kickfor 2-2 at the break.
Guy Roux’s team eventually wins, with a score of 3-2, while Vassilis Daniel’s team ends the match with 10 players, due to the expulsion of Georgamlis with a second yellow card in the 87th minute. However, the 3-0 of the first match paints “green” the qualification, in an example, of course, that does not match with… today.
Nantes-Panathinaikos 0-0 (06/12/1995)
Panathinaikos is hosted by Nantes at “Bouzoir” in the context of the Champions League of the 1995-96 season, namely for the 6th matchday of the A’ group.
The picture with the snow and the tackle of Kalitzakis on the line leads to the “white tie”, the qualification and has been established in the memories of all the fans of the team!
Lance-Panathinaikos 1-0 (10/21/1998)
Another case which, apart from the protagonists, does not “rely” on the conditions of Thursday’s game, is that of the 1998-99 season, again at Champions League level.
With Lance welcoming Panathinaikos to “Felix Bollar” for the 5th group of the tournament and the 3rd matchday and winning 1-0, thanks to a goal by Elois.
Auxerre-Panathinaikos 0-0 (26/02/2004)
Auxerre and Panathinaikos meet again in “Abe Deschamps”, 17 years later, again at the level of the UEFA Cup, that of the year 2003-04.
In fact, the final result is worse for the French team, which remains at 0-0, while previously seeing Capo sent off in the 67th minute with a straight red card. Of course, in the end, she was the one who came through, winning the return match at Leoforos with 1-0.
Paris Saint-Germain-Panathinaikos 4-0 (13/12/2006)
“A lot with a little” was the game between Paris Saint-Germain and Panathinaikos for the 2006-07 UEFA Cup at “Parc Des Princes”, for the 6th group of the competition.
With the “Proteusians” winning with a wide 4-0, seeing Pauleta and Kalou both scoring twice, achieving, at the same time, three of their four goals within six minutes!
The paradox of the matter, however, is how Victor Munioth’s team managed to secure qualification.
Lance-Panathinaikos 3-1 (15/02/2007)
Qualification, which brought to Panathinaikos’ path another French team and an old friend of his, Lance. With the first leg taking place at Félix Bollar and the home side winning 3-1 thanks to two goals from Jemaa and another from Didan.
In between, Salpingidis had equalized with a nice shot, but his goal did not… arrive, as the return game was followed by a 0-0 and the elimination of his team.
Marseille-Panathinaikos 2-1 (3-5 on penalties) (15/08/2023)
To get to the last match between Panathinaikos and a team from France, this year’s rematch for the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League, against Marseille.
With the Marseilles leading 2-0 at half-time, from the same number of goals by Aubameyang, the visitors reduced the score in the 90′ with a well-placed penalty by Ioannidis, sending the match to extra time and from there to penalties. Where Mladenovic was on target in the final execution, he silenced the Velodrome and gave his team qualification!