Europa Conference LeagueOlympiacos Reach First-Ever UEFA Cup Final after Beating Aston Villa in Europa Conference League Semi-Final

Olympiacos striker Ayoub El Kaabi stole the show, netting twice as the Greek side sailed into the Europa Conference League final against Fiorentina with a resounding 2-0 home win over Aston Villa. The victory, which gave them a commanding 6-2 aggregate triumph, marks a historic moment for Olympiacos, propelling them into their maiden European final in their illustrious 99-year history.

Ayoub El Kaabi scored twice to send Olympiacos into their first-ever UEFA Cup final. | Credit: Reuters

The match kicked off with Villa showing early promise, but it was El Kaabi who swiftly broke the deadlock in the 10th minute, capitalizing on a precision pass from Daniel Podence and a pinpoint cross from fullback Quini. With a clinical finish at the far post, the Moroccan striker set the stage for Olympiacos’ dominance on the pitch.

Despite Villa’s efforts to regain control and mount a comeback, Olympiacos remained relentless in their pursuit of victory. The visitors enjoyed spells of possession and threatened with winger Leon Bailey’s blistering shot in first-half stoppage time, only to be denied by Olympiacos’ vigilant goalkeeper Konstantinos Tzolakis.

The second half saw Olympiacos extend their lead as El Kaabi showcased his scoring prowess once again, sealing their path to the final with a well-taken goal. With the iconic backdrop of the ancient Acropolis looming over the Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis, Villa’s hopes of a European final appearance were dashed, leaving them with a disappointing 6-2 aggregate defeat.

The Greek side had a commanding 6-2 aggregate triumph over Aston Villa, in two legs. | Credit: Reuters

For Olympiacos, the journey to the final marks a remarkable season on the continent, defying expectations and rewriting the club’s European history. Despite their unparalleled success in the Greek league, the club had previously never advanced beyond the quarter-finals of a UEFA competition. However, under the guidance of their fourth head coach of the season, Spaniard Mendilibar, Olympiacos has defied the odds and etched their name in European football lore.

Greek journalist Kostas Lianos hailed the historic achievement, emphasizing the magnitude of the moment for Greek football fans. “This is history. This is destiny,” exclaimed Lianos. “To see a Greek club in the final of a major European competition is unthinkable. Olympiacos has been striving for this moment for years, and now they stand on the brink of glory.”

Greek business magnate, Evangelos Marinakis took over Olympiakos in 2010, and has since been trying to make the Greek football club formidable not just in Greece, but in Europe.

With their eyes firmly set on the prize, Olympiacos will face off against Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final on May 29 at the home of rivals AEK Athens. As they prepare to make history on European soil, Olympiacos has now emerged as favorite to win their first UEFA cup.

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