BRUSSELS (AP) — Striker Kostas Mitroglou scored a hat trick to guide Olympiakos to a 3-0 victory over Anderlecht in Group C of the Champions League on Wednesday.
The Greek champion showed Anderlecht the meaning of ruthless efficiency as it pounced on the few chances it created, with Mitroglou scoring freely in the 17th, 56th and 72nd minute. Anderlecht pushed forward as much as it could in the first half and even won a penalty after conceding the first goal. But Olympiakos' Spanish goalkeeper Roberto saved the shot from Aleksandar Mitrovic, denying the Belgians side a chance to get back into the game.
Such errors are punished at Champions League level and, as Anderlecht kept pushing forward, Mitroglou scored two more in the 56th and 72nd minutes with fierce long-range shots following his scrambled opener.
It gave Olympiakos its first victory in the group, after an opening home loss to leader Paris Saint-Germain. The star-studded French team beat Benfica to 3-0 on Wednesday to lead the group with six points, three more than Olympiakos and Benfica.
"You never expect to win 3-0 away in the Champions League," coach Michel Gonzalez said. "Mitroglou was in great form tonight, but he wasn't the only exceptional player," highlighting the team's keeper. "Roberto did great work and the other players did what I asked them to."
Olympiakos leads the Greek league and quickly showed its poise and confidence. Anderlecht was shaken just before the match when its regular goalie Silvio Proto was sidelined by injury, forcing it to use reserve keeper Thomas Kaminski.
Even though Kaminski could not be faulted on the goals, Proto's injury further sapped confidence from a young squad in search of a lift after a mediocre opening to the season.