Gilberto Makes Pana Debut
Brazil captain Gilberto Silva has made his long-awaited debut for Panathinaikos. The Greek side progressed to the 3rd round of UEFA Champions League qualification with a 3-0 aggregate win over Georgian champions Dinamo Tbilisi.
The introduction of the former Arsenal player after 50 minutes, replacing teen prodigy Sotiris Ninis, gave Panathinaikos fans their first chance to see Gilberto playing in the famous green strip of the Athens club.
Dynamo squandered a number of first half-opportunities before they had midfielder Nikoloz Pirtskhalava sent off for receiving a second yellow card, and the Greek side progressed relatively comfortably.
Panathinaikos’ Dutch manager Hank Ten Cate made some changes to the side that had delivered a 3-0 win at the OAKA Spiros Louis Stadium in the first leg, with veteran centre-back Giannis Goumas starting instead of Josu Sarriegi.
New signing from PAOK, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, also made his first competitive start for Panathinaikos, however, Austria captain Andreas Ivanschitz was not included in the squad which travelled to Georgia.
The Greek club now face Czech heavyweights Sparta Prague in the 3rd qualifying round, after Vítezslav Lavicka’s side similarly beat Moldovan champions FC Sheriff 3-0 on aggregate. The winner will secure a spot in the group stage of the Champions League this season.
Dinamo Tbilisi: Ovono, Nergadze (Djousse 67’), Kroko, Kashia, Tomashvili, Gvelesiani (Jishkariani 78’), Khmaladze, Pirtskhalava, Odikadze, Spasojevic (Vatsadze 66’), Akiremy.
Panathinaikos: Galinovic, Nilsson, Spiropoulos, Goumas, Vyntra, Mattos, Simao, Christodoulopoulos (Karagounis 73’), Ninis (Gilberto Silva 50’), Salpingidis, Mantzios (Rukavina 34’)