Three first-half goals saw Nottingham Forest fall to defeat in their pre-season friendly against Olympiacos this evening.
A difficult start saw the home side race into a three-goal lead in the first half-hour but Forest showed plenty of character to battle back and give a good account of themselves in the second half.
It was a strong test for Sabri Lamouchi’s side against the Greek giants, who started their pre-season training three weeks before Forest and face a key Champions League qualifier next week.
A cauldron of an atmosphere welcomed both sides and Olympiacos were straight on top of The Reds. In the fourth minute they took the lead as Giorgos Masouras lashed the ball home after Forest failed to clear a corner.
Three minutes later it was two and another set piece proved costly. Aro Muric was able to save the initial header but forward Miguel Guerrero was on hand to prod home from virtually on the goal line.
A tough start for Forest as the occasion seemed to be getting the better of them. On the half-hour it was three as Guerrero added his second, the poacher being in the right place once again to convert after Muric saved Masouras’s effort.
Three goals down and fighting against a raucous crowd, Forest showed some determination to get a foothold in the game. Tiago Silva flashed an effort over the bar from 25 yards as The Reds were getting hold of the ball more.
But it could have been four just before the interval as Joe Worrall superbly headed off the line as Masoura’s shot looked destined for the back of the net before Muric flung across his goal to keep out Mathieu Valbuena’s curling strike.
Behind at the break but not disheartened, Forest were greatly improved in the second half and almost produced an immediate reply as Worrall’s header from a corner was well kept out by Jose Sa in the Olympiacos goal.
The changes came for both sides just after the hour mark and some good chances also came for Forest. Joe Lolley’s cross landed at the feet of Tyler Walker but the ball got away from him, then Lolley skipped past a couple of challenges to force Sa into a low save. Tobias Figueiredo diverted the ball wide of the target from the resulting corner as the opportunities came and went for The Reds.
It ended in victory for the hosts but the result was not as important as the occasion, as supporters, staff and players all united as the two families came together.
The Reds head back to Nottingham after a good training camp in which Lamouchi will have learned a lot about his side ahead of the visit of Crystal Palace on Friday evening.
Forest: Muric (Pantilimon 46’), Cash (Darikwa 62’), Dawson (Milosevic 62’), Worrall (Figueiredo 72’), Robinson (Ribero 62’), Watson, Osborn (Johnson 85’), Silva (Ameobi 46’), Lolley (Richardson 81’) , Adomah (Appiah 46’), Grabban (Walker 72’)
Unused subs: Smith, Mighten, Edser