Burnley face a tough challenge to book their place in the group stages of the Europa League after an eventful 3-1 defeat away to Olympiakos.
Sean Dyche’s side came into the first leg play-off game knowing they were in touching distance of the Europa League proper.
However, they found themselves a goal down after 19 minutes, with man of the match Kostas Fortounis scoring via a fine free-kick.
— Yunan Golcü Theofanis (@cakarhermacta) August 23, 2018
Playing in front of a hostile home support, the Clarets managed to get themselves back into the game just after the hour-mark, with Chris Wood converting a penalty after the striker himself was felled in the box.
The second-half got off to a bad start for the Premier League side, with Fortounis’ free-kick headed home by Andreas Bouchalakis.
🎥 Not the ideal start to the second-half for Burnley as Bouchalakis puts Olympiakos back in front!pic.twitter.com/Szt9tZUV1x
— Sporting Life Football (@SportingLifeFC) August 23, 2018
Things got even worse for the visitors just before the hour-mark, with summer-signing Ben Gibson sent off for handling the ball in the box.
Captain Fortounis fired home the resulting penalty to put the Greek side 3-1 up.
Late on, Sam Vokes thought he had got one back for Burnley, only to be goal to be ruled out for offside.
The game would in a deserved 3-1 win for the Olympiakos, who travel to Turf Moor next week well in the driving seat.
The Clarets are by no means out of the tie, but one wonders how much their early European adventures will affect their domestic season, whatever happens in the return leg.