-- Panathinaikos’ Nightmare...Xanthi --
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 7
|Panathinaikos||1 - 2||Xanthi|
Like last year, Xanthi has defeated Panathinaikos in Athens 1-2 (then 0-1) to earn their first victory of the season. Steele made tragic mistakes on both goals from the visitors as Pablo and Vasilakakis found the back of the net. Xanthi took the lead in the 34th minute and Leto equalized midway through the first half before a quick response from Xanthi gave them the 1-2 victory. Panathinaikos’ loss drops them two points behind the new league leaders Olympiacos.
Xanthi, who defeated Panathinaikos last year 0-1 in Athens, came to the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium hoping for an unlikely first win of the season. The visitors surprisingly took the lead when Pablo da Lucas’ free kick was misjudged by Steele and the ball ended up into the back of Panathinaikos’ net. The goal clearly troubled the hosts as they could not string up a good attack and went into the break behind in the score.
In the second half, Panathinaikos looked for a quick equalizer which came in the 62nd minute when Leto’s shot took a deflection, leaving Zivkovic with no chance to deny the effort. With plenty of time remaining and the momentum on their side, Panathinaikos hoped to complete the comeback against Xanthi, but three minutes later Vasilakakis stunned the hosts once again when his clever (and impressive) half-volley effort went over the head of Steel (who was clearly out of position), re-giving Xanthi the lead. Panathinaikos went on the offensive as they trailed in the score, but it was evident that Panathinaikos’ attack did not pose a threat to the visitors. M’boku’s shot was the only clear chance on goal for the Prasini as Xanthi held onto their surprising first win of the season.
Xanthi’s first 3 points of the season comes in the unlikeliest of fashion, against the current SuperLeague leaders (before the beginning of Matchday 7). The win now puts Xanthi on 5 points while Panathinaikos now sits in second, two points behind the new league leaders Olympiacos. Both Xanthi and Panathinaikos play away in Matchday 8, facing Platanias and Veria, respectively.