-- AEK with Passion & Platellas --
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 7
|Larissa||1 - 2||AEK|
|Nazlidis 34'||Platellas 4', 31'|
AEK came away with a very important victory at the AEL FC Arena, defeating Larissa 1-2. All the goals came in the first half, with Platellas scoring twice for AEK before Nazlidis pulled one back for the hosts. AEK held onto the 3 points despite playing with 10-men for the final 20 minutes (Galo was sent off).
It was an entertaining opening 45 minutes at the AEL FC Arena with three goals between the two sides. AEK got off to a tremendous start when Platellas’ powerful, left-footed strike left no chance to Kavousakis, giving AEK the early 0-1 lead. Larissa began to press after going behind in the score and Anestis was called into action with an acrobatic save in the 9th minute, denying Nazlidis’ header. Larissa was the better side in the opening half hour, but it was AEK who doubled their advantage when a fortunate deflection left Platellas alone inside the penalty area, making no mistake to score his second goal of the match. The Greek player took full advantage of his first appearance in the starting XI to give his side a 2-goal lead. The hosts quickly responded with a mess of a goal that was touched in by Nazlidis three minutes later. The goal sparked a fire in AEK as they went on the attack and came close to regaining their two goal lead. Farkas’ defensive header, from Christodoulopoulos’ cross, was almost turned into his own net (denied by the crossbar) and after the restart Mantalos and Aravidis wasted a double chance in front of goal.
In the 70th minute, AEK went down to 10-men after Galo stopped Larissa’s counterattack with a foul on Nazlidis, resulting in a second yellow card and a sending off. It was nerve-racking final 10 minutes for AEK as the hosts were determined to find a second goal and steal a point from the match. Hurtado’s thunderous shot was denied by another great save from Anestis and Avraam failed to convert an effort from inside the goal box with 5 minutes remaining. The final whistle came with a sigh of relief for the Kitronomavi who earned their first victory in 3 games after drawing Iraklis at home and falling to Olympiacos in Matchday 6. After the game, there was tension between the two sides which resulted in a yellow for Jovanovic and Christodoulopoulos, who was then given a red as it was his second yellow of the game.
Today's result is an important win for AEK not only in regards to their title chance but as a confidence booster after their previous two results. The win comes in a difficult stadium where the current league leaders Olympiacos failed to earn a point. The win moves AEK to third in the standings, tied with Panathinaikos and 2 points behind Olympiacos. Larissa sit in 10th place with 5 points and will travel to Giannina to play PAS in matchday 8. AEK will host a difficult Panionios team at the OAKA Stadium next weekend.