All Change At The Top (Matchday 7 Recap)

All Change At The Top
(Matchday 7 Recap)

 

Olympiacos replaced Panathinaikos atop the Greek SuperLeague standings after an eventful Matchday 7. Panathinaikos had topped the table for the last few weekends and were heavy favorites over previously winless Xanthi; however Razvan Lucescu’s men produced their best performance of the season to win 2-1 away at Leoforos Stadium.

That result meant that Olympiacos held sole position of first place after the Erythrolefki had seen off the challenge of Panionios at Nea Smyrni on Saturday winning 2-0. PAOK shrugged off two consecutive draws to defeat Iraklis 1-0 in the first Macedonian derby of the season.

The game between PAS Giannina and Levadiakos was called off on Sunday due to public safety concerns after a 5.3 magnitude earthquake rocked Giannina on Saturday with several aftershocks reported.

Elsewhere, Asteras Tripolis joined Xanthi in picking up their first win of the campaign as they knocked off Platanias 2-0. Panetolikos recorded the score of the weekend as they thumped struggling Kerkyra 4-0. Finally, Atromitos continued their recent resurgence as they saw off Veria 1-0.

On Monday, AEK defeated Larissa 1-2 at the AEL FC Arena.

*For the current SuperLeague standings click here or visit the Greek SuperLeague home page for more.

Panathinaikos - Xanthi

Panathinaikos 1 - 2 Xanthi
Leto 62'

Pablo 34'
Vasilakakis 66'

Panathinaikos were left reeling after a 2-1 home defeat to Xanthi on Sunday. The Prasini lost their grip on top spot in the table, while Xanthi claimed a massive victory, their first of the season.

While Panathinaikos controlled the early proceedings quite comfortably with a collection of half chances, the Trifylli found themselves behind 1-0 just after the half hour. Pablo de Lucas took a free-kick from wide on the right and his in-swinging shot caught Panathinaikos’ Luke Steele off his line as the ball hooked viciously into the top corner. It was certainly one of the best SuperLeague free-kicks this season. The goal galvanized Xanthi who went close twice either of side of halftime, but on both occasions Karim Soltani could not convert in good areas. 

Just past the hour mark, Panathinaikos were back on level terms. De Lucas was guilty of a bad giveaway just outside his area as Marcus Berg fed Giandomenico Mesto who laid off for Sebastian Leto and the Argentine’s deflected effort found the back of the net. 

It was Xanthi however who pushed on and not Andrea Strammacioni’s side. And the eventual winner just four minutes later had goal of the season candidate written all over it. Younes Hamza produced a flick-on that Thedoros Vasilakakis ran toward. Vasilakakis then sent a full volley from nearly 30 yards over the head of Steele to make it 2-1. It was a magnificent strike with a high degree of difficulty and a goal Xanthi supporters will not soon forget. 

Panathinaikos tried to get back into the game and did have a fine chance, but Cristian Ledesma’s free-kick was pushed away by Zivki Zivkovic. Xanthi held on to give Razvan Lucescu’s bunch their first win of the campaign, Panathinaikos meanwhile drop to second on 10 points. 

More on this match, including highlights can be found here...

PANIONIOS - OLYMPIACOS

Panionios 0 - 2 Olympiacos
Botia 15'
Milivojevic 64'

Olympiacos defeated a difficult Panionios side in Nea Smyrni in a hotly-contested affair in Saturday’s late match. Panionios are bemoaning a couple of offside calls that went against them in a match where Olympiacos made their set-piece opportunities count.

It might have been different if Karim Ansarifard had finished his one-on-one with Stefanos Kapino in the fourth minute, but the Olympiacos goalkeeper got enough on the ball to turn it away. On 15 minutes, Olympiacos were ahead. Marko Marin’s out-swinging corner was met superbly by Alberto Botia as his powerful header flew past Andreas Gianniotis in the Panionios goal. 

In this hard-fought affair, Panionios had some looks at goal, but dogged defending and the steady play of Kapino kept them at bay. Olympiacos all but made sure of the points in the 64th minute as Luka Milivojevic produced a moment of magic when his free-kick made it over the wall and past Gianniotis’s right side into the top corner to make it 2-0. 

The match saw two sending offs in the final quarter of an hour. Olympiacos were reduced to 10 men when Panagiotis Retsos was shown a second yellow and two minutes from time the scenario was reversed, this time Panionios lost Valentinos Vlachos to a second bookable offense. The three points put Olympiacos top of the Greek SuperLeague standings with 12 points from 5 matches while Panionios remain in 3rd with 9 points.

More on this match, including highlights can be found here...

PAOK - IRAKLIS

PAOK 1 - 0 Iraklis
Rodrigues 3'

PAOK dominated Iraklis on Sunday and came away with a 1-0 victory in the Macedonian derby. The scoreline could have been much heavier had PAOK finished just some of their countless chances. 

Statistics can sometimes lie, but in this match they were dead on. PAOK outshot their city rivals 23-2. For the record, the winner came just three minutes in when Diego Biseswar assisted Cape Verde’s Garry Rodrigues and he finished past Huanderson to make it 1-0.

Ultimately, that is all that PAOK needed, but they were guilty of squandering so many opportunities. If PAOK’s control of the match was evident early on, it became crystal clear on 27 minutes. After Giorgos Saramantos was whistled for a foul on Djalma Campos, the Iraklis defender turned to the female assistant referee and exchanged words which eventually saw him being flashed a red. It left Iraklis to play a man down for over an hour.

It was always going to be an uphill climb after that event and Huanderson was brilliant throughout keeping the home side at bay with a series of spectacular saves. Iraklis themselves finally managed a chance when just before halftime Jorge Monteiro’s free-kick was well saved by Panagiotis Glykos. 

That was as close as Iraklis would ever get and PAOK should have added more goals in the second half. In the end it stayed 1-0 with PAOK earning local bragging rights and picking up three more points as they go up to 8 points ahead of their trip to Piraeus to face Olympiacos next week.  Iraklis remain on two points with manager Nikos Papadopoulos having submitted his resignation only for club officials to not yet accept it. 

More on this match, including highlights can be found here...

ASTERAS TRIPOLIS - PLATANIAS

Asteras Tripolis 2 - 0 Platanias
Vanderson (og) 65'
Kaltsas 84'

Asteras Tripolis picked up hugely important win by defeating Platanias 2-0 at home on Saturday. Dimitris Elefteropoulos’ side produced a backs-to-the-wall effort to claim their first points of the season after losing their first four matches. 

Asteras controlled the first 25 minutes, though it was the visitors with the game’s first worthwhile chance as Vanderson’s free-kick was well-saved by Tomas Kosicky in the Asteras goal. The home side replied with a long-range effort from Stavros Tsoukalas in the 33rd minute which Platanias goalkeeper Dimitris Sotiriou pushed away. 

Ten minutes into the second half, the complexion of the match changed completely as Platanias defender Giannis Stathis was shown a second yellow and sent off. And shortly after that, Asteras having pushed forward, opened up the scoring. Kostas Giannoulis’ shot was saved by Sotiriou, but it rebounded off Vanderson’s foot for an own goal. Asteras controlled the play after the dismissal of Stathis and had several chances to make it 2-0. The second goal finally came in the 84th as Giorgos Kyriakopoulos crossed, and amidst confusion in the Platanias box, Nikos Kaltsas finished from close range to seal the vital win for the Arcadians.

More on this match, including highlights can be found here...

PANETOLIKOS - KERKYRA

Panetolikos 4 - 0 Kerkyra
Tomane 5'
Paulo 7', 56'
Rosa 82'

A Marcos Paulo brace and two very early goals paced Panetolikos past Kerkyra 4-0 to open up Matchday 7 on Saturday. Panetolikos scored more goals in this match than they had in their previous four matches combined (3). For Kerkyra this was another warning sign that their season is faltering mightily. Though they defeated Larisa in the season opener, the Faiakes have since lost four matches in a row.

Kerkyra found themselves down 2-0 inside of 7 minutes at Agrinio. Five minutes into the match it was 1-0 to the hosts as Emmanuel Ledesma fed Tomane who controlled and fired past Giannis Arabatzis in the Kerkyra goal. Scorer turned provider just two minutes later as Tomane crossed for Marcos Paulo to score after he reacted quicker to the ball than Arabatzis. 

Ledesma picked up his second assist after the break as he found Paulo and the Brazilian blasted his shot into the net to make it 3-0. The rout was completed eight minutes from time as Farley Rosa produced a superb finish to the far post to round out the scoring.

More on this match, including highlights can be found here...

Atromitos - Veria

Atromitos 1 - 0 Veria
Tonso 26'

Giorgos Korakakis’ dream start with Atromitos continued this weekend as his side defeated Veria 1-0. It was not a fascinating performance by any means for the home side, but it was another big win picked up after beginning the season with two straight defeats that cost former boss Traianos Dellas his job. Korakakis now has two wins and a draw from his three matches in charge and Atromitos look a more cohesive and confident unit in the last few weeks. Veria, after defeating Panionios and drawing PAOK in their last two matches, could not produce enough to come away with anything from this match. 

Veria’s Pantelis Kapetanos could not convert from inside 10 yards in the 16th minute in the game’s first real opportunity. Martin Tonso and Dimitris Papadopoulos combined 10 minutes later to give the home side the lead. Tonso chased down a ball near the end line and played it to Papadopoulos. The Greek striker turned and then backheeled a return ball for Tonso whose driving run into the box saw him take a rising shot that Jonathan Lopez could do nothing on. 

Veria tried to get further forward in the second half. After the break, Dimitris Melikiotis was found unmarked in the box with a free-kick, but couldn’t steer his header toward goal. Kapetanos found space outside the box in the 70th, but his drive flew well over. The former Greek international had his side’s last real chance a couple minutes from time, but his header missed wide.

More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...

PAS Giannina - Levadiakos

PAS Giannina PP Levadiakos

The game between PAS Giannina and Levadiakos was called off on Sunday due to public safety concerns after a 5.3 magnitude earthquake rocked Giannina on Saturday with several aftershocks reported.


Larisa - AEK

Larissa 1 - 2 AEK
Nazlidis 34' Platellas 4', 31'

AEK got back to winning ways as they overcame Larisa away 2-1 at the AEL FC Arena. A Vangelis Platellas brace was enough for the Enosi to see off a battling Larisa side. The victory moves AEK into a tie for second place in the table, even with Panathinaikos on 10 points. Larisa drop to 10th place with 5 points. 

The Kitrinomavri took a very early lead in the 4th minute as Tasos Bakasetas played the ball to Platellas whose left-footed shot from outside the box put AEK up 1-0. Larisa responded soon after with a chance of their own, but Giannis Anestis made a fantastic save off of Thomas Nazlidis’ header.

AEK went up 2-0 on the half hour with Platellas once again scoring with left, finishing from close range after Dodo’s clearance was deflected to him. Larisa’s reply was immediate. In the 33rd minute a deep cross was headed on by Dodo and Nazlidis finished past Anestis in the AEK goal after defensive miscommunication amongst the AEK backline.

Minutes later in a back and forth match, Petros Mantalos’ cross was deflected onto the crossbar by Larisa defender Pavol Farkas. The two sides traded chances as the second half wore on, both coming close in a few situations. AEK were reduced to 10 men with less than 20 minutes to go as Rodrigo Galo was sent off after a second yellow. Soon after Pol Hurtado’s long range rocket brought out another superb save by Anestis. 

Larisa threatened on a couple more plays, but Hurtado’s effort was their last clear-cut opportunity as AEK held on for the victory. After the final whistle there was tense moments between the two sets of players and amidst some arguments and pushing, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos was red-carded as he picked his second yellow in the post-game altercations.

More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...
 
by: Giorgos Tsitsonis. Contact the writer at tsitsonisg.agonasport@gmail.com
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