Olympiacos Thump AEK In Season’s First Derby (Matchday 6 Recap)

Olympiacos Thump AEK In Season’s First Derby
(Matchday 6 Recap)

 

Matchday 6 of the Greek SuperLeague came and went with Panathinaikos still on top of the league table after their 3-1 win over Asteras Tripolis. 

The big news of the weekend however was the first derby of the season where Olympiacos rolled past AEK 3-0. It was the perfect response after Thrylos had lost two straight matches (SuperLeague and Europa League) and many observers questioned whether the club had entered pure crisis mode. AEK were no match for an Olympiacos side that set the tone early with a blistering start and then made the Kitrinomavri pay dearly in the second half after some massive defensive mistakes. 

PAOK fell five points off the pace with a disappointing 0-0 draw away to Veria. Platanias and Panetolikos also finished 0-0, though Platanias will be happy as they remain undefeated and on 8 points in 4th place. Panionios climbed to 3rd in the table with another impressive outing, defeating Iraklis 2-1 away. 

Elsewhere, Kerkyra could not make their opportunities count falling at home to PAS Giannina 1-0. Levadiakos and Larisa finished at 1-1 in an evenly-contested tie in Livadeia.  

In Monday’s match, Xanthi and Atromitos succeeded in producing a real candidate for worst of the match of the season with a 0-0 draw that had no clear-cut chances.

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

OLYMPIACOS - AEK

Olympiacos 3 - 0 AEK
Ideye 6'
Martins 64'
Fortounis 79'

The first Greek SuperLeague derby of the season went to Olympiacos who shut down AEK 3-0 at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium. The Erythrolefki may have been in the midst of a bad patch, but Paulo Bento’s side showed their intentions from the opening whistle. 7 minutes in and the defending champions were ahead as Brown Ideye slotted home after a nice Olympiacos move that saw Kostas Fortounis break the ball to the left for Seba who crossed for the Nigerian easily supply the finishing touch.

Minutes later, Seba hit the woodwork with a deflected effort as AEK were all at sea at the back. It was a sign of things to come as AEK were below par across the board and Olympiacos had the upper hand throughout. 

A tragic mistake in the 64th minute handed Olympiacos a 2-0 advantage. Vasilis Lambropoulos had his pocket picked by Andres Martins who dribbled into the box and beat Giannis Anestis to the far post with his finish. 

Lambropoulos was the culprit again in the 79th minute as Olympiacos went up 3-0. This time however, the 26-year-old defender couldn’t be faulted. As he tried to tackle Fortounis well outside his area, the ball caromed off Fortounis into the net. It was a freak goal with more than a slice of good fortune, but that mattered little to the vociferous home support. 

AEK came into the match late on as Olympiacos took their foot off the gas with the match well in hand. Temur Kestbaia’s side saw their best opportunity come back off the base off the post in the 87th minute after Tasos Bakasetas’ effort. 

The final score gave Olympiacos an emphatic triumph in a match where their backs were truly against the wall. It also meant that going into the international break; Olympiacos boss Bento can breathe a sigh of relief. A bad result on the night could have seen his position come under intense pressure.  Meanwhile, for AEK, questions will be asked of Ketsbaia and his players after a lethargic display in their biggest match of the season to date. After two solid matches to begin their campaign, AEK have been distinctly average in their last two outings. This defeat will be tough to take and could linger over the club during the international break. 

*More on this match here...

PANATHINAIKOS - ASTERAS TRIPOLIS

Panathinaikos 3 - 1 Asteras Tripolis
Berg 1'
Ledesma (p) 39', (p) 89'
Ioannidis (p) 67'

A lightning fast start led Panathinaikos to a 3-1 win over Asteras Tripolis. Panathinaikos top the SuperLeague standings now with 10 points after a victory that should have been more comfortable than it ultimately was over 10-man Asteras. 

The Prasini literally came firing out of the blocks as they were up 1-0 just 22 seconds into the match. Robin Lod’s cutback was met by Marcus Berg in the game’s first attack for the early advantage. The home side were on top and looking at ease against an Asteras side who offered no attacking danger in the first half. In the 39th minute, Panathinaikos went up 2-0 after Cristian Ledesma converted a penalty-kick that Lucas Villafanez won from Kostas Giannoulis. 

Matters became worse for Asteras Tripolis after the break as Luis Farina was sent off for spitting in an off-the-ball incident. Victor Ibarbo went close in the 59th with a shot that just missed the far post and went even closer in the next minute heading against the bar. It looked like the rout would be on, but just then Asteras came back into the match. Ivan Ivanov was adjudged to have fouled Stavros Tsoukalas as the Asteras player was getting his shot off inside the box and a penalty was awarded. Greek youth international Nikos Ioannidis converted the spot-kick to make it 2-1 in the 67th. 

Amazingly, Dimitris Elefteropoulos’ side nearly made it 2-2 a couple minutes later. Panathinaikos’ high-line was exposed and only a last-ditch tackle by Zeca saved Kosmas Tsilianidis from finishing into an empty net. The visitors would rue that near-miss as Panathinaikos would assure themselves the points late on. Lod’s run into the box saw him fouled and a third penalty-kick of the night was awarded with Ledesma scoring his second of the game to make it 3-1.

*More on this match here...

VERIA - PAOK

Veria 0 - 0 PAOK

It was another frustrating SuperLeague afternoon for PAOK as they were left to rue missed chances and an incorrect offside call in a 0-0 draw away to Veria. The loss leaves PAOK already five points off the pace after four matches, taking into account their three point deduction. For Veria, it was another step in the right direction after their win over Panionios last weekend. Before the match, the victims of the 1999 Tembi tragedy were honored by both sides in a touching gesture.

The main talking point around this match occurred in the 44th minute as Facundo Pereyra scored after being played in with a through ball by Gojko Cimirot. The goal was annulled due to an offside call by the assistant referee when replays showed that Pereyra was onside at the time of the Bosnian’s pass. 

In the 65th minute, Veria came the closest they would get to a goal when Stavros Vasilantonopoulos dragged his shot just wide after breaking the onside trap. Seconds later Biseswar delivered a dangerous ball to the back post which Djalma Campos just failed to push into the net. Stefanos Athanasiadis and Efthimis Koulouris had chances toward the end, but Veria held firm at the back and pick up a very valuable point. PAOK on the other hand were left with the sting of more dropped points. Though Vladan Ivic’s side look superb at times, the inconsistency that has plagued the club’s league results in years past seems to still be there with the current team.

*More on this match here...

IRAKLIS - PANIONIOS

Iraklis 1 - 2 Panionios
Leozinho 85'

Masoud 34'
Ansarifard 78'

It was the same story for Iraklis this weekend as the team battled well, but ultimately had nothing to show for as they went down at home to Panionios 2-1. For Panionios it was another performance full of confidence and spearheaded by the Iranian attacking duo of Karim Ansarifard and Masoud Shojaei. 

Both teams played their part in an eventful match with Panionios striking first in the 34th minute. Masoud took a flick on from Ansarifard and with a vicious left-footed half volley from just outside the box beat Huanderson in the Iraklis goal to make it 1-0. On the hour, Iraklis nearly equalized, but Giannis Pasas’ shot from the top of the penalty area sailed over the bar. Iraklis were threatening more consistently at this stage and four minutes later they should have tied the match. Leozinho ran onto a long clearance and in a 2-on-1 situation chose to go for goal himself only for Panionios defender Spyros Risvanis to make a fantastic recovery tackle. 

How crucial Risvanis’ intervention was could be seen 12 minutes from time. Ansarifard went on a long run down the left and cut in toward the box and from an extremely tight angle deftly finished to make it 2-0. Superb work on the left side of the penalty box in the 85th minute by Lazaros Lambrou saw him create space for himself to set up Leozinho for the header that brought the game to 2-1. 

That’s how the scoreline remained thanks mainly to Panionios goalkeeper Andreas Gianniotis. The on-loan Olympiacos player produced the save of the game when he turned away Emmanuel Perone’s point-blank shot from 10 yards in injury time. The only action that remained was for Panionios’ Ben Nabouhane and Iraklis’ Giannis Loukinas to be sent off at the death as they clashed after Loukinas fouled the Comoros international.

*More on this match here...

KERKYRA - PAS GIANNINA

Kerkyra 0 - 1 PAS Giannina
Vidal 80'

Kerkyra had the chances, but PAS Giannina found the goal as the game opening up Matchday 6 finished with the away side from Giannina winning 1-0. Brazilian Higor Vidal’s 80th minute winner was the difference in this closely contested battle.

Kerkyra boss Michalis Grigoriou set out his side in a new look 3-5-2 formation and the result was a Faiakes side that were all over their visitors for most of the match. Giannina struggled to create anything noteworthy in attack and until Vidal’s strike ten minutes from time had only managed a single shot on goal. 

Kerkyra’s finishing let them down on a number of occasions. The home side’s best chance came 15 minutes in, but after a great move involving Thuram and Denis Epstein, Doualla shot weakly at Kostas Peristeridis with only the goalkeeper to beat. 

Even though they had barely any attacking thrust, Giannina made the breakthrough in the 80th. Substitute Vidal found space outside the box and his left-footed drive sailed past Giannis Arabatzis. Giannina had chances to make it 2-0 after that, but Kerkyra almost came up with an equalizer in a frantic finish that saw Thuram and Epstein come close in the dying minutes. Giannis Petrakis’ PAS side held on and claimed an important away win.  

*More on this match here...

LEVADIAKOS - LARISSA

Levadiakos 1 - 1 Larissa
Silva 55' Dodo 66'

It was a tale of two halves in Livadeia as Levadiakos and Larisa played out a 1-1 draw. The goals both came after the break in a game that came to life in the second 45 minutes. The first half offered precious little for supporters of either side and did not produce anything close to good football. 

It was all change after the break though. Toni Silva gave Levadiakos the lead after evading his marker and sliding through to finish Zezinho’s inch-perfect cross in the 55th minute. Eleven minutes later, Larisa brought the match onto level terms as Dodo headed past Theodoros Moschonas after Nico Varela’s free-kick from the left. 

Soon after Vaggelis Mantzios and Chahir Belghazouani had big chances to give Levadiakos the lead, but Mantzios saw his effort saved by Zacharias Kavousakis and Belghazouani fired over after being put through by Silva. The match ended with Larisa nearly grabbing a late winner, but Varela’s turn and shot inside the box was handled well by Moschonas.

*More on this match here...

XANTHI - ATROMITOS

Xanthi 0 - 0 Atromitos

The sixth round of the 2016/17 Greek SuperLeague came to an end on Monday evening with a drab affair in Xanthi as the home team and Atromitos finished 0-0. It was a game full of errors and low on goal scoring chances. After 90 dull minutes it was easy to see why both teams have only each scored once after four games this season. 

Both teams created a series of half chances, however not once did either side threaten with any major opportunities. It was the latest in a series of 0-0 draws in the SuperLeague over the last few weeks, however this may have been the worst game of the season thus far. Such was the absence of anything approaching quality build-up play or creativity in and around the box, the match was perhaps one of the worst advertisements of the game we have seen for some time. The result leaves Xanthi in 15th place with a mere two points from their first four matches. Atromitos meanwhile climb above Kerkyra into a tie for 10th place as they go to four points on the season.


PLATANIAS - PANETOLIKOS

Platanias 0 - 0 Panetolikos

In a predictably hard-fought battle in Chania, Platanias and Panetolikos played out a 0-0 draw. It was a match not so much dull as it was intense, however neither side was able to produce the cutting edge or individual piece of skill to settle the game.

Platanias were the slightly better side in the first half and nearly had a goal a half hour in. It was then when Panetolikos’ Grigoris Makos almost gave up an own goal after Manousos’ cross, but the veteran and former Greek international was just able to deflect the ball over the goal. 

The first half and most of the second half was marked by tough battles across the pitch with most opportunities registered being considered half chances. Panetolikos nearly stole it late on however. Two minutes from the end, Emmanuel Ledesma muscled an opponent off the ball and drove toward the penalty area playing a little ball through to Marko Markovski who had his 1-on-1 with Dimitris Sotiriou saved by the legs of the 29-year-old goalkeeper.

*More on this match here...
 
by: Giorgos Tsitsonis. Contact the writer at tsitsonisg.agonasport@gmail.com
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