Stalemate in Athens Derby, Olympiacos’ Lead Trimmed (Matchday 11 Recap)

Stalemate in Athens Derby, Olympiacos’ Lead Trimmed
(Matchday 11 Recap)

 

Panathinaikos and AEK played out a 0-0 draw at the Leoforos Stadium on Sunday night in the marquee game of Matchday 11 of the 2016/17 Greek SuperLeague. Neither of the old rivals were able to produce a breakthrough in a game of many errors and few chances. 

This ensured that none of the two teams could cut into league leaders Olympiacos’ lead at the top of the table. On Saturday, Paulo Bento’s team squandered a 2-0 lead en route to a 2-2 draw with Platanias.

Panionios and Xanthi did manage to cut the advantage of Olympiacos to 10 points after both recorded weekend wins. Panionios managed to see out a 2-1 away win over Atromitos. Xanthi shrugged off defeat last week to slip past PAS Giannina 2-0.

Veria recorded a huge victory by overcoming Levadiakos 2-0. The score of the weekend belonged to Asteras Tripolis, who down 1-0 to Panetolikos, stormed back to win 4-1 continuing their recent revival.

Due to the adverse weather conditions plaguing Greece, two matches were postponed this weekend. Larisa-PAOK and Iraklis-Kerkyra were both cancelled with the matches to be played at a later date.

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


PANATHINAIKOS - AEK

Panathinaikos 0 - 0 AEK

It was honors even at the Leoforos Stadium with Panathinaikos and AEK playing to a 0-0 draw in the AGONAsport Match of the Week. It was a fair representation overall of where these two teams are at the moment. The match won’t go down as a memorable derby, instead it will only be remembered for some moments of good goalkeeping and the fact that both teams committed countless errors. 

You can count on one hand the genuine chances created. The first big opportunity of the game came for AEK. In the 32nd minute, a close range header was superbly saved by Panathinaikos’ Odysseus Vlachodimos. Panathinaikos responded five minutes later as Sebastian Leto ran onto a fine long ball by Lucas Villafanez, but AEK goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas raced out of his goal to make the crucial block. 

AEK’s best chances over the 90 minutes came from set pieces and in the 40th minute a long free-kick found  Vasilis Lambropoulos at the back post, but the defender’s dangerous cutback was deflected away by the Panathinaikos defense. 

The second half was more of the same with few chances and two sides showing they are currently struggling.  Barkas was the standout performer with two more massive saves. In the 56th minute, Villafanez saw his one-one-one shot brilliantly saved by Barkas in point-blank fashion. Then after the hour mark, another intervention by the 22-year-old as he ran a good 30 yards out of his goal to sweep the ball away from the onrushing Leto.

In a poor derby, Panathinaikos were the marginally better side. While Marinos Ouzounidis has shored up the backline, the statistics tell the tale on offense. The Prasini have scored only three goals in their last six league matches. If Marcus Berg struggles for goals, it is apparent that so do the team. AEK are even worse off. The Kitrinomavri have one win in their last six matches and they have tied nearly half of their 15 games this season. Sunday’s derby draw sees AEK now in 6th place and with a real battle on their hands to even make the playoffs.  

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


PLATANIAS - OLYMPIACOS

Platanias 2 - 2 Olympiacos
Giakoumakis 36'
Manousos 39'
Ideye 4', 13'

Olympiacos were found guilty of giving up a two-goal lead as battling Platanias came back to earn a point in their 2-2 draw in Crete on Saturday. 

Brown Ideye’s brace inside 13 minutes looked like giving Olympiacos a path to an easy victory, but the home side were not to be undone, pulling level before the half was over.

The Nigerian striker scored his first off a blocked clearance after a mistake at the back for Platanias just four minutes into the game. Less than 10 minutes later, superb combination play by Marko Marin and Alberto De la Bella saw the Spanish back tee up Ideye for the finishing touch.

Platanias roared back however as they found the confidence to stay in the match. They were initially rewarded on 36 minutes when Giorgos Giakoumakis’ nice turn enabled him to get free in the box and finish past Nicola Leali in the Olympiacos goal.

Giorgos Paraschos’ team pulled level just four minutes later. Giakoumakis caused defender Bruno Viana trouble once again, this time forcing the young Brazilian to concede a penalty. The resulting spot-kick was duly converted by Giorgos Manousos as Platanias drew level.

The second half was a fairly even affair with Olympiacos’ having the two best chances. First, Giorgos Manthatis seeing his effort pushed onto the post after the hour mark.  Ideye was unable to control a superb ball from Andreas Bouchalakakis when running in on goal just a few minutes from time. 

After three straight homes, Platanias had to settle for a point, but supporters will be buoyed by the team’s reaction after such an early deficit. Olympiacos meanwhile drop points for the first time in months. A point might be considered not a bad result in Crete, but there will be lingering disappointment at giving up that 2-0 lead.

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


XANTHI - PAS GIANNINA

Xanthi 2 - 0 PAS Giannina
Soltani 22'
Younes 88'

Xanthi bounced back from last weekend’s loss to Olympiacos to defeat PAS Giannina 2-0. Razvan Lucescu’s men had their lengthy unbeaten streak snapped by the Erythrolefki last week, but rebounded well in the ensuing seven days to dispose of PAS. 

Xanthi were the dominant side in this match with the better chances throughout. The hosts opened the scoring with a superb team move that ended with Karim Soltani heading home in the 22nd minute. Giannis Petrakis’ team could only manage half chances through most of the first and second halves as it was Xanthi who should have added a second.

Still, PAS hung around and were unfortunate not to grab an equalizer late on as both David Nadales and Pedro Conde missed golden opportunities. Instead, Xanthi survived and added a second with two minutes to go with Younes Hamza scoring his 10th goal of the season with a deflected effort from outside the box. Xanthi are in 2nd place with 28 points while Giannina are in the midst of a little rough patch and drop to 6th.

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


ATROMITOS - PANIONIOS

Atromitos 1 - 2 Panionios
Umbides 49'

Nabouhane 24'
Savvidis 59'

Panionios indicated they might just get on alright in the post-Ansarifard era as they fought to a 2-1 away win over Atromitos. The Iranian striker was sold to Olympiacos earlier this week, but Vladan Milojevic’s team didn’t seem particularly bothered as they picked up three more points keeping them second in the table.

The Nea Smyrni side opened the scoring in the 24th minute. Ben’s exquisite free-kick from 20 yards hitting the post before landing into the net. Atromitos came back though and a handball inside the box saw them earn a penalty just before the half. Javier Umbides had no trouble stroking home as the two teams were level at the break.

The decisive moment of the game came in the 59th minute. Panionios won the ball deep inside their own half and sprung a swift counter-attack that saw Masoud Shojaei dish off to Kyriakos Savvidis in the box and his turn around shot beating Andrey Harbunow. 

That goal spurred Panionios on even more and they could have added to their scoreline. Atromitos increased the pressure in the last quarter of an hour, but could not find the cohesion to fashion any chances.

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


ASTERAS TRIPOLIS - PANETOLIKOS

Asteras Tripolis 4 - 1 Panetolikos
Stanisavljevic 38', 49'
Mazza 42'
Tsoukalas 58'
Munoz 9'


Conceding an early goal didn’t stop Asteras Tripolis from storming back to pick up a resounding 4-1 victory over Panetolikos. Dimitris Elefteropoulos’ team are in very good form at the moment with positive displays thus far in 2017. 

Panetolikos started stronger at the Theodoros Kolokotronis Stadium and took the lead when Fabian Munoz expertly chested down a long cross and drilled his shot into the net. Asteras were not to be outdone though and after creating some good chances they finally equalized in the 38th minute. Aleksandar Stanisavljevic scoring off a rebound from a Michalis Manias shot.

Three minutes later the home team were in front as Pablo Mazza dispatched a penalty kick to make it 2-1. A carbon copy of the first Asteras goal came in the 49th minute. Again Manias had his flick shot saved by Dimitris Kyriakidis, but Stanisavljevic was on hand to tuck home the rebound making it 3-1 to the Arkades. The result was effectively put beyond doubt just before the hour mark. Stavros Tsouakalas testing his luck from distance and his well-measured effort nestling into the bottom right corner.

While they are still in the bottom half, Asteras’ recent form suggests they won’t be there for long. They leapfrog Panetolikos into 10th place on 18 points as the Agrinio club remain on 16.

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


VERIA - LEVADIAKOS

Veria 2 - 0 Levadiakos
Milijevic 35'
Kapetanos 46'

Veria dragged Levadiakos into a relegation battle by defeating their counterparts 2-0 on Saturday. Levadiakos’ 6th straight loss came in the debut of new manager Giannis Christopoulos. This terrible run has now seen them slide down to within a point of the drop zone.

It was the visitors who started the brighter of the two teams in this crunch clash as Levadiakos had the early chances to score. An inability of Levadiakos to finish off some clear-cut opportunities meant that the 0-0 scoreline remained intact as the half wore on. With 10 minutes left in the first period, Theodoros Tripotseris’ headed clearance landed in the path of Christian Miljevic and his fantastic shot put the home side up 1-0.

Veria were two goals to the good just after the break. Jeffrey Sarpong’s cross/shot was saved by Stanislav Namasco, but the ball fell into the path of Pantelis Kapetanos, who had little trouble giving his side a two-goal advantage. 

Levadiakos played some good football and controlled the second half, but had nothing to show for it as Veria goalkeeper Giorgos Kantimiris kept them at bay with some solid goalkeeping.

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


IRAKLIS - KERKYRA

Iraklis PP Kerkyra
Sat, 14-Jan

This match was postponed due to poor weather conditions.


LARISSA - PAOK

Larissa PP PAOK
Sun, 15-Jan

This match was postponed due to poor weather conditions.

 
by: Giorgos Tsitsonis. Contact the writer at tsitsonisg.agonasport@gmail.com
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