Olympiacos’ Lead Cut to Eight Points (Matchday 16 Recap)

OLYMPIACOS' LEAD CUT TO EIGHT POINTS
(MATCHDAY 16 RECAP)

 

Matchday 16 of the 2016/17 SuperLeague campaign had a little bit of everything. Leaders Olympiacos dropped points for the second match in a row after a 0-0 draw with Asteras Tripolis on Wednesday.

Xanthi took over sole possession of second place after they beat Iraklis 3-1 and Panionios lost for the first time in months as they went down to PAS Giannina 1-0.

AEK showed they are deep into crisis now with a 3-2 loss at Panetolikos. That result leading to the departure of manager Jose Morais.

Panathinaikos outlasted Platanias 2-1 to go to 3rd. PAOK swept away Levadiakos 3-0 in a very one-sided affair in Thessaloniki.

Kerkyra stormed past 9-man Atromitos 4-1 while it was all square in the drop zone battle between Veria and Larisa in their 1-1 draw.

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


PANATHINAIKOS - PLATANIAS

Panathinaikos 2 - 1 Platanias
Berg 26', 29' Giakoumkis 37'

Panathinaikos opened the scoring in the 26th minute. The Prasini were awarded a penalty for a tug on Stefanos Evangelou. Berg stepped up a sent his powerful penalty past Dimitris Sotiriou. The Swedish striker was at it again just three minutes later. Lucas Villafanez’s ball found Berg who made it 2-0.

Platanias finally came into the match just 11 minutes later. After not having successfully taken a shot on target the visitors surprisingly equalized. Giorgos Giakoumakis on hand to finish Alexandros Apostolopoulos’ pass. 

The second half was an open affair with Panathinaikos having the upper hand. Platanias tried to get forward, but the Chania side were unable to pressure on a consistent basis until the dying minutes. 

Panathinaikos survived a couple of nervous moments, but held firm and move to 3rd in the table with the win. They have pulled to within 10 points of leaders Olympiacos. The defeat leaves Platanias in 8th with 21 points.

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


ASTERAS TRIPOLIS - OLYMPIACOS

Asteras Tripolis 0 - 0 Olympiacos

It was another frustrating away day for Olympiacos as they were stymied by Asteras Tripolis in Wednesday’s evening kick-off. The 0-0 draw meant that league leaders dropped points in consecutive for the first time since late 2014. Dimitris Elefteropoulos’ Asteras side showed once again how good of a period they are currently in. It was another performance where the Tripoli club looked their opponents in the eye and played some good football.

Both goalkeepers, Asteras’ Antonio Donnarumma and Olympiacos’ Nicola Leali, were excellent in this match. The two teams had to contend with a poor pitch at the Theodoros Kolokotronis Stadium as well as a small break in the action due to problems with the floodlights. Asteras came out firing and Leali had to be at his best to save Pablo Mazza’s one-on-one in the 21st minute. Olympiacos took a while to find their footing, but became stronger as the half wore on. Despite the difficult conditions there was a good rhythm to the game with numerous chances.

Olympiacos took a numerical advantage just after the hour when Mazza was booked for diving, his second yellow leading to a sending off. Olympiacos should have taken the lead a few minutes later, but substitute Oscar Cardozo contrived to miss from three yards after superb play by Thanasis Androutsos. Luka Milivojevic’s free-kick produced a wonderful stop by Donnarumma in the 72nd as Olympiacos tried to find the elusive goal.

Asteras were still dangerous however and Michalis Manias was denied by the fine play of Leali 10 minutes from the end. Olympiacos remain top of the table with 38 points, but are showing once again that they are vulnerable, especially away from home. Asteras have used their home form and recent surge to rise up to 10th.

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


PAOK - LEVADIAKOS

PAOK 3 - 0 Levadiakos
Matos 20'
Pereyra 60', 76'

PAOK had little trouble overcoming the resistance of Levadiakos as they strolled to a 3-0 victory at Toumba on Thursday. Vladan Ivic’s men were all over their opponents from the start and the result never seemed in doubt.

PAOK opened the scoring through Leo Matos 20 minutes into the match. Diego Biseswar excellent ball found Matos. He had still had work to do, but his fantastic first touch and finish combined to score a spectacular strike.

Levadiakos were just hanging on, but just as they were about to get to the half down by only a goal, they were reduced to 10 men. Jackson Mendy being sent off after a second bookable offense for a tackle on Djalma Campos.

PAOK were intent on finishing off the tie in the second half and continued creating chances. On the hour, substitute Facundo Pereyra scored the all-important second goal to effectively end the match as a contest after another assist from Biseswar. The Argentine attacker then secured his brace 16 minutes later after pouncing on a rebound from close range.

The win brings PAOK up to 6th in the table, while Levadiakos endure their 7th straight defeat. On the back of that complete loss of form, the away side are now in real threat of relegation.

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


PANETOLIKOS - AEK

Panetolikos 3 - 2 AEK
Markovski 12'
Makos 55', 82'
Almeida 22'
Galanopoulos 33'

AEK gave up a 2-1 lead to eventually go down 3-2 to Panetolikos. Former AEK midfielder Grigoris Makos bagged a brace for Panetolikos who were fully deserving of the three points. The defeat, stretching AEK’s winless run to five league matches, also meant the end of the road for manager Jose Morais who resigned after the match.

Panetolikos opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Marko Markovski scored from the spot after Vasilis Barkas fouled Marcos Paulo in the box. AEK came back though and the heavily involved Hugo Almeida tied the match in the 22nd minute with a header from a corner. 11 minutes  later things looked good for AEK as they went up  2-1 thanks to Kostas Galanopoulos’ shot from the top of the area.

Almeida was guilty of missing some superb chances in the first half and those would come back to haunt AEK. The hosts came out possessed after the break and Makos made it 2-2 in the 55th.

The winner came seven minutes from time as Makos again scored, this time after a tragic mistake by Barkas. The loss leaves AEK in 6th place and supporters worried about the rest of the season. With the victory, Panetolikos go to 19 points, in 11th place.

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


XANTHI - IRAKLIS

Xanthi 3 - 1 Iraklis
Younes 26', 71'
Triadis 61'
Pasas 10'

It was the same old story in Xanthi as Iraklis did very well, but couldn’t come through in the key moments as they succumbed to the home team 3-1. Savvas Pantelidis’ side started brightly and received just reward for that in the 10th minute with Giannis Pasas giving them the lead.

In the 26th minute, Xanthi were awarded a penalty and Younes Hamza fired home to make it 1-1. Iraklis were an even match for an hour and had chances to retake the lead, however their resistance unraveled just after the hour mark. Panagiotis Triadis scored in the 61st and Hamza followed with 12th goal of the season 10 minutes later to bring the score to 3-1. Iraklis had a big opportunity to pull a goal back a minute from time, but Giannis Loukinas saw his penalty saved by Zivko Zivkovic.

Xanthi move to sole possession of second in the standings with the victory. They are now on 31 points, just seven behind leaders Olympiacos. Iraklis stay bottom of the table, their situation on and off the pitch worsening by the week despite consistently brave performances.

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


PAS GIANNINA - PANIONIOS

PAS Giannina 1 - 0 Panionios
Michail 18'

PAS Giannina put a stop to Panionios’ unbeaten stretch with a narrow 1-0 win. The pitch at the Zosimades Stadium was virtually unplayable and the two teams struggled to produce quality football. Panionios had not lost since October 29th and drop to 4th with the defeat.
It was the away side however who had the better chances in this match. PAS were extremely efficient though. The hosts scored with their first chance of the game as Alexios
Michail produced the opener in the 18th minute. That would be Giannina’s only efforts on target over the 90 minutes.

Panionios upped the tempo in the second half and had good looks on goal through Masoud Shojaei, Panagiotis Korbos, and Spyros Risvanis, but were unable to find an equalizer.

PAS held on and keep up their playoff hopes with the win which moves them to 5th place in the table.

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


ATROMITOS - KERKYRA

Atromitos 1 - 4 Kerkyra
Fytanidis 82'



Epstein 4'
Lazaridis (og) 63'
Ellong 79'
Georgakopoulos 86'

Kerkyra used an early goal and then their numerical advantage to breeze through Peristeri by defeating Atromitos 4-1. This game was surely one of the shocks of the Matchday. Denis Epstein got Kerkyra on the board early as his 4th minute finish gave the visitors the lead.

The rest of the half was quite even, but the match swung in Kerkyra’s favor on the stroke of halftime. Atromitos’ Paul Keita receiving his second yellow card reducing the hosts to 10 men. Atromitos tried to claw back into the game, but a disastrous three-minute spell in the second half did them in.

In the 63rd minute, a Nikos Lazaridis own goal put Kerkyra up by two. Then three minutes later, Atromitos went down to 9 men when Spiros Gougoudis was booked for a second time. That ended the match as a contest, but there were still goals to come. Viera Ellong Doualla made it 3-0 for the away side in the 79th before Sokratis Fytanidis pulled one back for Giorgos Korakakis’ team in the 82nd. Kerkyra tacked on more insurance four minutes from time when Kostas Georgakopoulos added a fourth for his team.

The victory was Kerkyra’s first since November and gives them some breathing space with regard to proximity to the relegation places.

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


VERIA - LARISSA

Veria 1 - 1 Larissa
Sarpong 69' Ilkaunieks 45'

Veria and Larisa battled to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday. It was a first half where Veria had the edge in quantity of chances, but Larisa produced perhaps the better opportunities. Just before the stroke of halftime, Larisa took the lead through a superb backheel by new recruit Janis Ikaunieks.

Veria came out for the second half on a mission and were all over their opponents. Thomas Grafas’ men had chances left and right and ended the match with over 20 attempts on goal. That pressure eventually told in the 69th minute. It was then when Jeffrey Sarpong’s well-executed free-kick brought the match back on level terms.

No team could make the breakthrough in the closing stages and both sides had to be content with the point. The result leaves Larisa in 13th place, two points ahead of Veria, who climb out of the relegation zone to 14th.

*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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