-- AEK Clip Olympiacos Wings at OAKA --
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 21
|AEK||1 - 0||Olympiacos|
A solitary deflected goal from Astrit Ajdarević earned AEK a narrow 1-0 victory and the bragging rights from SuperLeague Matchday 21’s big Athens derby match at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday night.
The defeat was only Olympiakos’ second of the 2016/17 season and still leaves them 10 points clear at the summit with 51 points from 21 matches played, while the win lifted AEK up to fifth spot level on 33 points with Xanthi.
AEK’s Swedish midfielder tried his luck with a long-range free-kick and was rewarded with a goal after his effort took a deflection off Olympiakos defender Manuel da Costa before beating Nicola Leali.
The goal sparked jubilant scenes of celebration among the packed banks of home fans, who have endured a turbulent season following their team’s fortunes.
AEK, who are onto their third coach of the season in Manolo Jimenez after Temur Ketsbaia and Jose Morais were jettisoned for inconsistent displays and poor form, enjoyed the better of the first half against the Erythrolefki in a match of few clear cut chances but plenty of tasty tackles and one-to-one battles going on all over the pitch.
Paulo Bento’s Olympiakos, who had technical director Francois Modesto send to the stands for overzealous protests to referee Stavros Mantalos shorty after the AEK goal, struggled to breakdown the hosts and seemed to be jaded following their efforts in their frustrating goalless home draw with Osmanlispor in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 32 match.
There were further protests from the away players and bench when they were not awarded a penalty five minutes into the second half when Spanish defender Alberto Botia was pulled back by AEK defender Vasilis Lampropoulos.
The Red and Whites failed to threaten the AEK goal, however, and a miserable night was complete on 75 minutes when they were reduced to 10 players for the second successive match with Botia picking up a second booking for a bad foul on Lazaros Christodoulopoulos.
Botia’s dismissal followed fellow defender Bruno Viana’s sending off against Osmanlispor for violent conduct in last Thursday’s match at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium.