AEK Take Deserved Derby Win (Matchday 21 Recap)

AEK Take Deserved Derby Win
(Matchday 21 Recap)

 

AEK defeated Olympiacos 1-0 in the headlining match of Week 21 of the 2016/17 Greek SuperLeague. Manolo Jimenez’s took the three points in a game of relatively few chances against an Olympiacos that was below par on the evening.

In other Sunday matches, Panionios kept ahold of 2nd place with a narrow 1-0 over 10-man Iraklis. PAOK had little trouble in disposing of Veria 4-0. Platanias picked up a valuable away win as they defeated Panetolikos 2-1.

On Saturday, the score of the day belonged to Panathinaikos who thumped Asteras Tripolis 5-0. PAS Giannina stayed within touching distance of the playoffs with a 1-0 win over Kerkyra. Xanthi continued their rough patch as they dropped a 2-1 decision away to Atromitos.

On Monday, Larisa took a giant step toward safety with a 2-1 home win over Levadiakos.
 

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


AEK - OLYMPIACOS

AEK 1 - 0 Olympiacos
Ajdarevic 34'

AEK were victorious in the AGONAsport Match of the Week as they defeated Olympiacos 1-0 in a hard-fought derby. The loss was only Olympiacos’ second of the season, but Paulo Bento’s team can have few complaints after an uninspired effort. 

While the result may not matter in terms of Olympiacos’ chances of claiming another league title, the win will be a big boost to an AEK team finally getting their season back on track. Manolo Jimenez’s return has coincided with a superb run that has seen the Kitrinomavri get back into the European places. 

Sunday’s match was a tense affair that was always simmering with the possibility of boiling over. That eventually did not happen, but in the end the match wasn’t much of a spectacle. The chances were at a premium and with 45 fouls in total, there was never hope of seeing a game with good tempo and rhythm. 

Both teams traded early half chances, the best chance of the match in the opening 30 minutes was Sergio Araujo seeing his one-on-one saved by Nicola Leali (the AEK striker appearing to start the play in an offside position). AEK went ahead in the 34th minute. Alberto Botia’s hard tackle on Patito Rodriguez earning the hosts a free-kick from outside the area. Astrit Ajdarevic saw his effort deflect off the wall and end up in the net. AEK had taken the 1-0 lead and took that into the interval.

After the break, there was little improvement in the contest. Leali did well to turn away Araujo’s hard shot just after the hour. Before that Olympiacos had a penalty shout for a foul on Botia, but Bento’s men were unable to create any scoring opportunities of note. Things became tougher for the visitors with 15 minutes remaining. Botia launched into yet another clumsy challenge and received his marching orders. Olympiacos reshuffled their formation to no avail with long balls in search of Brown Ideye their only real idea when attacking. AEK looked dangerous on the break with the introduction of Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, but they too were unable to carve out any big chances. In the end Jimenez’s men held out for the win and the points that give them the driver’s seat for 5th place.  

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


ASTERAS TRIPOLIS - PANATHINAIKOS

Asteras Tripolis 0 - 5 Panathinaikos
Klonaridis 7'
Berg 9'
Moledo 30'
M'Poku 39'
Boumale 83'

An overwhelming first half display led Panathinaikos to a 5-0 away thrashing of Asteras Tripolis. The heavy defeat for Asteras saw them part ways with manager Dimitris Elefteropoulos after the match. After some below par outings, Asteras were expected to try and bounce back against Panathinaikos, but instead they suffered their worst defeat of the season.

Marinos Ouzounidis’ team were relentless from the start and were 2-0 up before 10 minute had been played. Viktor Klonaridis opened the scoring in the 7th minute after a superb ball by Olivier Boumal. Two minutes later the visitors doubled their advantage as Marcus Berg was the beneficiary of a great assist from Paul-Jose M’Poku. 

Rodrigo Moledo’s header from an M’Poku free-kick made it 3-0 in the 31st. Asteras had no answer for Panathinaikos’ attacking play and a few minutes before the half the scoreline reached 4-0. The impressive M’Pokue, a loanee from Chievo, tucking away a left footed finish after a Dimitris Kourbelis pass.

The second half saw the Prasini on cruise control though they did enough to score a 5th just seven minutes from time. Boumal the scorer this time off of a rebound.

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


PANIONIOS - IRAKLIS

Panionios 1 - 0 Iraklis
Ben 39'

Panionios struggled at times in the second half, but did enough to defeat Iraklis 1-0 Sunday in Nea Smyrni. The victory kept their 2nd-placed position in the Greek SuperLeague as they moved to within 10 points of leaders Olympiacos. However, it wasn’t as straightforward as first thought against an Iraklis who could  have easily stolen a point.

Panionios put together a fantastic first-half performance that suggested an easy win was a formality. After just missing out on some good early chances, the match swung decidedly in favor of Panionios just after the half hour mark. Iraklis’ Giorgos Saramantas was given a straight red card at that point for a poor tackle on Manolis Siopis. Panionios used the numerical advantage to their benefit and in-form attacker Ben made it 1-0 in the 39th minute after breaking the offside trap and beating Huanderson in the Iraklis goal.

An expected goal glut never materialized however as Panionios continue to drop back into a defensive shell as the second half wore on. This gave Iraklis renewed confidence and they missed opportunities to tie the match through Emanuel Perrone and Vasilis Karagounis. And at the death Panionios held on for dear life as Iraklis came within inches of an equalizer, however Giannis Pasas could not connect with a cross directly in front of the goal. Iraklis had fought well and made a fine effort, but Panionios succeeded in holding on a taking three more vital points.

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


PAOK - VERIA

PAOK 4 - 0 Veria
Henrique 17'
Prijovic (p) 42', 50'
Pelkas 72'

Swiss striker Aleksandar Prijovic continued his fine start in the Greek SuperLeague as he paced PAOK to a 4-0 win over Veria. Prijovic’s brace comes off a goal he scored last weekend and the 26-year-old is showing a real eye for goal in his early days in a PAOK shirt.

The result was never in doubt on Sunday in the Toumba Stadium. There may have been question marks over PAOK’s collective mental state after a tough 3-0 loss to Schalke in the Europa League on Thursday. Vladan Ivic’s side took control from the start however showing no ill effects from the European defeat. It was another new signing that gave PAOK the lead on 17 minutes as Pedro Henrique latched onto a poor backpass to round opposition goalkeeper Jonathan Lopez to make it 1-0. 

PAOK dominated after the goal as they looked for a second with Lopez making a big stop on a one-on-one against Djalma Campos. Henrique was at the center of the action four minutes before the break as he was fouled in the box by Stavros Vasilantopoulos. Prijovic stepped up to convert the spot-kick making it 2-0. The second half began in the same manner as Prijovic made it 3-0 after a fantastic header from a Amr Warda corner. By that point the result was a foregone conclusion, but one final goal came in the 72nd minute with Dimitris Pelkas producing a fine lob after more good work from Warda. 

The victory keeps PAOK in 3rd, while Veria remain rock-bottom of the league table.

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


PANETOLIKOS - PLATANIAS

Panetolikos 1 - 2 Platanias
Rey 81'

Manoussos (p) 27'
Karypidis 55'

Platanias’ strong campaign continues to get better as they mustered out a good away victory 2-1 at Panetolikos. 2017 has seen the Chania club start the year on fire and on this form they are certainly contenders for Europe. On Sunday, Giorgos Paraschos celebrated his 500th game in the Greek top-flight and his team made it a day to remember. 

Panetolikos started the game the brighter of the two sides and fashioned some early opportunities on three occasions. However, their inability to turn chances into goals cost them dearly. Platanias began to come into the match and on 27 minutes took the lead. Dimitris Chantakias took down Platanias forward Giorgos Manousos in the box for a penalty. Manousos dusted himself to take the penalty and beat Dimitris Kyriakidis from 12 yards for his 7th goal of the campaign.

The same story repeated itself to start the second half. Panetolikos wasted a superb chance through Chnatakias’ header 10 minutes after the interval as the defender’s goal-bound effort was cleared off the line by Raul Llorente. It was when that Platanias struck again. In the next minute, Christos Karypidis produced the finish to double the score for the visitors. 

Panetolikos continued to battle and got a lifeline from debutant Alvaro Rey nine minutes from time. The goal from the Spaniard was as close as Makis Chavos’ team were able to get and Platanias held on for another solid victory.

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


ATROMITOS - XANTHI

Atromitos 2 - 1 Xanthi
Platellas 42'
Tonso 84'
Younes (p) 57'

Atromitos picked up their second win in a row overcoming Xanthi 2-1 at home. In the match that kicked off weekend play, Xanthi once again disappointed. Razvan Lucescu has now seen his team go five matches without a win with this game being the team’s third straight defeat.

The teams traded chances in a fairly even first half. The home side managed the breakthrough just before halftime as Abiola Dauda stole the ball in the 42nd minute, cut in towards the middle of the field and slid the ball to Vangelis Platellas for the finish. 

Xanthi responded after the break with an equalizer in the 55th minute. Andrey Gorbunov was adjudged to have brought down Younes Hamza in the box and the Tunisian tied up the game with his penalty kick. 

Ricardo Sa Pinto’s side were not to be outdone however. They seemed the team more interested in finding a winner and managed to with five minutes left in the match. Kyriakos Kivrakidis’ magnificent ball from the right found Martin Tonso who controlled the ball and fired a shot on the run past Zivko Zivkovic. The win brings Atromitos to 29 points, while Xanthi continues to fall down the table. The Akrites now going down to 6th and relinquishing hold of the final playoff position for the time being. 

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


PAS GIANNINA - KERKYRA

PAS Giannina 1 - 0 Kerkyra
Conde (p) 18'

In a poor quality contest, PAS Giannina defeated Kerkyra 1-0 thanks to a Pedro Conde penalty. The Spanish attacker converted the 18th minute spot-kick after a handball by Vladimir Dimitrovski. In a first half that offered so little, the only other noteworthy action concerned Kerkyra’s best chance of the match which came in the opening stages. Denis Epstein seeing his header superbly saved by Alexandros Paschalakis. The Greek keeper performing a fantastic stop on the German midfielder.

The second half saw better tempo and energy in the overall play, but PAS held on quite easily for the win. Kerkyra were unable to consistently test Paschalakis with a Thuram header early on the only effort in the second 45 minutes. 

Giannis Petrakis’ side moved to within two points of 5th place with the victory. Kerkyra remain in 11th with the loss, still on 22 points. 

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


LARISSA - LEVADIAKOS

Larissa 2 - 1 Levadiakos
Aganovic 22'
Rentzas 71'
Kaltsas 61'

Larisa emerged victorious in a rough and tumble 2-1 win over Levadiakos. The victory gives the Vyssini breathing space from the relegation zone (+6 points currently) while at the same time keeping Levadiakos in massive trouble. 

It had all the makings of a true relegation six-pointer at the AEL FC Arena and the drama and tension proved that on the night. 22 minutes in and Larisa took the lead thanks to recent signing Adnan Aganovic. Vasilis Rentzas cutting the ball back, Diego Reyes cleverly dummying the for Aganovic to finish off. Both teams finished the half with big opportunities to score, but the game remained 1-0 going into the interval.

After the hour mark, the game came to life. In the 61st minute Levadiakos, who had been pressing forward more and more, found an equalizer as Nikos Kaltsas’ shot found the net with a deflection after Andreas Avraam’s attempted block. 

The next three minutes had both teams seeing red. Larisa were reduced to 10 men after Milos Deletic threw an elbow leading to a second yellow card. Then shortly after, Levadiakos lost Mohamed Youssouf as he also elbowed Rentzas incurring a second yellow. 

The fireworks were not over yet. In the 70th minute, the AEL FC Arena was lit up as Rentzas produced a superb header from a Thomas Nazlidis cross to give the home side the lead. Levadiakos poured forward to find the equalizer and came close on a couple of occasions with some dangerous attacks. However, Larisa saw the match out and picked up their most important win of the campaign. 

Barring a complete loss of form for some of the midtable sides, the fight to the two relegation places now appears to be between Levadiakos, Iraklis, and Veria. 

*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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