-- Resurgent AEK Run Continues --
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 22
|AEK||3 - 0||Larissa|
AEK’s resurgent form under recently appointed coach Manolo Jimemez continued on Sunday as the Kitrinomavri dispatched strugglers Larissa with the minimum of fuss in their Matchday 22 clash at OAKA (3-0).
AEK, who clinched a fine derby victory over reigning champions and runaway league leaders Olympiacos last week, took all three points again on home soil courtesy of goals from Tomas Pekhart, Dmytro Chygrynskiy and Hugo Almeida.
AEK reclaimed fifth spot in the table as a result, moving level on 36 points with the northern club but ahead of them due to their superior head-to-head record. The victory was AEK’s sixth win in nine games since Jiménez returned for a second spell in the head coach’s hot set on January 19, succeeding Jose Morais, while AEK have not yet lost a match under the Spaniard’s guidance.
And they never looked in danger of losing out here, controlling possession for long spells and patiently waiting for their chance to pierce the visiting defence, which they did first in the 24th minute.
Venezuelan forward Ronald Vargas showed great technique to float over a precise cross for Pekhart after some patient build-up play around the Larissa penalty area from AEK, and the Czech Republic forward managed to evade his markers and plant home a headed finish.
Lazaros Christodolopoulos almost made it 2-0 two minutes after half-time but he smashed a shot off the post after being set up by Michalis Bakakis’ clever back heeled pass.
Larissa offered virtually no threat to the home goal, which somewhat sums up their poor form this season. Cyprus midfielder Andreas Avraam was one of the team’s best performers, with his long range shot stinging the palms of AEK keeper Giannis Anestis in the 72nd minute.
Christodoulopoulos was the architect of AEK’s second goal, swinging over an 81st-minute corner which was met perfectly by Ukrainian defender Chygrynskiy, who scored with a header.
The icing was applied to the cake in the second minute of added time by Portuguese veteran striker Almeida, who raced on to Astrit Ajdarevic’s defence-splitting pass to make it 3-0 with a measured shot.