-- Panthers Pounce to Claim Leaders’ Scalp --
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 22
|Olympiacos||0 - 1||Panionios|
Panionios brought SuperLeague leaders Olympiacos crashing back down to earth with a stunning away victory over the reigning champions in Sunday’s top of the table clash at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium which cut the Erythrolefki’s lead ahead of them to seven points.
Paul Bento’s Olympiacos side came into the match on a massive high following a history-making 3-0 win over Osmanlispor in Turkey in midweek which sent them through to the Last 16 of the Europa League.
But young Greek forward Giorgos Masouras’ early goal for title pretenders Panionios after just 50 seconds caught the hosts cold and stunned the home fans into silence.
For all their efforts, a jaded-looking Olympiacos side simply could not find a way past the visitor’s well-drilled rearguard, and on the two occasions when they did get through they were denied by the woodwork.
First striker Oscar Cardozo was the unlucky man in the 25th minute and then Alberto de la Bella was also denied by the frame of the goal with 19 minutes left.
Despite their heroics in Europe, Olympiacos are now facing somewhat of a domestic crisis with this their second league defeat in succession after last week’s loss by the same scoreline in the Athens derby against AEK.
The result is another feather in the cap of Panionios’ swashbuckling young Serbian coach Vladan Milojević. The Nea Smyrni outfit, whose long suffering fans have gone for years without much to cheer about, suddenly find themselves in with a real chance of pushing Olympiacos all the way in this season’s title race.
The win marks Panionios’ first on the road against the Erythrolefki in 36 years, since 1981.