AEK Win Big In Derby, Olympiacos Back On Track (Matchday 24 Recap)

AEK Win Big In Derby, Olympiacos Back On Track
(MATCHDAY 24 RECAP)

 

10-man PAOK looked ordinary and AEK just short of extraordinary in the 3-0 win for the latter in Matchday 24 action of the Greek SuperLeague. A Sergio Araujo double paced AEK past the disappointing Thessaloniki side for whom Stelios Malezas was sent off.

Olympiacos succeeded in picking up a win as they snapped a three-game losing skid by overcoming Atromitos 2-0. Panionios kept Olympiacos’ lead atop the standings to six points as they defeated Larisa 1-0.

In matches with playoff implications, Platanias took a step toward the top 5 with a 1-0 win over bottom side Veria, who look surefire candidates for relegation. Xanthi saw their playoff hopes receive a big dent as they went down 1-0 to Kerkyra in a surprise result. Panathinaikos played well, but were unable to hold on as they could only manage to draw 1-1 in Thessaloniki against Iraklis. 

PAS Giannina and Panetolikos could not find the breakthrough and their match finished 0-0 in Saturday’s early kick-off.  On Monday, Levadiakos and Asteras Tripolis could not be separated in a 1-1 draw. 
 

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


AEK - PAOK

AEK 3 - 0 PAOK
Araujo 1', 85'
Aravidis 90'+1'

A superb brace from Sergio Araujo led AEK to an emphatic derby win over toothless PAOK. Manolo Jimenez continues to work his magic for the Enosi who find themselves back amongst the top 5 with this impressive performance and result.

The Olympic Stadium didn’t take long to get rocking on Sunday evening as AEK were ahead in less than a minute. Araujo latched onto a loose ball outside the box, took a touch and unleashed a fantastic finish past the outstretched Panagiotis Glykos.

Five minutes later Jakob Johansson missed wide when well placed inside 10 yards. PAOK’s Pedro Henrique just missed a lofted ball into the box shortly afterward.  Then Astrit Ajdarevic missed a huge chance when Glykos saved his attempted chip in the 27th. Glykos was even more impressive a minute later as he batted away Johansson’s outstanding long-range effort. 

AEK were in the ascendency now as Mantalos missed just wide after Rodrigo Galo’s cross in the 32nd minute. PAOK were second best for the first half, but they finished stronger as Leo Matos and Jose Angel Crespo both went close. Mantalos and Araujo missed a double chance just after halftime. In the 53rd minute, the match changed with the sending off of Stelios Malezas for a second yellow card. AEK took their foot off the gas for some time, but though PAOK gained more possession they could not create chances. The last 20 minutes saw AEK improve and Glykos once again was key to PAOK keeping it a 1-0 game. On 85 minutes however that all changed. Araujo making it 2-0 with a wonderful finish from outside the box that seemed to seal the deal. There was still time for another goal and it came from the returning Christos Aravidis who made it 3-0 on the night as he touched home after getting on the end of a long free-kick. 

PAOK basically drop out of the title race with this result and with Panionios continuing to win, 3rd place in the league must be the target now for Vladan Ivic’s team. AEK meanwhile secured a massive win with regard to their playoff aspirations as they leapfrog Xanthi and go to 5th place. 

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


OLYMPIACOS - ATROMITOS

Olympiacos 2 - 0 Atromitos
da Costa 32'
Ansarifard 62'

Olympiacos stopped their three-match losing run as they defeated Atromitos 2-0 on Sunday. It was a marked improvement over their last few league matches and allowed the Piraeus club to keep their six-point lead atop the SuperLeague intact.

Interim boss Vasilis Vouzas tried out a new system for Olympiacos with Chori Dominguez as a false nine. Though the new look side dominated possession it took a while for the likes of Marko Marin, Kostas Fortounis, and Thanasis Androutsos to create clear-cut chances. The opportunities finally came in the final quarter hour of the first half. First, Marin’s pass was met by Androutsos’ run but Andrey Harbunow was equal to the challenge in the Atromitos goal. A minute later however and the hosts were ahead. Fortounis’ cross met at the back past by a Manuel Da Costa header for the 1-0 lead. Atromitos finished the half well, but were unable to make the breakthrough.

Atromitos tried hitting on the counter in the second half, but the match was just about wrapped up on 62 minutes. Olympiacos went up 2-0 as Sokratis Fytanidis scored an own goal after Fortounis again crossed for the onrushing Karim Ansarifard. Atromitos might have had something to play for in the final stages had Abiola Dauda converted his one-one-one opportunity on 75 minutes. The defeat leaves Atromitos just about out of the playoff discussion. Olympiacos will hope the victory is a welcome boost ahead of their crucial second leg Europa League encounter against Besiktas this week.

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


PANIONIOS - LARISSA

Panionios 1 - 0 Larissa
Ben 33'

Panionios’ outstanding run this season continued on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Larisa. Vladan Milojevic’s team are unbeaten since mid-January, collecting six wins and three draws in that period. The shutout on Saturday against struggling Larisa was Panionios’ fifth in their last six matches.

The winning goal came on 33 minutes as Samed Yesil, Masoud, and Ben combined for their side to take the lead. The nice interplay ended with the latter scoring his 7th goal of the season. Larisa were unable to hold the ball or mount any attacks of real substance.

In the second half, Panionios came out to play. The hosts created four golden opportunities in the first five to six minutes of the second half. The team’s inability to finish these big chances nearly came back to haunt them. And late on Larisa almost grabbed the equalizer. Thomas Nazlidis turned in the box and as the ball broke loose, Milos Deletic missed agonizingly wide. The only other noteworthy happening was the sending off of Adnan Aganovic for pulling down Spyros Risvanis at the end. Panionios survived a mediocre display further enhancing their prospects of second place while at the same keeping them in the title race.

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


IRALKIS - PANATHINAIKOS

Iraklis 1 - 1 Panathinaikos
Thelander (og) 73' Berg (p) 37'

A disappointed Panathinaikos was left ruing a series of missed chances as they dropped points away to Iraklis. The home side will gladly take this point as they inch closer to safety at the bottom of the table. In all honestly though, this is not a match Iraklis should have taken anything from.

Panathinaikos dominated from the opening whistle though a strong wind didn’t help the match at the start. The teams exchanged chances before Panathinaikos found the breakthrough on 37 minutes. That’s when Marcus Berg converted a penalty to make it 1-0 after Panathinaikos won the spot-kick for a foul on Berg inside the area.

It was almost comical how many chances Panathinaikos had after the interval. Marinos Ouzounidis saw his team waste at least five huge chances as they tried to find the cushion for the 1-0 lead. After riding that storm, Iraklis battled their way back into the game. The hosts were level in the 73rd minute as Rasmus Thelander’s own goal gave them a lifeline. Though Berg had a massive chance late in the game, he couldn’t score and thus the two sides had a share of the spoils. 

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


PLATANIAS - VERIA

Platanias 1 - 0 Veria
Munafo 30'

Platanias labored to a 1-0 win over 10-man Veria. The Chaniotes continued their quest for a playoff spot and these three points could be crucial even if the hosts’ display was not exactly on the same level as other recent performances. Giorgos Paraschos’ men easily controlled the opening proceedings and had over 70% possession and six shots on target in a dominating first-half effort.

This was helped by Veria going down to 10 men on 23 minutes as Gael Andonian incurred a second yellow card within seven minutes of his first and was sent off. Platanias took the lead soon after as Juan Munafo headed home a Kostas Mendrinos cross to open the scoring. That goal was heavily disputed by the visitors as they had a player down with a head injury after getting hit by the ball. 

The goal stood and an expected Platanias siege seemed likely for the second half. Except that the home team’s tempo dropped dramatically and Veria were let into the game. Platanias ultimately took the three points with a good defensive effort and while Veria fought well to stay in the game, their lack of quality in attack was the difference and the club were dealt another defeat that leaves them heading closer for the drop. 

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


KERKYRA - XANTHI

Kerkyra 1 - 0 Xanthi
Diogo 65'

Xanthi slipped out of the playoff places as Kerkyra recorded a shock 1-0 win over the visiting side on Sunday. Kevin Diogo’s 65th minute goal was the difference as Michalis Grigoriou’s team showed once again their strength when playing at home. 

The first half was characterized by precious few chances as well as some very tough tackles. The physical play suggested that the cards would be coming out and trouble was always a potential because of it. After Younes Hamza missed a big chance when his poor first touch led to Fotis Koutzavasilis claiming the ball coming off his line, the next big moment of this match came just before the break. Wallace, already on a yellow card, was late in his challenge on Fotis Georgiou and a second yellow and sending off was the result. 

Kerkyra used the numerical advantage to attack from the start in the second half. After missing a couple early chances, the Faiakes made the all-important breakthrough just after the hour. After a pass from Denis Epstein, Alexandros Kontos cut the ball back for the incoming Kevin Diogo and Kerkyra took the 1-0 lead.

Xanthi had no answer after going down to 10 men and the home side held on quite comfortably for the win. 

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


LEVADIAKOS - ASTERAS TRIPOLIS

Levadiakos 1 - 1 Asteras Tripolis
Vasiliou 58' Manias 68'

A 1-1 draw between Levadiakos and Asteras Tripolis left that latter the much happier of the two sides on Monday night. The point keep Staikos Vergetis’ Asteras four points off the relegation places, while Levadiakos remain just one point ahead of Iraklis who is in the bottom two. 

The first half was one that featured Asteras holding the edge in chances created as they began strongly. After a bright opening period, Levadiakos came into the match and were able to fashion the half’s best opportunity when Stelios Vasiliou nearly broke the deadlock in the 30th minute. Both sides were guilty of wayward finishing with two attacks that had the willingness, but not the quality and composure to find the net.

It was the same player however that opened the scoring in the 58th minute as Levadiakos struck first. Zezinho won a few personal duels, came away with the ball and passed through to Vasiliou who produced a neat finish to make it 1-0 to the home side. Vergetis switched to a 4-4-2 from a 4-2-3-1 and within 10 minutes Asteras were level. Michalis Manias nipping in to finish, making it 1-1 after receiving a cross from Kostas Giannoulis. 

Walter Iglesias was sent off just five minutes later for a second yellow as Asteras were reduced to 10. The Arkades did well in the closing stages restricting Levadiakos to very little offensively as they dug in to earn a valuable point.

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


PAS GIANNINA - PANETOLIKOS

PAS Giannina 0 - 0 Panetolikos

After a promising first half, PAS Giannina and Panetolikos had to be content with a point in their 0-0 draw on Saturday. PAS were the slightly better team in this match-up; however neither side could make the crucial breakthrough. The best chance in the game might have been from Panetolikos as Federico Bravo slid through and hit the post in the 24th minute.

Giannis Petrakis witnessed his side try to respond, but Jairo’s shot from well outside the box was saved by Dimitris Kyriakidis. Jairo was involved again on 36 minutes when he passed through for Evripidis Giakos who saw his effort saved by the in-form Kyriakidis. His counterpart in the PAS goal, Alexandros Paschalakis showed his worth just before the break as he produced a huge save on Marcos Paulo.

The second half saw the rhythm and tempo of the match drop considerably. As the challenges started to come in harder and more often the quality of play also dipped with few chances resulting in no goals as the game petered out to a 0-0 draw. 

*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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