Atromitos Go Top, Thrylos Take Tight Derby (Matchday 8 Recap)

Atromitos Go Top, Thrylos Take Tight Derby
(Matchday 8 Recap)
 

GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 8

Date Home Team Score Away Team
21-Oct-17 Levadiakos 1 - 1 PAS Giannina
21-Oct-17 Kerkyra 1 - 0 Panetolikos
21-Oct-17 Lamia 1 - 1 Panathinaikos
22-Oct-17 Asteras Tripolis 0 - 1 Panionios
22-Oct-17 Platanias 0 - 1 Larissa
22-Oct-17 Apollon Smyrnis 2 - 0 Xanthi
22-Oct-17 Olympiacos 1 - 0 PAOK
23-Oct-17 AEK 0 - 1 Atromitos

AGONAsport’s George Tsitsonis brings you a full recap of matchday 8 action in the Greek SuperLeague. For all the latest fixtures and result visit here. For the the up to date Supereague standings visit here

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Atromitos defeated AEK 1-0 to go top of the table for the first time in their history. Olympiacos also rose to the occasion to pick up a crucial derby win over PAOK 1-0 in Matchday 8 action of the Greek Super League. 

Bjorn Engels’ goal was enough in a tight, scrappy affair that always looked as though one goal could decide it. It was an even match at the Karaiskakis Stadium with clear-cut chances at a premium. PAOK had the opportunity to move seven points clear of the defending champions with a win, but despite some good opportunities to find the net, Olympiacos came away with the points. Carlos Zambrano’s big mistake saw him try to clear the ball only for it to deflect off Engels’ knee into the goal from close range after 51 minutes as Takis Lemonis’ side find themselves right back in the thick of the title hunt.

AEK had a big chance to overtake PAOK atop the Super League standings on Monday, however it was their opponents Atromitos who picked up a shock victory at the Olympic Stadium. Abiola Dauda’s 55th minute goal gave the Peristeri side the 1-0 win. It was AEK’s second straight loss in the league and third match in a row without a victory as Manolo Jimenez’s side has fallen from grace after a positive start to the season. The real story however is the incredible opening stage of the season for Atromitos. Damir Canadi’s team are undefeated after eight matches and lead the Super League for the first time in the club’s history. 

Scrappy was the word in a weekend of close matches and a couple notable upsets. 

Panionios got back to winning ways on Saturday with a narrow 1-0 victory over Asteras Tripolis. Masoud Shojaei’s 47th minute strike was enough to claim the points for the Nea Smyrni side. Panionios had suffered two consecutive defeats before this win. Asteras meanwhile find themselves in a four-way tie for last place. 

Panathinaikos rescued a point five minutes from the end to draw away at Lamia 1-1. It was another disappointing outing for the Prasini, but more so perhaps for Lamia who were denied a victory late on. Guillermo Molins provided the equalizer for Marinos Ouzounidis’ men after Stavros Vasilantopoulos’ shot was deflected in for an own goal for the hosts in the 37th minute.

Levadiakos and PAS Giannina played out a 1-1 draw in the weekend’s opening match. Pedro Conde gave visitors Giannina the lead just before the break. Second-half substitute Petros Giakoumakis came on however and scored the leveller for Jose Anigo’s men. That goal ensured Levadiakos remained unbeaten after eight matches.

Elsewhere, it was all about upsets for some of the league’s smaller clubs. Kerkyra pulled off a 1-0 win over Panetolikos at home thanks to a late Fabio Nunes goal. Apollon Smirnis secured their first win of the season with a 2-0 home win over Xanthi. Gonzalo Castillejos (11’) and Christos Albanis (84’) scoring early and late tallies to give Zoran Vulic’s team their first win since promotion to the top-flight.

Finally, Larisa surprised just about everyone with a 1-0 win away to Platanias. After leaking many goals in their away matches this season, Larisa kept Platanias in check and rode Sandi Crizman’s goal to a big victory.  


Matchday MVP - Pape Abdou Cisse (Olympiacos)

Olympiacos did not impress to a big degree even in a win over PAOK in Sunday’s derby. Few chances were created by the Erythrolefki, but at the back they were very solid. A good chunk of that solidity came from the assured display of Cisse. The 22-year-old Senegalese center-back was a threat going forward, however it was the back where he shined. Cisse won so many individual battles on the night and came through with timely interventions whenever PAOK were able to threaten. 

Goal of the Matchday - Masoud Shojaei (Panionios)

The Iranian’s effort gave turned out to be the game-winner for Panionios. However, the goal was special not only because of its importance. It was a fantastic team effort involving four players and some quick inter-change of passing. Manolis Siopis stole the ball in an advanced position playing Shojaei in. He in turn passed to Samed Yesil in the box who laid it off to Srdan Spiridonovic. The Austrian found the on-rushing Shojaei again and he slotted home expertly for the perfect finish to a great team goal. 

Save of the Matchday - Matic Kotnik (Panionios)

The Slovenian goalkeeper made a late wonder-save to help keep his side in the lead. In the 85th minute with the goal at his mercy, Asteras Tripolis’ Tasos Douvikas shot toward goal from close range. Kotnik was already going in the opposite direction, but managed to put his left hand up to make a truly remarkable reflex save. 

Play of the Matchday - Levadiakos- PAS Giannina

A marvelous sequence of played occurred in the 77th minute of this match. PAS players stole the ball and went on a quick counter-attack leading to a huge chance on goal saved by Levadiakos goalkeeper Devis Epassy. Levadiakos then countered the...counter and went up the pitch in a swift move that saw them have a goalscoring chance only to be thwarted by Giannina’s Marko Vellidis at the other end. It was a breathtaking 30 seconds or so of football with no goal to show for it, but dramatic nonetheless. 

Team Performance of the Matchday - Atromitos

What else can you say about the performance of Damir Canadi’s men? Their victory over AEK was an extension of their recent impenetrability in defense. The Peristeriotes have not conceded in six matches and kept AEK at bay for most of the match. Though they didn’t create numerous chances, they took their one big opportunity well and came out of this match as fully deserved winners.

Surprise of the Matchday - Larisa

After big defeats away in the first few weeks of the season and a loss to 9-man Panathinaikos last week, defeat was almost a certainty for Larisa away to Platanias. However, the Thessaly side scored an early goal and were much improved at the back in a massive 1-0 win. They still remain at the foot of the table, but this was a display to build on.

Disappointment of the Matchday - PAOK

It was the same old story for PAOK. Many thought it would be different this weekend against Olympiacos, however in the end it was another defeat in a big match for the Thessaloniki club. Victory would have seen them go clear of their rivals atop the table, but now defeat means that Olympiacos, AEK, and even Atromitos will have belief of overcoming Razvan Lucescu’s men. PAOK are not out of the title race by any means, but the manager, players, and supporters will see Sunday’s derby defeat as another missed opportunity. 

 
by George Tsitsonis
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