Greek Clasico Goes Green, PAOK outlast Panionios (Matchday 25 Recap)

Greek Clasico Goes Green, PAOK outlast Panionios
(MATCHDAY 25 RECAP)
 

Panathinaikos ran out easy winners in the Greek Clasico 1-0 over an Olympiacos side that disappointed once again. Marcus Berg scored the winner in the first half for Panathinaikos in a match they could and probably should have won by more and where Olympiacos did not manage a single shot on target.

Elsewhere in Matchday 25 action of the 2016/17 Greek SuperLeague, PAOK left it to the death to finally get past Panionios 1-0 at Toumba. AEK showed their recovery shows no sign of stopping with a 1-0 away victory over Atromitos. 

Veria took a giant step toward saving themselves with a shock 4-0 win over Kerkyra on Sunday. Larisa probably did enough to ensure they maintain their top-flight status after a 1-0 home win over Panetolikos. Both Asteras Tripolis and Levadiakos picked up valuable draws to boost their survival hopes. Asteras drawing 1-1 with PAS Giannina, while Levadiakos came back twice to earn a draw at Xanthi 2-2. 

On Monday evening, Platanias continued their fine campaign with a 1-0 home win over Iraklis that moves them to 6th and within striking distance of the playoffs. 
 

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


PANATHINAIKOS - OLYMPIACOS

Panathinaikos 1 - 0 Olympiacos
Berg 15'

A one-sided derby ended with Panathinaikos as deserved victors over an anemic Olympiacos by a 1-0 scoreline in Leoforos Stadium on Sunday night. Marcus Berg’s goal in the 15th minute was the difference between the two bitter rivals and ‘eternal enemies’. 

Panathinaikos owned this match from the start, not with so much a super display, but a more cohesive performance compared to Olympiacos’ disjointed play throughout the 90 minutes. Marinos Ouzonidis’ team looked comfortable from the start and surprised few observers when they took the lead in the 15th minute. Berg unleashed Viktor Klonaridis, whose one-on-one was well saved by the superb Stefano Kapino, but the Swedish striker buried the rebound as Leoforos lit up the night sky.

The early goal allowed Panathinaikos to have even more freedom and only Kapino’s stellar play kept Panathinaikos from turning numerous chances into more goals. Olympiacos improved slightly after the hour with the introduction of Kostas Fortounis and Thanasis Androutsos. However, the Erythrolefki could not find a way to create chances. In fact, Olympiacos did not produce even a single shot on target over the course of the entire match.

Panathinaikos looked lively and energetic on the break and had 5-6 legitimate chances in the second half as well to put the result beyond doubt. It was an absolutely tragic display by Vasilis Vouzas’ team who must be thanking their lucky stars they had built such a big lead in the standings earlier this season, especially after losing four of their last five matches. Panathinaikos stay fourth with the win, but close the gap on 2nd place, a realistic target for them now on this form. 

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


PAOK - PANIONIOS

PAOK 1 - 0 Panionios
Pelkas 90'+4'

A Dimitris Pelkas goal with the last kick of the game gave PAOK a very important 1-0 win over a battling Panionios side. Panionios will have felt they deserved something from this game based on their performance. It was not to be however and Vladan Milojevic’s side were unable to capitalize on another Olympiacos defeat meaning they remain in 2nd place some six points behind the top spot. 

Yevhen Shakhov and Stefanos Athanasiadis had early efforts for PAOK, to which Panionios responded with three chances of their own all within a minute of each other (Ben, Panagiotos Korbos, and Samed Yesil). The match remained scoreless into the second half.

After the interval, PAOK were forcing the issue and early on hit the post through a Diego Biseswar effort before coming close once again through Pedro Henrique’s cutback on 53 minutes. PAOK controlled proceedings as the match passed the hour mark and gained a numerical advantage in the 77th minute when Vangelis Oikonomou received his marching orders after incurring a second yellow card.

PAOK looked like they were running out of time especially after Shakhov hit the post in the 89th minute. But, the stage was ultimately preparing for a dramatic finish. Substitute Pelkas coming on to score from close range with the game’s last play some four minutes into injury time. The goalscorer was red carded for his lewd gesture after the goal, but the damage to Panionios had been done as PAOK secured a massive win.

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


ATROMITOS - AEK

Atromitos 0 - 1 AEK
Mantalos 57'

The refereeing took center stage as AEK won away at Atromitos on Saturday night 1-0 in controversial circumstances. Petros Mantalos’ goal just before the hour clinched another big win for AEK and continued their dramatic recovery in the league since Manolo Jimenez’s January appointment. Atromitos meanwhile thought they had equalized in the 77th minute, however the linesman called the goal back for offside even if television replays suggest otherwise.

AEK began the stronger side and had chances in the early stages of the game to take the lead. Halftime finished 0-0, but just after the break AEK scored twice, for only one to count. The Kitrinomavri thought they had taken the lead through Sergio Araujo in the 50th minute, but the assistant referee flagged for an offside that simply wasn’t. AEK opened the scoring though in the 57th minute. Didac Vila cut back for Mantalos who finished from close range. 

Atromitos dedicated themselves to attack after going down a goal and Ricardo Sa Pinto’s side should have been rewarded. In the 77th minute, Martin Tonso hit the post for Anthony Le Tallec to head toward Dimitris Limnios who scored. However, the goal was taken back, once again for offside, though it appeared to be a perfectly legitimate goal. Atromitos poured forward into attack though their effort went unrewarded as they ended up with the loss. Effectively, Atromitos’ slim playoff hopes are all but gone, while AEK solidify 5th place and continue to improve on a week-by-week basis. 

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


PLATANIAS - IRAKLIS

Platanias 1 - 0 Iraklis
Giakoumakis 77'

Platanias moved to within two points of AEK in 5th place with a 1-0 win over Iraklis at Perivolia. The victory was Platanias’ 6th win in their last seven matches as the Chania club dream of a European berth for next season. 

The two teams traded mostly half chances in the opening period with Platanias striker Giorgos Giakoumakis and Iraklis midfielder Dimitris Grontis looking the most dangerous for their respective sides. 

Iraklis had the first chances of the second half as Christos Donis and Alexandros Kouros spurned early opportunities. 

Platanias took a while to put together chances in the second half, but in the 77th
minute they nearly grabbed the opener. Giorgos Manousos found Giakoumakis who tried to pass by Iraklis goalkeeper Huanderson, but the Brazilian deflected the ball away and eventually the danger passes for Iraklis. 

Iraklis dodged a bullet there, but in the next minute the home side made the breakthrough. Didac Devesa’s shot was into the path of Giakoumakis who diverted the ball past Huanderson for Platanias to take the 1-0 lead. The goal was Giakoumakis’ team-leading 10th goal of the season. 

Iraklis were unable to respond in the remaining minutes as Platanias held on. Giorgos Paraschos’ team did not enjoy their best day, however they found a way to win the match. Conversely once again Iraklis did not produce a bad performance, but they didn't do enough to avoid defeat. Savvas Pantelidis’ men are now three points from safety with five matches remaining.

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


XANTHI - LEVADIAKOS

Xanthi 2 - 2 Levadiakos
Younes (p) 5'
Lazic 30'
Vasiliou 28'
Silva 47'

A fighting display from Levadiakos saw the relegation battlers come away with a 2-2 draw in Xanthi. Giannis Christopoulos will have been excited to see his team come  back twice in order to secure a valuable point. 

Xanthi were ahead early on thanks to Younes Hamza’s penalty-kick conversion in the 4th minute. Instead of spurring the home side on, it was the visitors who came into the game after going down. After seeing a few chances fall by the wayside, Levadiakos were level in the 29th minute thanks to Stelios Vasiliou. However, Levadiakos’ joy was short-lived as a couple minutes later an unmarked Djordje Lazic restored Xanthi’s advantage.

Toni SIlva struck for Levadiakos just two minutes after the break as Levadiakos came out strongly after the break. Razvan Lucescu made a double substitution on the hour bringing on Marcos Pizzelli and Adrian Lucero. The changes improved Xanthi and they hit the post in the 69th minute through a Theodoros Vasilakakis effort. Xanthi were in full attack mode in the final ten minutes, but the could not find a winner as Levadiakos kept it 2-2. The draw while good for Levadiakos means Xanthi fall further off the pace in the playoff race. 

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


LARISSA - PANETOLIKOS

Larissa 1 - 0 Panetolikos
Farkas 35'

A win that will likely keep Larisa up was recorded by Sakis Tsiolis’ men on Saturday as they overcame Panetolikos 1-0. In a tight encounter, a 35th minute goal by Pavol Farkas following a deflected free-kick was the difference at the AEL FC Arena.

That strike set the tone for the rest of the match and a resilient Larisa backline held on for the priceless victory. Overall, this was not a match of high quality and the first half, besides the goal, was a forgettable affair. 

The second half was marginally better as the home side sat back hoping to counter-attack. This tactic worked and on one such counter, Milos Deletic hit the post in the 70th minute. But, the further Larisa sat back the more attacking impetus Panetolikos had. The last 20 minutes was played in the Larisa half. Gennady Xenodochov came to his team’s rescue with a fine save in the 74th minute as Makis Chavos’ Panetolikos were pressing hard for the equalizer. 10 minutes from time, Marcos Paolo missed an absolute sitter for the Agrinio club after a fantastically worked team move. The visitors would rue that missed chance and Larisa closed it out for the victory that takes them to greater safety away from the drop zone. 

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


VERIA - KERKYRA

Veria 4 - 0 Kerkyra
Balafas 25'
Stojcev 63'
Kapetanos 68'
Kali 89'

Veria picked the perfect time to produce their performances of the season in a 4-0 trouncing of Kerkyra. Ratko Dostanic’s men won for the first time in SuperLeague action since January. This victory doesn’t take them off the foot of the table, however it provides an injection of confidence and hope with five matches remaining in the season.

It could have been so much different however for Veria. Kerkyra’s quick start saw the Faiakes manufacture three bona fide scoring chances in the opening 15 minutes of the match. Failure to convert any of those opportunities for Kerkyra proved their undoing as Veria took the 1-0 lead on 24 minutes. Sotiris Balafas the man to fire the home side into the early advantage after Milos Stojcev found him in the  box. 

That’s how the half ended with the second 45 minutes belonging solely to Veria. Jeffrey Sarpong was the inspiration as the 1-0 lead went to 3-0 between the 63rd and 68th minutes. The Dutchman laying on both goals Stojcev first and Pantelis Kapetanos soon after. That was game, set, and match to the hosts though they found time for one more goal near the end as Cyril Kali applied the cherry on top of a great afternoon making it 4-0 late on.

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


ASTERAS TRIPOLIS - PAS GIANNINA

Asteras Tripolis 1 - 1 PAS Giannina
Manias 70' Jairo 27'

Michalis Manias’ goal allowed Asteras Tripolis to snatch what a vital point at home in a 1-1 draw with PAS Giannina. That point could prove crucial in the weeks to come as Asteras are certainly in some trouble with a relegation fight, however they maintained a buffer from the bottom two.

The home side started well and Alexandros Paschalakis in the Giannina goal was very busy early on making three big saves inside the first 15 minutes to keep the match scoreless. Soon after, PAS capitalized and took the lead through Jairo after a fantastic run by Pedro Conde.

Asteras continued to attack and had chances with Manias and Pablo Mazza without result as halftime came. Staikos Vergetis’ team continued to dominate in the second half, but quality in the final ball was lacking. With 20 minutes left, Asteras were finally rewarded for their endeavor. Substitute Giannis Kotsiras produced some fantastic work on the right and he passed Manias who provided the equalizer. Neither side were able to create any chances of note and the match ended 1-1, which leaves both teams relatively happy. 

*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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