-- Panathinaikos Bounce Back Before Derby --
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 9
|Panathinaikos||2 - 0||Iraklis|
Panathinaikos found the breakthrough, after many wasted changes in the opening half, through second half goals from Leto and M’Poku to defeat Iraklis 2-0 at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium. The win brings Panathinaikos within four points of their big rivals, Olympiacos, before next weekends clash at the Karaiskaki Stadium.
Panathinaikos wanted to bounce back at home to Iraklis after going two consecutive weekends in the SuperLeague without a win (four in all competitions). Similar to Panathinaikos’ past weekend performances, the Trifylli dominated possession and created numerous chances on goal but was unable to find the back of the net. Berg (twice), Leto (twice), Ivanov, Villafanez, and Wakaso each wasted good opportunities to open the scoring for Panathinaikos while Iraklis failed to pose a threat and the two teams went into the break goalless.
In the second half, the breakthrough finally came for the hosts. Leto took advantage of a mistake by the Iraklis defense and his shot beat Pernis, bringing a sigh of relief to the home supporters and Panathinaikos manager, Andrea Stramaccioni. The goal took the pressure off of Panathinaikos and minutes later, M’Poku doubled the lead for the Prasini with a perfectly placed shot in the bottom corner. With the exception of Kinigopoulos’ blown opportunity to pull one back for Iraklis, Panathinaikos comfortably held onto their 2-0 victory at the final whistle.
The win brings Panathinaikos within 4 points of first placed Olympiacos, before the two meet next week at the Karaiskaki Stadium. As for Iraklis, they remain at the bottom of the table after coming away with nothing from yet another hard-fought match in this year's SuperLeague.