Olympiacos win again to keep pressure on
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 17
|PAS Giannina||1 - 2||Olympiacos|
|Vukovic (OG) 14'
||Skondras (OG) 8'
Olympiacos kept the heat on SuperLeague leaders PAOK on Saturday as Pedro Martins’ Thrylos side secured another solid victory by beating PAS Giannina 2-1 at the Zosimades stadium.
The first half was a tale of two own goals as first Olympiacos took an early-lead when Apostolos Skondras turned in a Kostas Fortounis cross, before an Alexandros Nikolias shot took a big deflection off visiting defender Jagos Vukovic and levelled matters for PAS.
Lazaros Christodoulopoulos had the final word of the opening half, however, as his header made it 2-1 just before half-time.
And further strikes from ? rounded off another three-point haul for the second-placed Thrylos, who moved to within five points of PAOK ahead of the Salonica club’s contest against Panionios later.
For PAS, it is a second successive defeat in 2019 which leaves them lingering down in 12th place.
PAS came into the match with plenty to prove after having been taken to the cleaners last week by AEK, who hammered the Epirus side 4-0 in their own backyard in their first league match of 2019.
But it was Olympiacos who started with a spring in their step and they were ahead after onoy eight minutes thanks to a great piece of play from Fortounis. The 26-year-old Greece international skipped past PAS defenders Alexandros Apostolopoulos and Michalis Boukouvalas before sending in a dangerous cross which Skondras accidentally sent past his own goalkeeper Markos Vellidis.
The home fans would have feared the worst at that point, but thankfully there was a positive response from PAS and it brought them an equalising goal in the 14th minute.
Following some hesitance in midfield by Guilherme, PAS striker Alexandros Nikolias fired in a shot which took a wicked deflection off Jagos Vukovic and beat Jose Sa in the Thrylos goal.
Olympiacos did not panic, however, and set about asserting their dominance on the game, controlling possession, as they looked for another breakthrough.
And having over 70% of the possession meant that it was only a matter of time before a goal came, and sure enough the visitors go their reward in the 37th minute. Daniel Podence was the architect, crossing for Lazaros to head home and make it 2-1.
The tempo of the game dropped in the second half, but there were still two great opportunities for Olympiacos to extend their lead, but both Lazaros and Fortounis missed the target when presented with great chances.
In the end it mattered not as the visitors held on comfortably to pick up another three points.
PAS: 39 Vellidis (GK), 7 Giakos, 44 Skondras, 8 Tzimopoulos, 2 Boukouvalas, 77 Apostolopoulos, 3 Lilla, 22 Siontis, 88 Nikolias, 10 Krizman, 14 Pamlidis
Olympiacos: 93 Jose Sa, 14 Omar, 23 Koutris, 26 Vukovic, 66 Cisse, 5 Bouchalakis, 12 Guilherme, 7 Fortounis, 9 Guerrero, 56 Daniel Podence, 11 Lazaros