PAOK Go Top, AEK Held, Olympiacos/PAO Win Thrillers (Matchday 7 Recap)

PAOK Go Top, AEK Held, Olympiacos/PAO Win Thrillers (Matchday 7 Recap)
 

GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 7

Date Home Team Score Away Team
14-Oct-17 PAS Giannina 3 - 1 Platanias
14-Oct-17 Atromitos 1 - 0 Asteras Tripolis
14-Oct-17 Panionios 3 - 4 Olympiacos
15-Oct-17 PAOK 4 - 0 Lamia
15-Oct-17 Apollon Smyrnis 0 - 0 Kerkyra
15-Oct-17 Panetolikos 0 - 1 Levadiakos
15-Oct-17 Xanthi 1 - 1 AEK
16-Oct-17 Panathinaikos 2 - 1 Larissa

AGONAsport’s George Tsitsonis brings you a full recap of matchday 7 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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It was weekend of change in the Greek Super League as PAOK climbed to the top of the standings for the first time this season. It was a also a weekend which was full of red cards with a total of ten expulsions in the seven matches.  Matchday 7 saw Razvan Lucescu’s side overtake AEK atop the leaderboard after an emphatic 4-0 win over Lamia. Aleksandar Prijovic scored a brace as PAOK also got goals from Marin Leovan and Dimitris Pelkas in the comfortable victory.

PAOK took over first place because AEK were held to a 1-1 draw at nine-man Xanthi. A superb goal by Brito gave the hosts a first half lead. In the second half, Xanthi saw Kostas Fliskas and Stratos Svarnas sent off in the 56th and 73rd minutes respectively. The home team bravely defending their advantage, but Ognjen Vranjes equalized for AEK from close range two minutes from time. Still, there was disappointment from AEK at the inability to secure the victory. 

Panionios and Olympiacos played out one of the matches of the season as the defending champions got back to winning ways with a 4-3 win at Nea Smyrni. Panionios took the early lead through Srdjan Spiridonovic, but Pape Abou Cisse’s header brought Olympiacos level just inside of 20 minutes. Former Panionios striker Karim Ansarifard then punished his old side with two goals before the break. It all pointed to an easy Olympiacos win, however seven minutes from the end Panionios came back into it with a Masoud Shojaei penalty. A minute later, they home team incredibly made it 3-3 as Fiorin Durmishaj scored. Olympiacos had the final word however as Kostas Fortounis converted an 87th minute penalty-kick to give Takis Lemonis’ the win. 

Atromitos and Levadiakos both picked up narrow victories as they continue to have impressive seasons. Both teams are up to 13 points, good for joint third in the table, and both undefeated after seven matches. Atromitos held off the challenge of Asteras Tripolis 1-0 thanks to a wonder-strike by midfielder Madson just before the half-hour. Atromitos perhaps should have come away with a bigger win as Asteras finished the match with 9 men. Nikos Kaltsas was given a first half red card after two cautions and Walter Iglesias the same just past the hour mark.

Levadiakos meanwhile withstood an assault by Panetolikos to pick up a grueling away win. Panetolikos were on top for the whole game with 11 shots on target, 17 off target, and 68% possession. However, Levadiakos took their best chance with a 47th minute goal from Ibrahima Niasse being the difference in the 1-0 win. 

Elsewhere, Pedro Conde, Themistoklis Tzimopoulos, and Bruno Chalkiadakis scored the goals to give PAS Giannina a 3-1 home win over Platanias. The Crete side took the early lead after seven minute from Piotr Grzelczak, but were overrun by Giannina who scored all their goals in a tremendous first half response. Apollon Smyrni and Kerkyra could not be separated as they played out a dull and uninspiring 0-0 draw.

In the Monday night match at the Leoforos Stadium, Panathinaikos, down to nine men in the second half, found the battling qualities to defeat Larisa 2-1. Lucas Villafanez had given the Prasini the lead from the penalty spot, but two red cards to Yacouba Sylla (77’) and Omri Altman (84’) seemed to swing the tie with Larisa equalizing through an Emanuel Perrone header in the 78th minute. However, despite the advantage of two extra man, Larisa wilted at the death and Panathinaikos’ Oscar Hiljemark scored to clinch a big win. Larisa thought they had took the lead just minutes earlier, but another Perrone goal was controversially disallowed. 


Matchday MVP - Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK)

The Serbian striker scored the crucial goal to lead his country to the World Cup last week and followed it up with a dominating performance for PAOK at the weekend. The 27-year-old’s brace against Lamia showed how important he is to his club. An in-form Prijovic could ensure that PAOK seriously challenge for the title this season, his five goals already putting him atop the leading scorers’ table.

Goal of the Matchday - Madson (Atromitos)

A truly splendid strike by the Brazilian midfielder. Amr Warda laid off a pass to the 26-year-old and he let loose with a thundering drive from 30 yards that gave Giorgos Athanasiadis no chance. The shot ended up in the top corner giving Atromitos a priceless 1-0 win over Asteras Tripolis. 

Save of the Matchday - Zivko Zivkovic (Xanthi)

Zivko Zivkovic produced a spell-binding piece of goalkeeping in the 34th minute of Xanthi’s game against AEK. Brilliant throughout, Zivkovic had the save of the matchday when he made a point-blank stop on Lazaros Christodoulopoulos’ header. It saved a certain goal and ultimately helped Xanthi earn the point. 

Play of the Matchday

A superb sequence of action occurred with ten minutes left to go in the Atromitos-Asteras Tripolis match. Atromitos put together a tiki-taka-esque attack that involved several short passes in quick succession. That ended up with the ball at the feet of Nicolas Diguiny at the top of the box, his shot was wonderfully saved by Giorgos Athanasiadis in the Asteras goal, the keeper turning the ball onto the crossbar. It was a fantastic play all-around from Atromitos’ build-up to Athanasiadis’ stop. 

Team Performance of the Matchday - PAOK

It may not have been against top of the league opposition, but PAOK served notice with their 4-0 win over Lamia. O Dikefalos tou Vorra was in control from the start, giving little away at the back and putting together some attractive attacking moves throughout the game. Stiffer challenges will come soon, but for now PAOK are showing they are deservedly top of the table.

Surprise of the Matchday - Xanthi

It’s perhaps not a major surprise, but Xanthi did raise a few eyebrows with their result against AEK. Even though Xanthi are a traditionally difficult home team, it was expected that league leaders AEK would come to town and grab the points. However, Xanthi showed that all the big boys should be waiting for a tough match at their ground this season as they picked up a result even though they were reduced to 9 men with 17 minutes remaining. And in the end, the home side were incredibly unfortunate not to claim all three points as AEK made it 1-1 two minutes from full-time. 

Disappointment of the Matchday - Apollon Smyrni-Kerkyra

With both teams searching for a victory that would move them up the table, it was expected that Apollon against Kerkyra would be a match worth checking out. Whoever did, wasted their time. A below-par first half gave way to a truly awful second half in a match that will be quickly forgotten. While both sides reside in the bottom-half currently and could be relegation fighting teams, more is expected from two clubs in the top flight. 

 
by George Tsitsonis
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