SLGR Matchday 14 Recap: PAOK Demolish PAO In Derby

SLGR Matchday 14 Recap: PAOK Demolish PAO In Derby
 

GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 14

Date Home Team Score Away Team
9-Dec-17 Larissa 1 - 0 Xanthi
9-Dec-17 Panionios 2 - 1 Platanias
9-Dec-17 Panetolikos 1 - 4 Olympiacos
10-Dec-17 Apollon Smyrnis 1 - 3 Asteras Tripolis
10-Dec-17 PAS Giannina 1 - 1 Lamia
10-Dec-17 Atromitos 1 - 0 Levadiakos
10-Dec-17 PAOK 4 - 0 Panathinaikos
11-Dec-17 AEK 3 - 1 Kerkyra

AGONAsport’s George Tsitsonis brings you a full recap of matchday 14 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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PAOK’s win over Panathinaikos was the highlight of Matchday 14 action in the 2017/18 Greek Super League. O Dikefalos tou Vorra thrashed the Prasini 4-0 with Dimitris Pelkas bagging a brace and additional goals from Efthymios Koulouris and Aleksandar Prijovic. Razvan Lucescu’s men were on top throughout and remain two points off the pace at the top with the victory. Panathinaikos now drop outside the top 10 in the league with the defeat.

AEK stayed top of the standings for another week after a 3-1 win over Kerkyra on Monday. The Kitrinomavri took the lead on an own goal after just 12 minutes before Panagiotis Kone scored his first since his return to  the leg. Sergio Araujo added an insurance goal on 56 minutes. Kerkyra could only manage to pull one back just before full-time with a Fabio Nunes penalty-kick. 

Olympiacos used a strong second half display to pull away from Panetolikos in a 4-1 victory as they stayed within a point of AEK at the top. It was 1-1 at the half as Kostas Fortounis’ early strike for Olympiacos was cancelled out by an own goal from Bjorn Engels for Panetolikos. Fortounis scored again just after the hour to make it 2-1 before Karim Ansarifard added another for the visitors in the 66th minute of a mistake by the Agrinio team’s defense. Uros Djurdjevic added the cherry on top for Takis Lemonis’ men, his header making it 4-1 in injury-time. 

Atromitos have now firmly returned to winning ways after a second consecutive victory, this time against Levadiakos 1-0. Damir Canadi’s club won the home match thanks to Nicolas Diguiny’s goal three minute before the interval. Levadiakos’ fall from grace continues as they drop to 12th in the standings, that after going the first eight games undefeated.

Asteras Tripolis and Larisa have shaken off terrible starts to the season to climb to 6th and 7th respectively after weekend victories. Asteras proved too much to handle in defeating Apollon Smirnis away 3-1. Nikos Kaltsas scored twice for visiting Asteras with Michalis Manias also scoring. Christos Albanis’ goal in the 50th minute saw Apollon draw level after Kaltsas opened the scoring in the first half. However, Manias (70’) and Kaltsas (80’) again saw Asteras continued their terrific run of form.

Larisa’s 1-0 win over Xanthi was a nail-biting match that was decided in injury-time thanks to Sandi Crizman’s strike. In a tight, hard-fought affair, Larisa won for the fourth time in their last six matches as Crizman hit another decisive goal to send the crowd at the AEL FC Arena into delirium in the closing stages of the game.

Panionios eventually found a winner against 10-man Platanias to come away with a 2-1 win in Nea Smyrni. Clark Nsikulu’s masterful free-kick from nearly 25 yards saw bottom side Platanias tie up the game in the 61st minute after Srdjan Spiridonovic had given the hosts a lead on 29 minutes with his deflected effort. After Platanias had Nikos Korovesis sent off for a second bookable offense in the 74th, Panionios pressed for a winner. It came eight minutes from time as Jerome Guihoata was quickest to put away a rebound from close range.

Finally, PAS Giannina and Lamia played out the weekend’s lone draw. Kostas Mavropanos’ third headed goal of the season gave home side PAS the lead in the 64th minute. Lamia battled back well though and Nikos Tsoukalos earned his team a point with his goal 13 minutes from the end. 

Matchday MVP - Dimitris Pelkas (PAOK)

The 24-year-old was irrepressible against Panathinaikos in arguably the best display of his career thus far. Pelkas’ two goals were superbly well-taken, but his pace, mobility, and constant buzzing around gave Panathinaikos fits all night long. The 24-year-old has shown great maturity in his game over the last couple season. This is a player whose high confidence is currently allowing him to be enjoying the best spell of his career.

Goal of the Matchday - Dimitris Pelkas (PAOK)

While Pelkas’ second goal merits consideration, the PAOK attacker’s first was the weekend’s pick of the lot. Pelkas received the ball well outside the box and unleashed a curling effort that landed near the top corner. It was an exquisite strike. 

Save of the Matchday - Nikos Melissas (Lamia)

Melissas was one of the main reasons Lamia walked away with a point in Giannina. The on-loan PAOK goalkeeper made several fine stops throughout the 90 minutes. It was his final act of the night though that he deserves special recognition for. Melissas saved a goal-bound bicycle kick from  Evripidis Giakos. Melissas reacted quickly with a diving, one-handed stop from very close range, a save that was key in giving Lamia the draw

Play of the Matchday - Atromitos

Nicolas Diguiny’s 42nd goal and subsequent game-winner was a team goal without question. Seven passes, all with one and two touch passing in the midfield broke down the PAS midfield and defense. The end product was provided Diguiny’s finish, but the overall move was just purely stunning football.

Team Performance of the Matchday - PAOK

It may have come against a Panathinaikos team who has seen better days, but PAOK were worth every penny of their 4-0 rout of Marinos Ouzounidis’ men. It was another indication of PAOK’s great desire to win the title and the performances as of late are giving hope to supporters that the club will be there come the end of the season. 

Surprise of the Matchday - Lamia

It took some key stops from Nikos Melissas for Lamia to draw away at PAS Giannina. Lamia though deserve the draw for the fighting spirit they showed down the stretch. The team have shown resilience over the course of this season and it was on display again at the Zosimades. PAS might have gone up a goal and threatened more, but Lamia rode their goalkeeper and eventually equalized.

Disappointment of the Matchday - Panathinaikos

Their troubles have been well-documented and Panathinaikos deserve some leeway for results this season. That said, the second half capitulation at Toumba was inexcusable and showed how deep the club’s problems stretch. Ouzounidis has managed to keep things tight and ensure the squad stays united, but on Sunday against PAOK everything unraveled and it was not a pretty sight for supporters of the Trifylli. 

 
by George Tsitsonis
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