SLGR Matchday 16 Recap: Top Four Cruise To Easy Victories
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 16
|Date||Home Team||Score||Away Team|
|6-Jan-18||Panionios||3 - 1||Kerkyra|
|6-Jan-18||PAOK||5 - 0||Levadiakos|
|6-Jan-18||Panetolikos||1 - 4||AEK|
|7-Jan-18||Panathinaikos||2 - 0||Platanias|
|7-Jan-18||PAS Lammia||0 - 1||Xanthi|
|7-Jan-18||PAS Giannina||0 - 0||Asteras Tripolis|
|7-Jan-18||AEL||0 - 3||Olympiacos|
|8-Jan-18||Apollon Smyrnis||0 - 3||Atromitos|
AGONAsport’s George Tsitsonis brings you a full recap of matchday 16 action in the Greek SuperLeague. For all the latest fixtures and result visit here. For the the up to date Supereague standings visit here.
The top four stayed the same as the second half of the 2017/18 Greek Super League season commenced with Matchday 16 action. There were few surprises in a week where the big boys did their business.
Olympiacos stayed top of the table with a 3-0 away to Larisa. After a scoreless first half, the league leaders got on the board with Marko Marin’s goal ten minutes after the break. In the 67th minute, Karim Ansarifard produced a composed finish to double the away side’s advantage. Uros Djurdjevic came on to tack one on more as Olympiacos strolled to victory.
Olympiacos’ main title challengers also picked up victories to keep the pressure on at the top of the table. PAOK destroyed Levadiakos 5-0 on Saturdays. Djalma Campos and Aleksandar Prijovic both scored second-half braces to bring PAOK the big win. Leo Matos opened the scoring in the 17th minute, PAOK’s only goal in the first 45 minutes before the goal explosion in the second half.
AEK had little trouble seeing off the challenge of Panetolikos. Manolo Jimenez’s men picked up a solid away win with the 4-1 scoreline. Four different players scored for AEK. Tasos Bakasetas’ fantastic free-kick opened the floodgates as early as the 6th minute. Lazaros Christodoulopoulos converted a penalty in the 36th before Sergio Araujo add another just before halftime. Substitute Helder Lopes came on to grab the team’s fourth before Panetolikos gave the result some gloss with a 68th minute Vlad Morar penalty-kick.
Atromitos stayed just two points off of first place with a 3-0 win over Apollon Smyrni. The away side made a potentially tricky test that much easier with two goals in the first ten minutes from Abiola Dauda and Amr Warda. Nicolas Diguiny scored four minutes from time to seal another impressive win from the Peristeri team.
Panathinaikos got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Platanias. Lucas Villafanez converted two penalties (71’, 90’) to seal the win for Marinos Ouzounidis’ team against the Crete side who are bottom of the table.
Panionios were forced to come from behind to beat Kerkyra 3-1 at home Denis Epstein gave Kerkyra the lead just two minutes before the break. However, Panionios were a different proposition in the second half and came roaring back. An early goal just after halftime from Giorgos Masouras set the tone. Further strikes from Lazaros Lambrou (53’) and Thanasis Papageorgiou sealed the win for the New Smyrni club.
Elsewhere, Alfredo Mejia’s 34th minute free-kick was the difference as Xanthi came away with a 1-0 decision at Lamia. PAS Giannina and Asteras Tripolis played out a hard-fought 0-0 draw on Sunday with both team having a couple chances each to score.
Matchday MVP - Tasos Bakasetas (AEK)
It’s not every day a player does enough in 52 minutes to justify his pick as Matchday MVP. But this was the case for Bakasetas. The AEK player’s first half performance was outstanding. Not only was it his masterful free-kick or magical assist, Bakasetas lit up the park and seemed to be everywhere. AEK and the Greek national team could certainly be helped by more performances like this from the talented, but often inconsistent, 24-year-old attacker.
Goal of the Matchday - Tasos Bakasetas (AEK)
Bakasetas’ 6th minute free-kick against Panetolikos had it all. It was from distance (30 yards), it had power, it had accuracy, and it had placement. The beautiful left-footed curler gave Panetolikos’ goalkeeper Dimitris Kyriakidis absolutely no chance. A really stunning set-piece goal.
Save of the Matchday - Silvio Proto (Olympiacos)
Olympiacos ultimately ran out 3-0 winners away to Larisa, but in the first half it was the home side that nearly snatched the lead. When Giannis Masouras ran onto a through ball in the 25th minute he had only the Belgian Proto to beat. Not only did the Olympiacos goalkeeper make an initial save to nick the ball away, he produced a wonderful diving save when his quick footwork allowed him to run back toward goal to bat away a rebound heading for the net.
Play of the Matchday - AEK
A splendid goal from AEK rounded out their first half against Panetolikos. The ball began on the right when it came to Marko Livaja just in side the Panetolikos half. The Croatia played ball to the left flanks to Bakasetas. The Greek international embarked on a mazy run before playing a give-and-go with Livaja. Bakasetas upon receiving the return pass flick the ball past two defenders with his heel laying it off into the path of Sergio Araujo who blasted home to make it 3-0 just before the half.
Team Performance of the Matchday - PAOK
It wasn’t just the emphatic nature of the scoreline that gives PAOK this week’s honors. The Thessaloniki giants absolutely blew Levadiakos away in the second half. It showed Razvan Lucescu’s men are aiming for a real crack at the title. With home performances like this, surely have the ability to challenge until the end of the season.
Surprise of the Matchday - PAS Giannina
Not much in the way of surprises this week as the favorites held serve in most of the matches. PAS Giannina were impressive in holding a red-hot Asteras Tripolis side at bay. It was a committed performances, especially at the back for PAS, made even more impressive by the fact that they sold Kostas Mavropanos to Arsenal earlier in the week.
Disappointment of the Matchday - Levadiakos
Has to be Jose Anigo’s team this week. Undefeated after the first eight matches of the season, Levadiakos were flying high. Since then it has all come crashing down. Levadiakos were actually decent for the first 45 minutes against PAOK, but like their season a good start gave way to complete capitulation. The 5-0 defeat is a damning and may lead to some soul-searching in Levadia.