SLGR Matchday 20 Recap: AEK In Another Dramatic Derby Comeback; PAOK Stay Top

SLGR Matchday 20 Recap: AEK In Another Dramatic Derby Comeback; PAOK Stay Top
 

GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 20

Date Home Team Score Away Team
3-Feb-18 Asteras Tripolis 1 - 1 Xanthi
3-Feb-18 Larissa 0 - 0 Panionios
3-Feb-18 Panathinaikos 0 - 0 Panetolikos
4-Feb-18 PAS Giannina 1 - 3 PAOK
4-Feb-18 Levadiakos 2 - 0 Kerkyra
4-Feb-18 Lamia 1 - 1 Atromitos
4-Feb-18 Olympiacos 1 - 2 AEK
5-Feb-18 Platanias 1 - 1 Apollon Smyrnis

AGONAsport’s George Tsitsonis brings you a full recap of matchday 20 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 remained top of the Greek Super League as AEK moved into second place following a remarkable comeback win in the derby against Olympiacos. There was plenty of action in the Matchday 20 fixtures, but PAOK and AEK will be the happiest of the league’s sides following the weekend results.

AEK defeated Olympiacos 2-1 at the Karaiskakis Stadium on Sunday evening thanks to a Giorgos Giakoumakis goal at the death, some four minutes into injury time. The derby sprang to life in the final 10 minutes and ended in dramatic fashion. Karim Ansarifard had given Olympiacos the lead in the 81st minute with his close range strike. AEK came back though as Dmytro Chygrynskiy struck with three minutes remaining to equalize for Manolo Jimenez’s men. They then managed to complete a second comeback of the season over their rivals as Giakoumakis swept home in front of goal following Rodrigo Galo’s low cross. 

Olympiacos’ defeat meant that PAOK were able to increase their lead at the top to two points over AEK and four over the Erythrolefki after PAOK passed easily through a tough test at PAS Giannina 3-1. Dimitris Pelkas opened the scoring nine minutes before an Aleksandar Prijovic brace put PAOK into a 3-0 halftime lead. Pedro Conde pulled one back for the home side on 71 minutes, but that was as close as Giannina would get.

Atromitos’ dip in form continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw away to Lamia. The home team took the lead 10 minutes after the break when Piti’s tremendous free-kick sailed past Andreas Gianniotis in the Atromitos goal. A red card to Yevhen Budnik on 66 minutes changed the course of the match and Atromitos pulled level through Nicolas Diguiny just four minutes later.

Levadiakos picked up an important win at home, defeating Kerkyra 2-0. Goals from Marko Markovski (49’) and Petros Giakoumakis (66’) in the second half gave Jose Anigo’s side three points they were desperately searching for.

Elsewhere, there were draws galore. Asteras Tripolis and Xanthi played out a hard-fought 1-1 draw. Kostas Tsilianidis giving Asteras the lead at home after 29 minutes only for Matias Castro to equalize a minute later. 

Larisa and Panionios could not be separated in a 0-0 stalemate at the AEL FC Arena. It was the same story at the Leoforos Stadium where a youthful Panathinaikos and Panetolikos played to a scoreless draw. 

Finally, it was a draw in the Monday night match as well as Platanias and Apollon Smirnis finished 1-1. In a disappointing result for both sides, visitors Apollon took the lead through Giannis Kontoes in the 68th minute, but the hosts fought back to tie as Antonis Petropoulos scored nine minutes from the end.  


Matchday MVP: Giorgos Giakoumakis/Panagiotis Tsintotas (AEK)

This week’s MVP award is shared by the two main protagonists of AEK’s comeback win over Olympiacos in Sunday’s derby. Giorgos Giakoumakis may have only come on in the 85th minute, but he influenced the match greatly in that short time. Giakoumakis’ bicycle-kick attempt may have not fully connected, but it led to AEK’s first goal in the 87th minute. Then he scored the winner seven minutes later. Tsintotas produced  three top-class saves in the match to keep AEK’s chances alive and is also worthy of this week’s nod. 

Goal of the Matchday - Piti (Lamia)

The 36-year-old Spaniard scored an exquisite free-kick in the 1-1 draw against Atromitos on Sunday. The former Rayo Vallecano man curled a 25-yarder past Andreas Gianniotis in the opposing goal to give his side the lead in remarkable circumstances. 
Save of the Matchday - Pape Abou Cisse (Olympiacos)

His team may have lost, but Cisse produced the save of the weekend. Masoud Shojaei’s header was about to cross the line in the 62nd minute before Cisse raced back toward his goal just in the nick of time to head the ball off the goal line and to safety. It was a breathtaking stop just beating out some of Tsintotas’ saves on the night. 

Play of the Matchday - AEK

It  has to be Giakoumakis’ winner for AEK in the final minute of injury-time. The late, late show by AEK was a well-worked move that involved a hiccup or two in the build-up. However, it ended with a counter-attack which saw Rodrigo Galo receive the ball on the right and zip in an inch-perfect cross for the streaking Giakoumakis to stab home.

Team Performance of the Matchday - AEK

The Kitrinomavri did it again, using late goals to earn a second comeback win of the season against Olympiacos. While AEK were unable to conjure up much of anything in the first half, they improved drastically after the break even though they conceded the first goal. However, they fought back extremely well in the final 10 minutes to turn the match on its head and pull themselves back into the title race.

Surprise of the Matchday - Lamia

A strong display by the side from Central Greece. Even though they were down a man to Atromitos in the second half, they still managed to hold on to the point, even able to create some more chances to score a short-handed winner. 

Disappointment of the Matchday - Olympiacos

This was a difficult one to take for the Piraeus club. Olympiacos were shocked by AEK once again as lightning struck twice this season. After a decent enough first half, Olympiacos’ performance dipped considerably in the second half. Even more disappointment was the way Oscar Garcia’s men responded in the final 10 minutes. Panic set in after Chygrynskiy’s goal and Olympiacos looked a shadow of the assured side that has won the league seven seasons in a row. 
 

 
by George Tsitsonis
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