SLGR Matchday 21 Recap: PAOK And AEK Set To Fight Out Title Race

SLGR Matchday 21  Recap: PAOK And AEK Set To Fight Out Title Race
 

GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 21

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

AGONAsport’s George Tsitsonis brings you a full recap of matchday 21 action in the Greek SuperLeague. For all the latest fixtures and result visit here. For the the up to date Supereague standings visit here

Watch AEK continue their UEFA Europa League campaign in the Last 32 LIVE from AGONAsport.com when they host Dynamo Kyiv in the first leg on Thursday, February 15. 

PAOK and AEK picked up victories on Matchday 21 and coupled with Olympiacos dropping points and incurring a points deduction appear set to fight it out for the title in the nine matches remaining.

PAOK rolled past Larisa 3-0 in the Monday night match to continue their red-hot form and stay top of the Super League standings. The Thessaloniki side received first-half goals from Yevhen Shakhov and Fernando Varela to take a 2-0 lead into the break. Aleksandar Prijovic then finished the match off as a contest with a third goal just three minutes after halftime. 

AEK kept within two points of PAOK at the top as they registered a 1-0 victory over Asteras Tripolis at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday night. The difference between the two sides was Lazaros Christodoulopoulos’s penalty just after the half hour mark. 

Olympiacos continued their recent poor form with a 2-2 draw away to Atromitos. The Erythrolefki managed to nab a point at the death as Ehsan Haji Safi scored after Uros Djurdjevic missed a late penalty. Atromitos opened the scoring in the 19th minute thanks to a Theodoros Vasilakakis strike only for Marko Marin to bring the visitors level nine minutes later. Nicolas Diguiny gave Atromitos the lead on 66 minutes and the home side appeared to take the point until Haji Safi’s late equalizer. The dropped points for Olympiacos, coupled with a deduction of three points for crowd disturbances in the recent league derby versus AEK, now sees the defending champions nine points off the pace with as many matches remaining. 

Panionios stayed in 5th with their 1-0 win over Lamia on Saturday. In a closely fought affair, Panionios took maximum points thanks to Lazaros Lambrou’s penalty-kick conversion ten minutes from the end. 

Kerkyra were denied a precious away win in a 1-1 draw at Xanthi. Denis Epstein gave the relegation battlers the lead just after the hour. As full-time approached it looked as the Kerkyra would secure a massive away victory only for the hosts to pull level in injury-time through Matias Castro’s goal.

Panathinaikos registered a second-half fightback, but ultimately lost to PAS Giannina 2-1 on Saturday. A first-half brace from Pedro Conde was enough for the hosts as Panathinaikos attempted a comeback, but had only a own goal to show for it as they fell short of getting something from the match. 

Panetolikos’ strong showings under Traianos Dellas continued with a 3-0 win over Platanias. Farley Rosa scored twice and Tasos Tsokanis also scored for the Agrinio side who move up to 11th in the table.

Finally, Apollon Smirnis and Levadiakos played out a 1-1 draw. Apollon took the lead at home after 54 minutes through Sebastian Bartolini only for Levadiakos to respond 13 minutes later when Petros Giakoumakis found the net for the visiting team. 

Matchday MVP - Pedro Conde (PAS Giannina)

The Spanish forward moved into third place in the league scoring chart with his brace against Panathinaikos. Conde was a thorn in the side of the Panathinaikos backline all match and his two goals were splendid strikes combining power, pace, and touch showcasing some of his best characteristics.

Goal of the Matchday - Farley Rosa (Panetolikos)

It was a difficult pick between Rosa’s two magnificent goals against Platanias. The first however was special. Receiving the ball on the left just inside the Platanias box, Rosa took a couple dribbles before bending in a ball toward the far post that curled in masterfully. 

Save of the Matchday - Tasos Tsokanis/Dimitris Kyriakidis (Panetolikos)

Platanias must be wondering what their season will come to by missing chances like they did on one first-half play. Clarck N’Sikulu sped past his defender on the left and whipped in a dangerous cross across the goalmouth. Spanish defender Nili got a touch just a yard in front of goal only for Panetolikos goalkeeper Dimitris Kyriakidis to produce a fine diving save. The rebound fell to Elini Dimoutsos who connected hard with the ball only for Tasos Tsokanis to throw himself at the ball and deflect it away. A double save from the Panetolikos duo amongst the best seen all season. 

Play of the Matchday - Atromitos

Atromitos’ opener was a superb team goal. Madson gave the ball to Nicolas Diguiny just past midfield with the Frenchman producing a wonderful piece of skill to evade his opponent before spreading the ball out wide to Amr Warda. The Egyptian’s pinpoint delivery from the left side was met by Theodoros Vasilakakis who headed past Silvio Proto. 

Team Performance of the Matchday - Atromitos

Another fine display from Damir Canadi’s men who probably will feel very aggrieved not to have won the match. In truth, Atromitos were better for longer stretches than Olympiacos. While results in the second half of the season have generally been mixed for the Peristeri side, they have been a breath of fresh air this season for the  Super League and their positive, attacking style was on display against Olympiacos on Sunday evening.

Surprise of the Matchday - Kerkyra

Mathias Castro’s 93rd minute goal was  the only thing that kept Kerkyra from picking up their first away win of the season. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the island club as they just about did enough to grab the three points. Still, in a traditionally difficult place to win like Xanthi, there was plenty of good to celebrate about the result. They will need to provide a few more surprises down the stretch though if they are to avoid relegation.

Disappointment of the Matchday - Olympiacos

Another week and another disappointing Olympiacos display. The team appeared disjointed and whatever momentum picked up heading into the New Year has long been swept away. Oscar Garcia’s side struggled to contain Atromitos and were only threatening themselves on a couple occasions going forward. The dropped points this weekend along with a three-point deduction could be very damaging as the club see hopes of an eighth consecutive title drastically fade away. 
 

 
by George Tsitsonis
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