SLGR Matchday 6 Recap: PAOK And Atromitos Take Advantage Of Derby Draw
AGONAsport’s George Tsitsonis brings you a full recap of matchday 6 action in the Greek SuperLeague.
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PAOK and Atromitos were the big winners this weekend as they increased their lead atop the Greek Super League standings. Matchday 6 saw late drama in the derby between AEK and Olympiacos that finished 1-1. Panathinaikos may have dropped points, but a late strike kept their undefeated record intact against Asteras Tripolis.
In the weekend’s most anticipated match, Tasos Bakasetas’ late header saw AEK snag a 1-1 home draw against Olympiacos. In a fairly balanced encounter, the visitors took the lead through a stunning long-range strike from Kostas Fortounis just before the hour. Pedro Martins’ men looked to be heading home with a big derby win, however Bakasetas popped up in the last minute to head home Rodrigo Galo’s cross. Both teams hit the woodwork in the opening period, but the biggest missed opportunity was Giannis Fetfatzidis’ wayward finish from close range with the last kick of the game.
PAOK continued their perfect start to the season with a 2-0 victory over Apollon Smirnis. Apollon had Giannis Matzourakis on the bench in his debut for the club, but the new manager couldn’t prevent his side from going down in Thessaloniki. PAOK took the lead in the 15th minute through Mauricio. A late Jose Angel Crespo goal sealed the points for Razvan Lucescu’s bunch in a fairly straightforward victory as Apollon kept it close, but were reduced to half chances over the 90 minutes.
Atromitos continue to impress, picking up another victory as they overcame the challenge of PAS Giannina. Efthimios Koulouris kept his fine goalscoring form going with the game’s only goal seven minutes before the break. The match was particularly physical with over 40 fouls and eight yellow cards.
Federico Macheda’s second league goal for Panathinaikos saved a point for Giorgos Donis’ team away to Asteras Tripolis. Macheda converted in injury-time from the spot to draw level after Michalis Manias had given the home team the lead at the start of the second half. The draw keeps Panathinaikos unbeaten, while Asteras had to endure another frustrating result in a match they were so close to winning.
Panionios picked up a big 1-0 win over Aris in Nea Smyrni on Saturday. Both sides had chances on the night, but Panionios got the crucial goal four minutes before the break, through Luis Domingues Gustavo, to take the points.
Elsewhere, Sebastian Eriksson and Vlad Morar scored to give Panetolikos an important 2-1 over Levadiakos. The Levadia side replying through Souleymane Sawadogo four minutes from time, but too little too late. Lamia and OFI played out a 1-1 draw in Sunday’s early kick-off. In a result that neither side would have been too happy about, Juan Neira gave the Crete club a lead on the hour before the home team drew level ten minutes from time with a Jeronimo Barrales penalty. It was the first match at Lamia for new manager Babis Tennes in his third stint with the club.
In Monday’s sole encounter, Xanthi and Larisa played out a controversial game with Xanthi coming out 1-0 victors at home. The lone goal came eight minutes from time from the penalty spot through Erik Jendrisek. Larisa were reduced to nine players due to red cards handing out to Nikola Zizic (43’) and Nikos Karanikas (73’) in a match that also featured 14 yellow cards.
Matchday MVP - Kostas Fortounis (Olympiacos)
The Olympiacos midfielder proved his worth with another sensational goal that very nearly brought his team the win. Olympiacos under Martins are nowhere near the finished article, but Fortounis is central to the plans of the new manager. And Fortounis has not disappointed thus far and is on track to have one of his better seasons in a red and white shirt.
Goal of the Matchday - Kostas Fortounis (Olympiacos)
It certainly helped that it occurred in the week’s most high profile match, but Fortounis’ goal at any point would be goal of the week material. Left with too much space outside the AEK area, Fortounis struck a wonderful shot from distance that nestled itself into the top right corner of Vasilis Barkas’ goal.
Team Performance of the Matchday - Atromitos
While the scoreline does not reflect it, Atromitos were far superior to PAS Giannina on Sunday. It was a strong display by Damir Canadi’s players who created a host of chances and were consistently denied by an inspired Marcos Vellidis. This Atromitos team does not appear to be going away and are proving that last season’s historic season for the club was no fluke.
Surprise of the Matchday - Panionios
It might not have been a major shock, but Panionios’ victory over Aris was no give in for sure. They may have been at home, but the Neasmyrniotes were coming up against one of the season’s big surprises thus far and did well to earn just their second victory of the season.
Disappointment of the Matchday - Asteras Tripolis
Drawing with a reenergized Panathinaikos side is certainly not a poor result, but Asteras will be incredibly upset with the fact that they gave up such a late goal on Saturday. The point leaves them with only four for the season and Savvas’ Pantelidis’ side sit fourth from the bottom in the Super League. A difficult slate of matches they have had to start the season, Asteras still need to begin picking up more points if they are to keep within striking distance of the European places.