Things Becoming Clearer in SuperLeague (Matchday 27 Recap)

Things Becoming Clearer in SuperLeague (Matchday 27 Recap)
 

In a lively Matchday 27, the races in the 2016/17 Greek SuperLeague began to become clearer. Olympiacos’ 2-0 win over Kerkyra brought them to within a win of their 7th consecutive title. 

In the playoff race, PAOK took over 2nd place from Panionios thanks to a 2-0 win at Atromitos. Vladan Ivic’s side leapfrogged Panionios who went down to a 1-0 defeat to Panathinaikos who themselves went to 3rd.

AEK took a big step toward a playoff berth with a 2-0 victory in Crete against Platanias. Xanthi meanwhile kept up their bid for 5th place with a 3-0 win over Panetolikos. 

The relegation race is also closer after midweek results. Iraklis were the big winners overcoming Levadiakos 1-0 in a crucial clash at the bottom. Veria too kept their hopes alive with a 3-0 thumping of PAS Giannina. Asteras Tripolis look to be safe after winning 4-1 at Larisa, a team who still may not be out of the woods. 

*For the current SuperLeague standings click here or visit the Greek SuperLeague home page for more.

Watch the big Superleague derby between PAOK - Panathinaikos on Sunday, April 9th via LIVE STREAM from AGONASport. For details & purchase click here...


PANATHINAIKOS - PANIONIOS

Panathinaikos 1 - 0 Panionios
Berg (p) 74'

Another Marcus Berg goal, this time through a controversial penalty, gave Panathinaikos another victory over a top side as they defeated Panionios 1-0 on Thursday night. Panathinaikos have won three matches in a row against top five teams, but their display in this game was not as solid as in previous matches.
Panionios looked extremely well organized for the majority of this match, even if they could not carve out many clear-cut chances. Panathinaikos lacked the energy present in recent matches and were left frustrated by a good defensive effort by their counterparts. Marinos Ouzounidis’ team did manage the first half’s best chance as Lucas Villafanez hit the post in the opening stages. 

Berg was a menace at times and had a big chance just after the hour when Andreas Gianniotas produced a fine save from the Swede. Then in the 74th minute came the moment that decided the match. Sebastian Leto was adjudged to have been tripped in the box and Berg scored from the resulting spot-kick. Panionios players were fuming at the decision as replays suggested Leto had initiated the contact more than anything. Panathinaikos saw out the remaining quarter of an hour and claimed yet another big victory as they prepare for the trip to take on PAOK this weekend. 

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


KERKYRA - OLYMPIACOS

Kerkyra 0 - 2 Olympiacos
Fortounis 20'
Marin 77'

Takis Lemonis’ Olympiacos showed signs of improvement with straightforward 2-0 win over Kerkyra. Michalis Grigoriou’s Kerkyra also were an improved team after recent heavy defeats. However, the home team still could not do much as Olympiacos’ quality told on the night.

Kostas Fortounis opened the scoring for Olympiacos in the 20th minute after Seba’s pass found the Greek international in the box.Olympiacos were dominant and Fortounis hit the post shortly after and then Marko Marin was stopped before the half in a one-on-one with Fotis Koutzavasilis. 

Olympiacos continued to waste chances even in the second half spurning numerous opportunities. Lemonis’ men almost paid in the 67th minute, but Thuram could not convert for Kerkyra. In the 78th minute, Olympiacos made sure of the victory as Marin finished off a nice move that involved Karim Ansarifard. 

The win brings Olympiacos to the brink of their 7th consecutive league title. A win over Levadiakos at the weekend would see them clinch the championship and shift focus to the Greek Cup and building for next season. 

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


PLATANIAS - AEK

Platanias 0 - 2 AEK
Vinicius 18'
Aravidis 67'

A goal 18 minutes into each half saw AEK take control of their playoff destiny with a 2-0 win over Platanias. It was a first half to remember in Chania with both sides playing their part in an entertaining encounter. AEK started the better side and took the lead through Brazilian back Vinicius after a good assist from Sergio Araujo. 

That goal sparked Giorgos Paraschos’ side into life as Platanias came into the match. And the home team were unlucky not to equalize through Yaya Banana after a mistake in the AEK goal by Vasilis Barkas. It was a slugfest until halftime with Platanias looking the stronger side and going close again through Giorgos Manousos. 

The second half saw the match become a lower quality affair which may have had something to do with a terrible injury suffered by AEK’s Vasilis Lambropoulos which will leave him away from the game for a lengthy spell. The second period became a foul-strewn contest, but one in which AEK found a way to grab a vital second goal. That occurred in the 67th minute as substitute Christos Aravidis scored from a Petros Mantalos assist. Platanias have enjoyed a fine campaign and had no lack of effort and desire to get back into the match, however they could find no breakthrough against an AEK side that looks so much better than the one in the first half of the season.

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


ATROMITOS - PAOK

Atromitos 0 - 2 PAOK
Biseswar 2'
Koulouris 38'

A blistering start and fine first half display led PAOK to a comfortable 2-0 win away to Atromitos. Diego Biseswar’s 3rd minute strike set the tone in this match and PAOK used the second half to rest up for the big match against Panathinaikos at the weekend. 

It was one-way traffic after Biseswar opened the scoring with PAOK creating chances and hitting the post in the 20th minute. Atromitos had no answer for PAOK’s superiority and a second goal seemed only a matter of time. That came through Efthimios Koulouris in the 38th  minute as the young striker finished from close range after receiving a pass from Stelios Kitsios.

Atromitos improved after the break, threatening more frequently and having a goal correctly ruled out for offside (as they did in the first half too), but after the hour mark their tempo fell and PAOK ultimately walked out easy winners.

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


IRAKLIS - LEVADIAKOS

Iraklis 1 - 0 Levadiakos
Donis 58'

Iraklis took a giant step toward safety with a vital 1-0 win over Levadiakos on Wednesday. Even if off-the-pitch financial problems could still see the club face relegation, Savvas Pantelidis and his players produced another fine performance and showed their willingness to fight to the end to stay in the top flight.

In a match of very few clear-cut opportunities, one goal was always going to be crucial. Iraklis were the better side over the 90 minutes and were rewarded with Christos Donis’ goal on 58 minutes. Levadiakos did not appear to intent on opening up as they hold the head-to-head advantage from their 3-0 win over Iraklis in the first half of the campaign.

Levadiakos’ last three matches are extremely difficult however and they could rue those defensive tactics should Iraklis find a way to become financially viable.

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


XANTHI - PANETOLIKOS

Xanthi 3 - 0 Panetolikos
Younes 3', (p) 38'
Vasilakakis 59'

Record-man Younes Hamza’s brace helped give Xanthi an easy 3-0 win over Panetolikos. The Tunisian forward opened the scoring in the 3rd minute and then tucked a penalty away seven minutes before the half to put Xanthi well on their way to the three points. Hamza’s second goal put on him on 17 for the season in the SuperLeague, the most ever for a Xanthi player.

Besides a brief flurry after 20 minutes, Panetolikos were never in this match. Theodoros Vasilakakis’ goal just before the hour mark clinched the points for Xanthi. Razvan Lucescu’s men keep up their assault on the playoffs with the victory and have every reason to believe they can snag 5th place with three games to go.

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


LARISSA - ASTERAS TRIPOLIS

Larissa 1 - 4 Asteras Tripolis
Nazlidis 34'

Manias 15', 30', (p) 90'+1'
Mazza (p) 28'

A Michalis Manias hat-trick lifted Asteras Tripolis to an important 4-1 in Larisa and plunged the home side into relegation danger. The match at the AEL FC Arena had it all with goals, penalties, and lots of action. A 15-minute first spell for Asteras however gave them a crucial three points.

Larisa were much better than the scoreline indicates, but they ran into an Asteras attack that spared no one. Manias began his superb day with a fantastic 15th minute header to open the score. He won a penalty on 28 minutes that was duly converted by Pablo Mazza. Two minutes after that and it was 3-0 as Manias scored his second after a mistake by Larisa goalkeeper Gennady Xenodochov.

Just as Larisa looked dead and buried they came back into the match. Thomas Nazlidis reduced the arrears in the 33rd minute with a header and then Larisa won a penalty five minutes later. WIth a big chance to make it 3-2, Nazlidis saw his spot-kick saved by Antonio Donnarumma. That was perhaps the turning point of the match.

Larisa tried to claw their way back into the tie in the second half, but Donnarumma performed well and kept the home team at bay. Manias completed his hat-trick in the 90th minute as he converted a penalty to make it 4-1 and complete a superb afternoon for himself and his club. 

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


VERIA - PAS GIANNINA

Veria 3 - 0 PAS Giannina
Kapetanos 20'
Sarpon 36'
Soule 90'+3'

Veria’s unlikely bid to avoid the drop picked up more steam on Wednesday with an emphatic 3-0 win over PAS Giannina. Two wins in their last three matches have given Ratko Dostanic’s side a chance of staying in the SuperLeague.

PAS Giannina were disappointing yet again as their second half of the campaign has been extremely poor after a positive start to the season. Veria always looked likely to score showing the spirit and energy associated with a side fighting against relegation. Pantelis Kapetanos opened the scoring in the 20th minute to give the home side the advantage. PAS enjoyed a brief spell of possession and chances after that goal, but could not capitalize on their few opportunities. The impressive Jeffrey Sarpong scored Veria’s second in the 36th minute with a beautiful individual goal.

New half, but same story in the  second 45 minutes. Giannis Petrakis’ team looked incapable of mounting a comeback and never seriously threatened to do anything like that. That left Veria’s Halifa Soule to score his side’s 3rd with a fine strike from outside the area toward the end. Now three points from safety, Veria have a legitimate chance to save themselves if they can pick up wins in their final matches.

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...

 
by: Giorgos Tsitsonis. Contact the writer at tsitsonisg.agonasport@gmail.com
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