-- Panionios Take Derby and Remain 2nd --
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 19
|Panionios||2 - 0||Xanthi|
Panionios continued their relentless pursuit of runaway SuperLeague leaders Olympiacos with an impressive home win over fellow high-flyers Xanthi in Sunday’s ‘derby’ clash of the Matchday 19 fixtures. The Kyanerythri sit in second place with PAOK.
As much as it might seem a fruitless exercise trying to chase the Erythrolefki, who are 13 points clear and odds on favorites to claim a 44th domestic league title, Panionios are refusing to give up the ghost, with goals from Korbos and Nabouhane sealing a well-deserved three points against Xanthi in what was billed as a showdown for second place.
The Nea Smyrni outfit have been a breath of fresh air this season, and were ahead after 22 minutes through captain Panagiotis Korbos’ opening salvo.
Xanthi were under the cosh for long spells in this encounter, and any hopes of getting back into the match were wrecked by the 42nd-minute sending off of Spanish midfielder Pablo de Lucas, who was dismissed after picking up a second yellow card.
Panionios attacked virtually at will in the second half with Xanthi hemmed in their own half, so it came as little surprise when the hosts doubled their lead through Ben Nabouhane’s 66th-minute penalty.
The win moved Panionios on to 35 points, with Xanthi slipping down to fourth after PAOK came from behind to defeat Asteras Tripolis 3-2 to move into third spot.