AEK move one step closer to title
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 27
|Platanias||0 - 1||AEK|
AEK Athens moved another step closer to the SuperLeague title on Sunday evening after claiming a deserved 1-0 victory over struggling Platanias in Crete.
Manolo Jimenez’s team, who are bidding for a first domestic league title in 24 years, dominated this matchday 27 clash for long spells but only picked up the three vital points thanks to Lazaros Christodoulopoulos’ 40th-minute goal.
The result means AEK are two points clear of second-placed PAOK, who still have legal cases against them pending which are likely to see them have up to three points deducted. Olympiacos, who are third and seven points behind AEK, host Kerkyra on Monday.
Platanias are bottom of the league and heading for the Football League next season, but they were determined to put on a show against the Champions-elect in Chania, chasing down every loose ball and trying to make life difficult for AEK.
AEK began brightly, though, and were almost ahead after 29 minutes when their first clear sight of goal came. Tasos Bakasetas was the man in the thick of the action, bringing down the ball neatly before firing in a powerful shot that was saved by Serbian goalkeeper Filip Kljajić.
The visitors kept asking questions of the home side’s defence, and the lock was finally picked by Christodoulopoulos five minutes before half-time with a goal typical of AEK’s swashbuckling style this season.
The Greece international forward played a great one-two with Argentine forward Sergio Araujo, who pulled the ball back perfectly for Lazaros to apply a simple close-range finish.
AEK dropped the tempo of their play in the second half, seemingly content to see out the game with Platanias unable to pose any serious attacking threat.
The highlight of a low-key second-half came two minutes from full-time when AEK almost made it 2-0, but Vasilis Lampropoulos headed just wide from a Bakasetas free-kick. The miss didn’t matter, however, as the Kitrinomavri held firm to claim another vital win which takes them a step further to their title dream.