AEK soar to summit after crushing Platanias
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 12
|AEK||3 - 0||Platanias|
AEK Athens took over the leadership of the SuperLeague in emphatic style on Monday after cruising to a 3-0 home victory over strugglers Platanias at the Olympic Stadium in the final fixture of matchday 12.
Two goals from in-form Croatian striker Marko Livaja and a header from Greece midfielder Tasos Bakasetas sealed a comfortable three-point haul for Manolo Jimenez, who leapfrog Olympiacos into top spot as a result and are now one point clear with 24 points.
This season’s title race continues to live up to its promise of being one of the most exciting in recent memory, with just three points separating the top four of AEK, Olympiacos, PAOK and Atromitos.
AEK went into this contest on the back of a Jekyl and Hyde display in mid-week which yielded a 2-2 Europa League draw with Rijeka, and the Kitronomavri failed to impress again in the opening half here - just as against Rijeka.
But despite Platanias playing a decent defensive game throughout the first half, Livaja found a way through after 39 minutes, slotting home from inside the penalty area after battling for the ball.
That goal eased AEK’s tension, and Livaja then made the game safe four minutes into the second half with a deflected shot from outside the penalty area after good play from Bakasetas.
Bakasetas then turned from provider to scorer for AEK’s third goal, latching on to a great cross from Portuguese defender Helder Lopes to score with a powerful header past hapless Platanias goalkeeper Antonis Kokkalas.
There was almost a fourth goal for the hosts late on but Panagiotis Kone was denied by the woodwork with 11 minutes left, as AEK celebrated a deserved win which sent them to the summit and lowly Platanias back to Crete with their tails between their legs.
The club from Chania are really struggling now with just six points collected from their 12 outings which puts them six points away from safety.