SLGR Matchday 24 Recap: AEK Top, PAOK Lose, Derby Draw

SLGR Matchday 24  Recap: AEK Top, PAOK Lose, Derby Draw


Date Home Team Score Away Team
3-Mar-18 Platanias 1 - 2 Lamia
3-Mar-18 Kerkyra 1 - 1 PAS Giannina
3-Mar-18 Atromitos 1 - 0 Xanthi
4-Mar-18 Asteras Tripolis 3 - 2 PAOK
4-Mar-18 AEK 1 - 0 Panionios
4-Mar-18 Levadiakos 2 - 1 Larissa
4-Mar-18 Olympiacos 1 - 1 Panathinaikos
5-Mar-18 Apollon Smyrnis 2 - 1 Panetolikos

AGONAsport’s George Tsitsonis brings you a full recap of matchday 24 action in the Greek SuperLeague. For all the latest fixtures and result visit here. For the the up to date Supereague standings visit here

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It was a breathtaking Matchday 24 in Greece as AEK went top of the table, PAOK lost for the first time in 16 matches and the derby between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos ended in a 1-1 draw. The race for Europe also is beginning to heat up after this weekend’s results. 

AEK are the new leaders of the Greek Super League as they defeated Panionios 1-0. The scoreline is not indicative of the match as AEK dominated and should have won by more as they wasted several chances. Croatian striker Marko Livaja scored the only goal of the game with a header in the 21st minute.

It was high drama in Tripoli as home side Asteras defeated PAOK 3-2 with a winner at the death. Asteras took the lead in this topsy-turvy affair through Giorgos Kiriakopoulos in the 18th minute. PAOK equalized eight minutes before the break through Djalma tapped in following fine work from Robert Mak. Martin Tonso was on hand to slide home a strike to give Asteras the advantage again in the 53rd minute. PAOK missed several chances the rest of the way to equalize, but finally managed to some seven minutes into injury-time as Aleksandar Prijovic converted a penalty he won. But, there was time for one final act as Asteras broke through on a counter-attack and Walter Iglesias’ deflected effort found the back of the net in the 98th minute to give Asteras a crazy victory. 

In the AGONAsport Match of the Week, Olympiacos were held to a 1-1 draw by Panathinaikos in the derby between the two ‘eternal enemies’ of Greek football. In a derby made that much more strange without the presence of supporters, Olympiacos opened the scoring through a Kostas Fortounis penalty just after the hour. Panathinaikos, down to ten men, looked set to lose the match until a penalty from Bjorn Engels gave Anthony Mounier the chance to equalize in the 87th minute. He converted from 12 yards and the derby at the empty Karaiskakis ended 1-1. 

Atromitos moved up to third place in the standings following their 1-0 victory over Xanthi. Both teams spurned several big chances in a match that was decided by Abiola Dauda’s 17th minute header.

Lamia took a huge step toward securing safety with a 2-1 win over Platanias away. An own goal just past the hour mark and a Marko Blazic strike on 78 minutes were enough as Platanias could only score once through Clarck N’Sikulu’s late penalty kick.

Levadiakos produced a second-half comeback to defeat Larisa 2-1. Larisa opened the scoring through Sandi Crizman’s goal two minutes before the interval. The home side responded after the break though as Chumbinho’s free-kick and Marko Markovski’s strike within three minutes of each other turned the match on its head. 

Kerkyra and PAS Giannina played out a 1-1 draw. Giorgos Pamlidis put Kerkyra in front after 21 minutes, however PAS equalized in spectacular fashion through Apostolos Skondras’ amazing backheel goal.

In the week’s Monday night match-up, Apollon Smirnis secured an important win with a 2-1 victory over Panetolikos. A Willyan own goal in the first half and Christos Albanis goal after halftime gave the home side a 2-0 lead. Panetolikos pulled one back through Jorge Diaz in the 70th minute, but Apollon held on for a crucial victory that boosts their survival hopes.  

Matchday MVP - Marko Livaja (AEK)

He only scored once, but Livaja’s goal could be crucial to the title race as his goal gave AEK the victory over Panionios that put them top of the table. The Croatian produced another fine performance leading the line for Manolo Jimenez. Livaja’s ability to link up with his teammates and overall activity over the 68 minutes he played made him more than a handful for Panionios. Livaja’s goals down the stretch could be key to AEK winning the league. 
Goal of the Matchday - Apostolos Skondras (PAS Giannina)

What a goal from Skondras. The PAS Giannina midfielder scored a beautiful backheel goal to give PAS a share of the spoils against Kerkyra. Skondras met the corner in the 34th minute at the near post and instinctually flicked the ball up with a backheel that ended up hitting the back post and going on. One of the goals of the season in Greece. 

Save of the Matchday - Matic Kotnik and Valentinos Vlachos (Panionios)

An unbelievable play in the first half of the AEK-Panionios match. Sergio Araujo was played in on goal and the AEK striker was topped with a fine one-on-one save by Panionios goalkeeper Matic Kotnik. The ball rebounded high and Araujo produced a wonderful quick bicycle kick headed for goal only for defender Valentinos Vlachos to save a certain goal with a save off the line. A truly stunning play. 

Play of the Matchday - Petros Giakoumakis (Levadiakos)

The winner for Levadiakos in their comeback win over Larisa was courtesy of a fine goal. Credit to that has to go to the superb work by Petros Giakoumakis even if he didn’t score it. The attacker picked up the ball behind half field and played a ball out wide to Savvas Tsambouris. The right-back then played a through ball into the path of Giakoumakis who had continued his run. Giakoumakis expertly made a dummy run past the ball leaving it for Marko Markovski who slotted home. Giakoumakis’ run threw off the entire Larisa backline and he deserves the plaudits for the week’s Play of the Matchday. 

Team Performance of the Matchday - Panathinaikos

What can you say about Marinos Ouzounidis’ side? Asteras were superb against PAOK, but this week’s nod goes to Panathinaikos. Down to 10 men, they continued to battle late on before finally finding an equalizer against Olympiacos. Considering all the issues plaguing the club and the fact that so many key players have been sold off, it is a testament to Ouzounidis and the players that they continue to be able to stay competitive and pull off results like this.

Surprise of the Matchday - Asteras Tripolis

PAOK rolled into Asteras not having lost for over 15 matches. That ended on Sunday in the most dramatic circumstances. The fantastic victory over the previous league leaders now puts Savvas Pantelidis’ men right in the thick of the hunt for a European berth.  

Disappointment of the Matchday - Olympiacos

Surely PAOK would have to merit consideration for disappointment of the week, but it goes to Olympiacos once again. In a title race that has given the defending champions plenty of chances to get back into, Olympiacos continue to throw away those opportunities. Having seen PAOK lose earlier in the day, it was expected that Oscar Garcia’s side would get the points needed against Panathinaikos in order to capitalize. They failed to do so and now the title appears to be slipping away. 

by George Tsitsonis
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