SLGR Matchday 24 Recap: PAOK Closer To Title WIth Atromitos Win; Athens Derby Stalemate
AGONAsport’s George Tsitsonis brings you a full recap of matchday 24 action in the Greek SuperLeague.
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A dour Athens derby between AEK and Panathinaikos was the biggest disappointment of Matchday 24 of the 2018/19 Greek Super League. The 0-0 left a lot to be desired and showcased the loss of form both sides have endured as of late.
PAOK’s 3-0 win versus Atromitos on Sunday could end up being the final nail in the title race coffin. With six games to play and a favorable remaining set of fixtures, the league title looks to be making its way to Thessaloniki.
Elsewhere, Olympiacos swept past Aris 4-1, while Larisa also won in a weekend draws and very few goals (twelve in seven matches).
Here is a match-by-match breakdown of the round including this week’s AGONAsport SLGR Awards:
PAOK may have all but clinched the title with this weekend’s 3-0 drubbing of Atromitos. The victory came thanks to goals from Sergio Oliviera (39’), Diego Biseswar (45’, pen.), and Karol Swiderski (82’). With no matches remaining against any of the league’s top six sides and a seven-point advantage over Olympiacos, the title looks certain to end up in Thessaloniki for the first time since 1985. Atromitos dropped to fourth with the loss.
Daniel Podence’s brace meant Olympiacos exploded toward a 4-1 win over Aris. Giorgos Masouras gave the hosts the lead just prior to the half hour against one of the league’s in-form years. Podence scored twice in the 35th and 75th minutes, sandwiching Aris’ lone goal from Nicolas Martinez in the 74th minute. Toward the end, there was still enough time to have Miguel Angel Guerrero score to give the scoreline an emphatic look.
Milos Deletic and Evgeniy Shivavka both scored in the last 20 minutes to hand Larisa a crucial win in a relegation six-pointer over Levadiakos. The Vissini had undergone a long winless run, but managed to pull things together this past weekend securing a vital run that pushes them further away from relegation. Levadiakos remain in the drop zone. They now find themselves in the difficult spot of being six points from safety.
Panetolikos produced the score of the round with a 5-0 thrashing of Panionios. The scoring began early in Agrinio with Arghus scoring in the sixth minute. Admir Bajrovic scored 20 minutes and then Franco Mazurek struck an eight-minute brace (41’, 49’) before Willyan finished the rout in the 71st minute. Panionios were left with ten men following the sending off Milan Kokic on the hour.
Elsewhere, draws were the word as four matches finished in stalemates, including three of them in 0-0 draws. The highest profile of these was the Athens derby at the Olympic Stadium between AEK and Panathinaikos. The match was below par from start to finish with relatively few goalscoring chances and nearly fifty fouls whistled in the contest.
There were also scoreless draws in Xanthi between the host side and Asteras Tripolis and between Apollon Smirnis and OFI. Though there were goals in Lamia, Fabry Castro’s 86th-minute strike saw PAS Giannina grab a share of the spoils. Lamia had opened the scoring in the 56th minute through Tasos Karamanos.
Matchday MVP - Daniel Podence (Olympiacos)
The diminutive winger has enjoyed a solid season at Olympiacos. A creative force, perhaps one of the main complaints is that he doesn’t provide more of a cutting edge in front of goal more often. Podence showed his ability to find the back of the net this weekend with a brace in Olympiacos’ 4-1 victory over Aris. The Portuguese winger has the makings of a superb player, especially if he can manage to offer more goals.
Team Performance of the Matchday - PAOK
It may be too early to call them the champions-elect, but PAOK’s victory over Atromitos has seemingly ended the title race. It would take a monumental collapse now for Razvan Lucescu’s side to lose the title. On Sunday, PAOK were overpowering once again, sweeping aside Atromitos quite easily.
Surprise of the Matchday - Larisa
The 2-0 over Levadiakos came out of nowhere for Larisa. The club had been in poor form since the start of 2019 and Levadiakos were starting to gain momentum in their fight against the drop. However, Larisa proved to have enough mettle at home and sprung the surprise with a win that could be vital in staying in the Super League.
Disappointment of the Matchday - Aris
After a superb stretch, Aris came crashing down with a heavy 4-1 defeat at Olympiacos. It was a disappointing effort as they continue to strive for a European spot. Despite the defeat, it’s still not doom and gloom for the club. They remain the favorites for fifth place and a potential place in continental competition next season.