SLGR Matchday 28 Recap: PAOK’s Coronation Delayed By Larisa; Levadiakos Go Down
AGONAsport’s George Tsitsonis brings you a full recap of matchday 28 action in the Greek SuperLeague.
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PAOK’s quest to clinch their first league title since 1985 was delayed by a battling performance from Larisa in a 1-1 draw in Matchday 28 play of the 2018/19 Greek Super League. That was the biggest news on a weekend that brought surprises and one team’s relegation being confirmed.
Here is a breakdown of the round including this week’s AGONAsport SLGR Awards:
Dimitris Pelkas’ fantastic goal was not enough as PAOK could only manage a draw at the AEL FC Arena against Larisa. The 1-1 result came about as Nikola Jakimovski’s strike in the 64th minute cancelled out Pelkas’ opener just eleven minutes before. With two matches remaining now PAOK need just a single point to claim the title.
The team PAOK play next weekend at Toumba will be Levadiakos, whose relegation was confirmed on Sunday in a 2-1 home defeat to Panionios. Levadiakos took the lead through Marko Markovski, but goals from Panionios’ Sotiris Tsiloulis and Panagiotis Korbos gave the visitors the comeback win. Levadiakos now drop to the Super League 2 for next season, while Panionios all but confirmed their top-flight status with the win.
Olympiacos got a brace from midfielder Guilherme to ease past Xanthi 4-0 at home. Goals from Omar Elabdellaoui and Kostas Fortounis. Meanwhile, AEK dropped points away to Lamia in a 2-2 draw. Lamia used a Jeronimo Barrales brace to overturn Petros Mantalos’ fourth minute goal. However, Lucas Boye’s goal on 67 minutes saw AEK come back to salvage a point.
Aris’ recent dip continued with a 2-0 home loss to Atromitos. The Peristeri side were impressive and clinched fourth place in the league thanks to goals from Giorgos Manousos and Efthymis Koulouris in the first half.
OFI gave themselves a fighting chance of avoiding relegation with a shock 3-1 win at a below par Panathinaikos. Federico Macheda had given the Prasini the lead from the spot at the end of the first half, but the Italian’s own goal levelled the match after the break. Goals from Ismail Sassi and Giorgos Giakoumakis in the last twenty minutes sealed the win for the Crete side. OFI are now within a point of safety with two games remaining.
Two other teams fighting against the drop faced off as PAS Giannina and Asteras Tripolis played out a 0-0 draw. The result would not have been particularly welcomed by either side. The goalkeepers starred in a match with several chances. The draw leaves PAS two points from safety with Asteras just keeping their head above the bottom four, one point clear.
Finally, in a match without significant bearing with regard to league position, Panetolikos defeated already relegated Apollon Smirnis 1-0 thanks to a 31st minute penalty from Admir Bajrovic.
Matchday MVP - Guilherme (Olympiacos)
The Brazilian had one of his best matches in an Olympiacos shirt. Guilherme scored twice in the opening half to help pace his side to a 3-0 halftime. After the break he was arguably even better though with the highlight being his fine assist to Kostas Fortounis for the home team’s final goal. A fantastic pass to cap off a comprehensive display by the 28-year-old.
Goal of the Matchday - Dimitris Pelkas (PAOK)
It might well have been a goal worthy of winning a title, but Larisa’s equalizer meant that PAOK had to wait another week at least to celebrate. Pelkas’ goal was magnificent though, his 55th minute full volley from outside the area a brilliant piece of finishing.
Save of the Matchday - Neophytos Michael (PAS Giannina)
The Cypriot goalkeeper produced a series of fine saves along with his counterpart Giorgos Athanasiadis in the 0-0 draw between PAS Giannina and Asteras Tripolis. The best of the bunch however was Michael’s 76th minute stop, a full-stretch dive to deny Walter Iglesias’ effort from inside the box.
Team Performance of the Matchday - Olympiacos
Olympiacos’ attack impressed once again in a 4-0 rout of Xanthi. Their opponents might have been incredibly poor on the night, but the numerous chances created by the Erythrolefki showed just how on top of their game they are at the moment.
Surprise of the Matchday - Lamia
AEK had looked like bouncing back with their league form, but Lamia did ever so well to hold Manolo Jimenez’s team on Sunday. While they could not hold on for the win, the point gained was as impressive as it was a surprise.
Disappointment of the Matchday - Panathinaikos
The fact that Giorgos Donis’ men conceded three times in the final 33 minutes will be of concern to Panathinaikos fans. After beginning the season with such great momentum with a young group of talented players, the campaign seems to be winding with some underwhelming performances from the Prasini.