The results of this week’s Greek Super League was certainly interesting, given that not many teams weren’t able to claim victory. Among the few to walk away with a win however was Olympiacos, after a hard-fought battle at Kleanthis Vikelidis stadium against Aris in Thessaloniki. And even though the team from Piraeus came out guns-blazing, wasting great opportunities to surprise their opponents within the first ten mintues, eventually the home team found a way to balance things out, forcing some excellent saves from goalkeeper Jose Sa.
Pedro Martins’ decision to play with both Guilherme and Bouchalakis in midfield in order to thwart the opposition’s attacking play proved to be more of a hindrance, as playmaker Fortounis seemed to tire out early and there was no other source to create opportunities.
However all that changed as soon as Bibras Natkho, a midfielder with more creative capabilities was introduced into play. And it was his long ball to the left that found Koutris unmarked. The young left back flicked the ball in the box onto the path of oncoming Hassan and all the Egyptian had to do was simply put the ball into Julian Questa’s net.
The visitors faced many dangerous situations afterwards, however a solid performance from Sa and defenders Vukovic and Cisse was enough to let Olympiacos walk away with the three points and reduce their difference from table leaders PAOK to four points.
The team for Thessaloniki on the other hand dropped their first points of the season against a yet undefeated Atromitos side, who were missing a lot of their key players yet more than made up for it with their unified performance. It was the visitors that took the lead on the 40th minute after a rare combination between the two central defenders. Varela managed to dribble his way past two Atromitos players then fed the ball to Crespo, who brought it down on his chest and shot it past Balasz Megyeri. The ball continued to go both ways, with the two teams creating chances but PAOK being the most wasteful of the two, as Leo Jaba missed a great opportunity to seal the win for the ‘black-and-whites’ on the 66th minute as he received the ball from El Kaddouri, yet his shot went inches wide of the right post. Eventually the home side managed to find the equaliser they deserved on the 73rd minute, thanks to Roland Ugrai, who attempted the shot from inside the area and saw the ball go into the back of Paschalakis’ net.
The result didn’t change, despite a barrage of wasted opportunities from both sides in the final ten minutes of the game and so PAOK’s winning streak ended at eight.
Meanwhile, champions AEK were lucky to escape with a goalless draw against a much better prepared Panathinaikos side, who should feel hard done by the result. The two teams tried to keep an eye out on defence, which in turn led to most chances being created from unforced errors, however the substitutions made by Giorgos Donis in the second half radically improved his team’s image and led to more opportunities, mainly through Macheda and Hatzitheodoridis, yet no goal was produced.
In other games, Panionios claimed a comfortable 3-0 home win against Panetolikos, while Levadiakos and Larissa drew level at 1-1.
Next week, eternal rivals Olympiacos and Panathinaikos are scheduled for a derby match.
GREEK SUPER LEAGUE DAY 9 RESULTS
Saturday 03 November
- Atromitos – PAOK 1-1 (73′ Ugrai / 40′ Crespo)
- Panionios – Panetolikos 3-0 (2′ Masouras, 5′ Korbos, 28′ Durmishaj)
- Panathinaikos – AEK 0-0
- Levadiakos – AEL 1-1 (82′ OG Golias / 13′ Coeff)
Sunday 04 November
- PAS Giannena – Lamia 0-0
- Aris – Olympiacos 0-1 (67′ Hassan)
- OFI – Apollon Smyrnis 0-0
Monday 05 November
- Asteras Tripolis – Xanthi
GREEK SUPER LEAGUE DAY 10 FIXTURES
- AEL – PAS Giannena
- Xanthi – Panionios
- Levadiakos – OFI
- AEK – Atromitos
- PAOK – Panetolikos
- Lamia – Asteras Tripolis
- Olympiacos – Panathinaikos
- Apollon Smyrnis – Aris