All good things must come to an end. This time, it was Atromitos’ 10-game run without a loss that came to a close at the hands of Olympiacos, and in the most heartbreaking of ways.
As the home side managed to claim the lead late in the first half despite the numerous chances wasted by the visitors, Olympiacos managed to pull one back as the two teams had barely come out of the dressing rooms.
And just when everyone thought the game was heading for a draw, along came Jagos Vukovic, late in injury time, to give his team the three points and leave the Atromitos fans feeling disappointed.
The game started with Damir Canadi choosing his usual lineup and Olympiacos coach Pedro Martins opting to leave some of his key players out of the starting eleven, with the club’s European future at stake on Thursday.
More to the point, Tsimikas, Elabdellaoui, Guerrero, Toure and Fortounis were left out, with Christodoulopoulos and Hassan also absent due to injuries. Despite this fact, it was the ‘red-and-whites’ that controlled movements of the ball mainly through Natkho, Nahouel and Podence and had a plethora of opportunities to take the lead from early on, with most important the one missed by Camara just before five minutes.
However, Atromitos managed to survive the onslaught and took the lead just before the break, after a shot was poorly deflected by goalkeeper Jose Sa and fell to the feet of Efthimis Koulouris, who didn’t leave the opportunity go to waste.
After the break, Martins decided to change things up and introduced his team’s most influential player, Kostas Fortounis to the game. It didn’t take long for him to make a difference as it was his free kick that found Mehdi Camara in the area for the equaliser just before 50 minutes were up. And he continued to lead the charges for his team, winning a red card after a long tug on shirt by midfelder Busuladzic.
Yet despite playing against ten men, Olympiacos just couldn’t seem to find that winning goal.
Until injury time that is, when Vukovic grabbed the header after yet another Fortounis free kick to give his team a hard-earned victory.
In a most unexpected turn of events, PAOK have also benefited from an Olympiacos victory, as they managed to break away from Atromitos to five points after their comfortable 2-0 win against Xanthi thanks to goals from Prijovic and Mauricio.
AEK fell victim to a surprise defeat at the hands of Panetolikos last weekend, as they were already 2-0 behind by the time they reacted.
Meanwhile, Aris managed to score two goals late in injury time to grab the three points against OFI.
PAOK is still in the lead with 29 points on the table, followed by Atromitos, who maintains second place despite their loss with 24 and Olympiacos are third with 23.
Next week Panathinaikos travel to Thessaloniki to face Aris.
SUPER LEAGUE RESULTS
Saturday 24 November
- Panathinaikos – Apollon Smyrnis 5-1 (15′, 42′ Macheda, 58′ Kourbelis, 62′ Insua, 90’+2′ Johansson / 67′ Shikabala)
- Asteras Tripolis – AEL 2-0 (55′ Kaltsas, 90′ Manias)
- Panetolikos – AEK 2-1 (26′ OG Cosic, 51′ Kamara / 77′ Simoes)
- PAOK – Xanthi 2-0 (47′ Prijovic, 65′ Mauricio)
Sunday 25 November
- PAS Giannena – Levadiakos 2-0 (18′, 50′ Krizman)
- Atromitos – Olympiacos 1-2 (43′ Koulouris, 57′ sent off Busuladzic / 49′ Kamara, 90’+3′ Vukovic)
- OFI – Aris 1-2 (75′ Sassi / 90’+3′, 90’+4′ Younes)
Monday 26 November
- Panionios – Lamia 1-0 (84′ Masouras)
DAY 12 FIXTURES
- AEL – Panionios
- Apollon Smyrnis – Atromitos
- PAS Giannena – OFI
- Levadeiakos – Asteras Tripolis
- Aris – Panathinaikos
- AEK – Xanthi
- Lamia – PAOK
- Olympiacos – Panetolikos