The first place of the Greek Super League ladder has once again changed hands after PAOK suffered a 2-0 defeat to Panathinaikos at the Olympic Stadium.
The Athenian club gave very little breathing space to its opponents. With an appearance that reminded their fans of the club’s glory days during which they were a dominant force within Greek football, they claimed a relatively easy win against the Thessaloniki team that seemed unable to create any real threat towards Sokratis Dioudis’ goal.
Federico Macheda scored the first goal at the closing minutes of the first half after a clever pass by Juan Perea, but it was cancelled by the VAR as he was seen using his arm in his effort to put the ball into the back of the net.
However the Italian was able to finally break the deadlock on the 51st, after Hristos Donis was brought down in the box by Ingi Ingasson and the referee pointed towards the spot.
Macheda made no mistake and gave his team the lead, with the second coming about five minutes later (56′) by Tasos Chatzigiovanis who took advantage of a deep ball by Bart Schenkeveld and Ingasson’s error to let the ball bounce deep in his own half.
The small-sized Greek pinched the ball away from the PAOK defender and went on to beat goalkeeper Zivko Zivkovic for the second time in the encounter.
The home side had several chances to widen their lead, but eventually that was going to be the final score, in a win that serves as proof of their great form.
Meanwhile one day earlier in Piraeus, Olympiacos had no problem beating Xanthi 3-1, in a game that was marked by the anniversary of the gate seven tragedy.
Players of both sides presented flowers to the memorial before the start of the game, while the video wall showed images of the 21 people who lost their lives back on 8 February 1981.
Inside the pitch, the home side found an early goal thanks to Youssef El Arabi’s effort to pinch the ball away from the Xanthi defence and feed it towards the oncoming Hilal Soudani who opened the score.
The Moroccan got his own name on the goal sheet two minutes before the end of the first half after capitalising on a Mathieu Valbuena free kick from the left, while the third was an own goal by Vasilis Fasidis who attempted to thwart a low cross by Soudani that was headed towards Giorgos Masouras.
Xanthi was able to pull one back after Ruben Semedo’s clumsy effort in the back, as he lost the ball deep in defence, bringing down Matias Castro inside the box.
The Argentine converted the penalty successfully to form the final score.
AEK were also successful in their bid to escape Peristeri with all three points as they were able to beat Atromitos 0-1 thanks to a goal by Nenad Krsticic.
The same player was sent off late in injury time for unprofessional conduct.
GREEK SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 22 RESULTS
Volos-Lamia 1-0 (49′ Mantzis)
Olympiacos-Xanthi 3-1 (6′ Soudani, 43′ El Arabi, 52′ OG Fasidis – 71′ pen. Castro)
Aris-Panionios 2-0 (31′ Gama, 42′ Fetfatzidis – 80 s.o. Camara)
Asteras Tripolis-Panetolikos 2-1 (51′ pen. Barrales, 90+4′ Deletic – 60′ OG Papadopoulos)
Atromitos-AEK 0-1 (64′ Krsticic, 90+4′ s.o. Krsticic)
Panathinaikos-PAOK 2-0 (51′ pen. Macheda, 56′ Chatzigiovanis)