Irresistible Panathinaikos sinks PAOK

By George Georgakopoulos

Panathinaikos beat PAOK and Atromitos downed Asteras Tripolis on Sunday in battles that appeared to come from the Super League play-offs to come this spring featuring these four teams, given that Olympiakos has already run away with the title.

The Reds need 14 more points from the 10 remaining games to clinch their 41st league title mathematically, after their 5-0 thrashing of Veria away on Saturday and PAOK’s 2-1 loss at Panathinaikos on Sunday.

Following a barren first half at Veria, the champion put five past its struggling host with Michael Olaitan scoring twice and Hernan Perez netting on his debut. Chori Dominguez and Yiannis Maniatis were also on target. This is the first time Olympiakos has scored five times in one half in the league since 1966.

Panathinaikos produced one of its best games this season against PAOK, with the 2-1 final score actually flattering the visitors from Thessaloniki.

Full-backs Costas Triantafyllopoulos and Nano scored for the Greens, before PAOK, that had Costas Katsouranis sent off with a straight red, pulled one back in injury time with Stefanos Athanasiadis. The result has brought Panathinaikos up to the fourth spot.

It has also left PAOK just two points ahead of third-placed Atromitos, which a few hours earlier had downed Asteras 3-1 at Peristeri despite playing most of the game with 10 men after the red card shown to Sokratis Fytanidis. It had Tasos Karamanos, Vangelis Nastos and Javier Umbides on the scoresheet. Juanma reduced the arrears for the Tripoli team.

PAS Giannina moved up to seventh with its 1-0 win in injury time over visiting Panetolikos on Sunday. It was the Epirus side’s third consecutive win, all of which are with new coach Yiannis Petrakis on its bench.

Another team on the rise is Ergotelis, that beat Cretan rival Pllatanias 1-0 away to force the departure of Platanias coach Nikos Anastopoulos. Ergotelis is now managed by Marinos Ouzounidis, whom Anastopoulos replaced earlier this season at Platanias. Former PAOK and Panathinaikos manager Angelos Anastasiadis is now set to take over at the Hania club.

Elsewhere, Kalloni Lesvou defeated Levadiakos 1-0 at the Olympic Stadium of Athens and Apollon saw off visiting Xanthi 2-0.

On Monday OFI greets Panthrakikos on Crete while Aris meets Panionios, still hoping to score its first home win this season.