SPORTS

Derby stalemate on a weekend of fan clashes

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

PAOK has the chance to reclaim the top spot of the Super League on Monday if it beats Volos at home, after leader Olympiakos shared a goalless draw with AEK at the Olympic Stadium of Athens on Sunday. However the weekend was marred by serious clashes between fans and police on a number of occasions around Athens.

The derby of the 21st round of games may have ended 0-0, but both AEK and Olympiakos had chances to score, and would have done so had it not been for the excellent goalkeeping by AEK's Vassilis Barkas and Olympiakos' Jose Sa, as well as the goal frame that denied Olympiakos early on in the second half.

AEK ended the match with 10 men due to the second yellow card shown to Andre Simoes.

"We faced the best team in Greek soccer, that also played in the Champions League," said AEK manager Massimo Carrera, in words that will not make PAOK fans particularly happy; they may well get happier on Monday if PAOK moves from two points below to one above Olympiakos with a win at Toumba.

Panathinaikos was the only team in the top half of the table to win over the weekend, making it four out of four in the league over the last few weeks. On Saturday the Greens saw off host Larissa 2-0 with penalties converted successfully by Tasos Hatziyiovanis and Yiannis Bouzoukis. This win has taken them within four points from third-placed AEK and five points above fifth Aris, that went down 2-0 at Panetolikos.

Xanthi and OFI remained tied on sixth after their 2-2 draw on Sunday, while Atromitos dropped to eighth as it went down 1-0 at bottom team Panionios; the Nea Smyrni team has therefore put an end to its eight-game losing streak.

On Monday, after the PAOK vs Volos game, Lamia will host Asteras Tripolis.

Hooligans kept police in Athens particularly busy over the weekend, creating significant damage and leading to a number of arrests.

First on Saturday night a group of fans tried to attack a fan club of Panathinaikos supporters at Ilioupoli, but riot police intercepted them. Reports spoke of serious street clashes and several people injured.

Then on Sunday police had to work hard to separate the fans of Panionios from those of Atromitos that fought between them and then with police at Nea Smyrni.

Later on AEK supporters clashed with police outside the Olympic Stadium and even set a police car alight, according to reports. Just another day in Greek soccer....

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