SOCCER

Athens derby stalemate favors Panathinaikos

Apollon Smyrnis is mathematically relegated from the Super League

Athens derby stalemate favors Panathinaikos

Panathinaikos edged closer to its return to Europe snatching a goalless draw from AEK on Sunday, and combined with Aris’ home loss to Olympiakos it is the favorite for the third spot. On Saturday Apollon was mathematically relegated after failing to beat Lamia.

In all seven games over the weekend there were just four goals. The Athens derby of AEK and Panathinaikos was balanced and with little action, so the 0–0 result appears fair. The boos by the AEK fans against their players showed their displeasure, as Panathinaikos came away with a precious point.

In Thessaloniki, crowned champion Olympiakos fielded a second-string team at Aris, but still won the game on Sunday with a 1-0 score, thanks to a Tiquinho strike.

That makes next Saturday’s clash of Aris with AEK in Thessaloniki exceptionally important for the final place for next season’s Europa Conference League.

With nothing to play for in the league anymore, second-placed PAOK went down 1-0 at PAS Giannina via a late Jan-Marc Schneider goal.

With three rounds left to play, Olympiakos has 79 points, PAOK stayed on 60, Panathinaikos moved to 55, Aris and AEK have 53, and PAS Giannina reached 46.

In the play-outs, Apollon Smyrnis drew 0-0 at home with Lamia and will play in Super League 2 next season being automatically relegated. Lamia will face a relegation play-off.

In the other games, OFI beat Asteras Tripolis 1-0, Panetolikos drew 0-0 with Volos, and Ionikos won 1-0 at Atromitos.

In the Super League 2 play-offs for promotion the the top division, Levadiakos won the first leg at Veria with a 1-0 score ahead of next Sunday’s return leg at home.