PAOK thrashes Panathinaikos as AEK gets to one point from the top

PAOK thrashes Panathinaikos as AEK gets to one point from the top

PAOK outplayed Panathinaikos in Sunday’s crunch game to force the Greens’ first home loss and throw the Super League wide open, as AEK has closed the gap from the top to a single point.

Four days after beating the Greens in Thessaloniki 2-0 for the Cup, PAOK went one better in Athens on Sunday night as it eclipsed the league leader with a 3-0 result.

The visitors scored three times within eight minutes, through a Ruben Perez own goal and strikes by Andrija Zivkovic and man-of-the-match Giannis Konstantelias.

PAOK has therefore reduced its gap from Panathinaikos to six points, moved up to third and is about to visit the “Apostolos Nikolaidis” stadium again four days on for the second leg of the Greek Cup quarterfinals.

However the redeeming feature for Panathinaikos has been the attitude of its fans, who cheered on their players after the end of the game despite the heavy defeat, an unusual image by Greek standards that might prove to have a lasting effect in the rest of this title run-in.

AEK managed to emerge unscathed from a major challenge at bottom team Ionikos, as it came from behind with two late goals to win 2-1 and get within striking distance from the top.

Ionikos led up to the 82nd minute through Seba’s goal, but Domagoj Vida equalized for the Yellows and Stephen Zuber gave the visitors all three points in injury time at Nikaia on Sunday.

Olympiakos stumbled at Peristeri, drawing 1-1 with Atromitos. The Reds went ahead through Cedric Bakambu, but Atromitos equalized via Samuel Fridjonsson.

Panathinaikos is on 45 points, AEK on 44, PAOK and Olympiakos on 39, while Aris has moved up to fifth with 31, beating sixth-placed Volos 3-0 at home. All Aris’ goals came from a Manu Garcia hat trick.

In other games this weekend, Panetolikos drew 1-1 with PAS Giannina, OFI downed visiting Asteras Tripolis 1-0 and Levadiakos shared a goalless draw with Lamia.

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