Panathinaikos got back to within three points from Super League leader Olympiakos on Sunday, as the Greens defeated PAOK 4-3 at home in a weekend when all games were played behind closed doors.
Olympiakos’s match at Panthrakikos was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
The best league derby of the season so far was attended by no more than 100 lucky people at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium in Athens, due to the government’s decision to keep stadium gates closed for all Super League games this weekend.
That did not stop over 3,000 Panathinaikos fans from staging a rally outside the stadium. Their voiced were heard throughout the match, even more so after the four goals Panathinaikos put past PAOK keeper Charles Itandje: A cool Marcus Berg hat-trick and a Nikos Karelis goal.
PAOK equalized (1-1) through Stefanos Athanasiadis just before half-time and led 2-1 early in the second half via Yiannis Skondras. But after conceding three goals in 24 minutes the injury-time header by Christian Noboa was no more than a consolation goal.
Back in early February Olympiakos checked its game schedule for early March and it appeared to be dangerously congested with fixtures. However, a series of events have led to the Reds not kicking a ball in anger this month: Its elimination to Dnipro from the Europa League in late February meant that it would not have to play in the round of 16 on March 12 and 19; security concerns put off its March 4 cup game at AEK to March 11; the Super League’s 26th round of games, including its home game against Asteras Tripolis on March 1 did not take place due to the government’s decision to suspend the league for one week, and now its March 7 game at Panthrakikos was postponed to a date that has not yet been set.
In all other five games that took place over the weekend the score was the same: 1-0. Ergotelis won at Veria, Asteras Tripolis downed visiting Atromitos, Kalloni saw off Panionios on Lesvos, Xanthi sank all-but-relegated OFI Crete and Kerkyra upset host Panetolikos.
On Monday Platanias and Levadiakos will play out a relegation battle.