All top three teams on the Super League table scored hard-fought away victories over the weekend, but questions are growing over the use of the video assistant referee (VAR) system that has raised great controversy in the first weeks of its application in the domestic game.
Olympiakos tops the table with 16 points from six matches after coming from behind on Sunday to beat Aris 2-1 at Thessaloniki. The Yellows led with Nicolas Diguiny, but Olympiakos responded before half-time with two goals in five minutes by Giorgos Masouras and Youssef El-Arabi. All three goals came from headers.
Xanthi scored its fifth win this season, but this time in very controversial circumstances, defeating host Panathinaikos 1-0 in Athens on Saturday. TV replays showed a Panathinaikos goal was wrongly disallowed as offside by the VAR in the first half, and Xanthi’s injury-time goal that the assistant referee correctly flagged as offside was eventually allowed to stand by the VAR. Greens’ coach Giorgos Donis called for the dismissal of the referee who handled the VAR system on the night.
Third-placed PAOK defeated Asteras at Tripoli 2-1 on Sunday, with VAR stirring more controversy. A goal by the league’s top scorer Karol Swiderski and an own goal by Angel Martinez Ortega gave the champion a 2-0 lead before Dani Suarez pulled one back for the host. However the Tripoli team was right to protest about a twin penalty offense that the VAR showed to the referee and he surprisingly rejected late in the second half.
OFI was the only host to win this weekend, as it came from behind to see off Panionios 4-1 on Crete. It now ranks fourth with 13 points, one less than PAOK.
AEK has slipped to fifth after drawing 0-0 at Larissa on Saturday, in the first goalless draw at this season’s Super League after 36 games with goals.
Atromitos had an even more impressive comeback as it recovered from a 2-0 deficit at Volos on Saturday to win 3-2.