Mexican striker Orbelin Pineda scored the only goal in the Athens derby between AEK and Panathinaikos on Sunday to give AEK a precious victory that brings it within four points from the Greens, who suffered their first domestic defeat this season.
A highly eventful derby, the first at AEK’s brand new OPAP Agia Sophia Arena, ended 1-0 in the hosts’ favor, but the visitors are protesting about a banger that landed next to Panathinaikos keeper Alberto Brignoli just before the goal, causing him to drop to the ground holding his ears.
The Greens also missed a huge chance to equalize Pineda’s 68th minute goal, as Fotis Ioannidis hit the woodwork in injury time, just before Levi Garcia had a penalty saved by Brignoli.
PAOK and Olympiakos have now moved to within seven points from the top with easy road wins over the weekend. PAOK eclipsed Lamia with a 3-0 victory on Saturday, goals coming from Nelson Oliveira, Tiago Dantas and Andrija Zivkovic, while Olympiakos thrashed hosts Volos 4-0 on Sunday, courtesy of goals by Pep Biel, Hwang In-Beom, Cedric Bakambu and Youssef El-Arabi.
Panathinaikos is now on 42 points, AEK on 38, PAOK and Olympiakos on 35.
Aris has moved up to fifth, above Volos, with its 3-0 home win against Asteras Tripolis. The Thessaloniki Yellows had Manu Garcia, Fabiano and Rafael Camacho on the scoresheet.
In other weekend games, Atromitos beat Ionikos 2-0 and PAS Giannina won 3-1 at Levadiakos.
Panetolikos 0 Ofi 4, AEK 1 Panathinaikos 0, Aris 3 Asteras Tripolis 0, Volos 0 Olympiakos 4, Lamia 0 Paok 3, Levadiakis 1 Giannina 3,Atromitos 2 Ionikos 0.
Panathinaikos 42, AEK, 38, Paok 35, Olympiakos 35, Aris 28, Volos, 25, Atromitos 22, Panetolikos 19, Giannina 17, Ofi 15, Levadiakos 11, Lamia 10, Ionikos.8.