The Double-headed eagle of the North have put themselves back in contention for the premiership after an empathic victory over Olympiacos at their home fortress, bagging four goals at their opponents’ ground for the first time since 1976.
PAOK triumphed 2-4 over the Piraeus giants at “Georgios Karaiskakis” Stadium on Monday morning (AEDT) in the Greek Super League’s tenth round to put themselves back in the mix for the title.
The Thessaloniki giants opened the scoring in the 39th minute through a counter-attack that saw winger Andrija Zivkovic’s strike get into the net of his former teammate, Alexandros Paschalakis.
A second half brace to striker Brandon Thomas, first from the penalty spot (56′) and then finishing off a cross from playmaker Thomas Murg (65′), took them to three before midfielder Magomed Ozdoev added the fourth (78′) to make the scoreline remarkably read 0-4.
Olympiacos clawed back some pride with two late goals courtesy of Kostas Fortounis (86′) and Giorgos Masouras (90+8′), with Fortounis assisting his teammate’s goal as well to surpass Predrag Djordjevic as the team’s top assister in its history.
Aris suffered a shock 1-3 upset at home to Atromitos to continue their incredibly inconsistent campaign thus far.
The Peristeriotes took the lead 25 minutes in through a close-range effort from midfielder Samuel Fridjonsson.
Centre half Fabiano brought it level after finishing the ball from the rebound of his penalty that was originally saved by Panagiotis Tsintotas (39′), though Atromitos would reclaim the advantage with a spot-kick of their own by winger Diego Valencia into the bottom left (55′).
Midfielder Aguibou Camara sealed the three points with a clever goal that crept into the bottom left corner (77′).
Asteras Tripolis secured a 0-1 away success against Panetolikos, thanks to a fortunate early goal that saw striker Juan Bautista Miritello score unintentionally following a free kick from teammate Nikos Kaltsas.
The Arcadians preserved their lead for the entire contest, even after right back David Carmona was sent off in the 66th minute for his second yellow card.
Giannina played out a 1-1 draw at home with Volos to keep the two sides stuck at the bottom as they now join Panetolikos on six points.
The Epirus club went ahead in the 50th minute after Ioannis Kiakos guided the ball into the bottom left from a cross by Carles Soria, but the Magnesia side soon cancelled it out via a header from forward Maximiliano Gabriel Comba (73′).
Panathinaikos struck at the death to down Lamia 1-2 at “Athanasios Diakos” ground on Sunday morning in what turned out to be an incredible back-and-forth encounter full of drama.
The Greens pulled in front through a spectacular long-range strike by left back Filip Mladenovic that soared into the absolute top right corner (31′) in what could be an early contender for goal of the season.
The Fthiotida outfit equalised in the second period, thanks to former Panathinaikos player Carlitos, the Spaniard finishing off a good attack to bring his side level (64′).
VAR stepped into the spotlight at this point, first overturning a penalty decision for the “Trifylli” (75′) and then ruling out a Lamia goal for offside (81′).
Panathinaikos was then given a setback after midfielder Willian Arao was sent off for a second yellow due to a controversial high boot foul (83′), with replays suggesting the Brazilian had pulled out from the challenge well in time to avoid committing the offence.
The Greens persevered in spite of this and managed to grab a 90th minute winner through striker Andraz Sporar, who headed in playmaker Bernard’s cross to claim the win for his side.
The Slovenian marksman notably also missed a penalty in the last kick of the game, sending the ball over the crossbar, though his work had already been done by that point (90+9′).
Kifisia procured an impressive 1-1 home draw against AEK in what is another failure by the reigning premiers to defeat a promoted side this campaign.
It took Enosi 58 minutes to go ahead through an own goal by midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, the ball travelling into the bottom left off the Frenchman during a valiant attempted block.
The hosts would eventually draw level through centre back Nikolaos Vafeas, who finished the ball following a scramble in the box from a corner set piece (85′).
This represents AEK’s second stalemate to a promoted team, having drawn 1-1 to Panserraikos earlier in the season, in what they will no doubt see as a disappointing outcome.
Panserraikos battles OFI in the remaining fixture of the round on Tuesday morning and, given the Cretans’ form, they would probably view a draw in that game as a positive result as well.
Greek Super League Ladder (games in hand)
7-OFI: 13 (9)
8-Asteras Tripolis: 11
9-Panserraikos: 9 (8)
13-PAS Giannina: 6
14-Volos: 6 (9)