ATHENS, Greece (AP) Lazaros Christodoulopoulos scored the only goal in the 85th minute as AEK Athens beat Panathinaikos 1-0 in the Greek league playoffs on Sunday.
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A headed clearance fell to Christodoulopoulos a few meters (yards) outside the area and his powerful shot bounced once before the ball found the bottom right corner of the net at Athens Olympic Stadium.
PAOK took advantage of its numerical superiority to beat visiting Panionios 1-0 with a goal by substitute Aleksandar Prijovic in the 75th. Panionios’ Masoud Shojaei was dismissed with a second yellow card in the 68th.
AEK is leading the playoffs. It’s a point ahead of PAOK, two ahead of Panionios and four ahead of Panathinaikos.
The playoffs winner joins Olympiakos in Champions League qualifiers.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) Panathinaikos waited until the 67th minute for its first goal against Panetolikos before going on to win 4-0 Sunday in the Greek league.
Marcus Berg completed his hat trick in injury time – after scoring in the 67th and 80th minutes – with Robin Lod scoring in the 89th.
Fourth-placed Panathinaikos is a point behind PAOK – which drew 0-0 at Xanthi – and three behind Panionios, 1-0 winner at Veria on Saturday.
Olympiakos, which beat Larissa 2-0 Saturday, is 13 points ahead of Panionios and seemingly unstoppable in its quest for a 19th league title in 21 seasons.
In Sunday’s most exciting game, Giannena went 2-0 up on host Platanias by the 11th. Platanias equalized before halftime and went 3-2 ahead before Giannena made the final score 3-3.
The Athens derby between Greek clubs Panathinaikos and Olympiacos was called off today after fan violence erupted at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium.
The two clubs are the elite teams in Greece, as no other side has won the league since 1994. Olympiacos has won 17 of the past 21 league titles, with Panathinaikos winning the other four.
The rivalry is so fierce it is known as the “Derby of eternal enemies.”
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Violence started outside the stadium before the match, and Olympiacos striker Alfred Finnbogason was hit by a flare as his visiting team took the pitch. The referee eventually cancelled the match 30 minutes after the scheduled kick-off.
After the match was called, fans stormed the pitch, throwing broken chairs and advertisements at police. More than 50 people were arrested in the melee.
The Athens derby has a history of violence, and is often considered one of the most dangerous rivalries in Europe. Fan violence has gotten so bad in Greece that opposing supporters are not allowed to attend away matches.
Olympiacos currently sits atop the table in the Greek Superleague, eight points ahead of second-place Panathinaikos.
The Greek government has indefinitely suspended the country’s top three divisions of professional soccer after fan violence once again ruined a Superleague game over the weekend.
Panathinaikos’s 2-1 victory over Olympiacos was marred by fans who threw flares, rocks and bottles at officials on Sunday. This is the third time this season that the Superleague, Greece’s first-division league, has been suspended due to fan violence.
A newly-elected ruling party, radical left-wing coalition Syriza, made the decision to once again suspend the sport on Wednesday following a board meeting on Tuesday which ended in a brawl between Panathinaikos and Olympiacos club officials.
From the BBC:
“What we have been informed is that the Super League and the Football League have been suspended indefinitely,” Super League president Giorgos Borovilos told reporters.
“We have a new government who are looking to bring this subject up for discussion and implement state laws related to it.”
There was a terrifying moment in Sunday’s version of the Athens derby between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos when a player collapsed to the pitch and had to be taken off via stretcher.
Olympiacos striker Michael Olaitan was making a run away from the play when he lost consciousness and collapsed to the ground. He was tended to for several minutes, eventually regaining consciousness before being taken to the hospital.
The BBC reports that Olaitan’s condition is listed as stable. He has played for the Nigeria U-20 team and featured for Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League clash against Manchester United last week.
The match was scoreless when Olaitan collapsed, but Panathinaikos went on to collect three goals in a shutout win. Olympiacos remains atop the Greek Super League table by 20 points over second-place PAOK Salonika.