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Olympiakos beat AEK 2-0

Olympiakos, who were coming off a 5-0 home win over FC Nordsjaelland, looked the more comfortable of the two sides in the early moments of the match. Olympiakos looked to draw first blood when Luciano Galletti had a try at Sebastian Saja's goal from quite some distance. The Argentine was unable to hit the target, as his effort harmlessly rolled diagonally across the box. Continuous offensive pressure by Olympiakos warranted little in the opening twenty minutes. It was clear the 'Eruthroleuki' were hungry for an early goal as Olympiakos' back line applied plenty of pressure inside the AEK half.

With offensive surges rarely reaching anywhere near the promise land, Olympiakos began to find new ways to goal. A somewhat shaky AEK were not quick to close any gaps, as defenders looked to be flatfooted against an aggressive Olympiakos attack. Conceding yellow cards carelessly, an escape for AEK seemed non-existent. The Olympiakos threat became a little more lively, as Galletti tested Saja again. This Fernando Belluschi headed down a long range pass from the Olympiakos back line. Following closely behind, Galletti timed his approach perfectly but the power behind his one-bounce effort was weak and not enough to beat the AEK keeper.

Olympiakos came even closer only four minutes later. A free-kick was taken accurately by Galletti, who found Vassilis Torosidis rising to the occasion; the Greece international sent a powerful goal towards goal, but an alert Saja pushed the try over for a corner. Off the ensuing corner Olympiakos posed a threat once again, as a clearance did not travel far before cutting the box again and into the path of Christos Patsatzoglou. A goal eluded the Greece International who leaped awkwardly for the ball, to only see his hard work deflect out for a goal kick.

Another Olympiakos goal was staved off by AEK's defense as Belluschi aimed a ball towards Dudu, but a last gasp effort from Agustin Pellieteri was enough to keep the former CSKA Moscow star from connecting to the pass.

Appearing to be injured off that prior play, Dudu's night was over as a summer signing was subbed out for another offseason acquistion with Giannis Papadopoulos being Dudu's replacement. The former Iraklis player made his first competitive appearance for the 'Kokkini'.

The change didn't force the club into any tactical shifts, but Rafik Djebbour could have forced manager Ernesto Valverde's hand when he took a run deep into the Olympiakos box. Nearly breaking past his marker, Djebbour kept every one on their toes until his effort slammed into the side netting.

After playing provider on a previous attempt to break the deadlock, Belluschi had a shot himself but his effort sailed high over the bar. Meanwhile, Ismael Blanco checked into the game with his first opportunity to score but a header from Super League's leading scorer from last term flashed his header high over the bar.

An uneventful opening to the match was quickly erased ahead of the end of the first half. Olympiakos looked the more convincing, and another substitution before the second half got under way added to Olympiakos' 'punch'. Traditional club captain Predrag Djordjevic replaced Sebastian Leto. The former Serbia international finally returned to action on Thursday night, but the forty-five minutes he was set to play on this night was more than what had been handed him a few nights ago.

Despite the introduction of Djordjevic, it was another substitute who led the charge towards goal for Olympiakos. Youngster Giannis Papadopoulos curled a shot towards the AEK goal but he wasn't able to test Saja who watched the ball rise over the far corner.

Another substitution was made for Olympiakos on the hour mark as Darko Kovacevic replaced Belluschi. It didn't take too long for Kovacevic to make his presence felt, as the Serbian striker broke the longstanding dead lock three minutes after his introduction. A defensive error by Pellieteri allowed Djordjevic to spring Kovacevic all alone with Saja, and a delightful chip was enough to beat teh stranded keeper.

As if the sudden realization that they had to emerge from a one-goal defecit wasn't enough, misery turned into nightmare just three minutes later. Another defensive mistake allowed Giannis Papadopoulos to find Didier Domi all alone on the far flank. The French defender then fed a long centering pass to Diogo, who easily slotted home Olympiakos' second.

Shaken by Olympiakos' breakthrough, AEK manager Georgios Donis shuffled his lineup as he introduced Edinho and Pantelis Kafes in the positions of Blanco and Panagiotis Lagos. The change didn't pressure Olympiakos too much, a later effort from Ignacio Scocco caught the post but the threat dimished when the ball bounced out of bounds. Diogo then looked to double his tally on the night with an effort deep inside AEK territory; however Saja was up to the task and kept the score at 2-0.

If the 2-0 scoreline wasn't a big enough mountain to climb for AEK, Juanfran's sending off just before eighty minutes surely sealed any hope of a comeback. After being cautioned earlier in the match, the defender picked up his second booking of the night and an ewarly trip to the locker room.

One more effort from AEK to grab a goal was all that was left for a game dominated by the home side. A free kick from Angelos Basinas found Sotirios Kyrgiakos, but the man wearing the captain's armband for the 'Dikefale' smashed his header wide.

Another solid showing, and another set of maximum point for Olympiakos. The derby win now elevates Olympiakos back to the top of the Greek Super League standing, as the win comes hand-in-hand with PAOK drawing with Ergotelis. AEK continue their win less spell and fall to seventh in the standings, with just eight points.

The win continues a trend of home dominance for Olympiakos who welcome Panthrakikos in two weeks time, for the latter's first ever trip to the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium. AEK will also enjoy home comforts when they host Larissa after next week's international break.

On a side note, AEK's inability to score at Karaiskaki continues as the last time the 'Kitrinomavri' hit the scoreboard at Olympiakos' home ground was in 2005 -- Kostas Katsouranis beat Antonis Nikopolidis from the penalty spot.

Olympiakos 2-0 AEK Athens FC

Scorers: Kovacevic 63', Diogo 66'
Videos: 1-0 | 2-0

Yellow Cards:
Olympiakos -- Domi 69', Patsatzoglou 81'
AEK Athens FC -- Kyrgiakos 7', Basinas 21', Juanfran 57', 79'

Red Cards:
Olympiakos -- none.
AEK Athens FC -- Juanfran 79' (double booking).

Olympiakos (Ernesto Valverde): Nikopolidis, Torosidis, Domi, Avraam Papadopoulos, Dudu, Patsatzoglou, Galletti, Leto, Belluschi, Diogo.

AEK Athens FC (Georgios Donis): Saja, Juanfran, Georgeas, Kyrgiakos, Majstorovic, Pellieteri, Basinas, Lago, Djebbour, Scocco, Blanco.

Referee: Kyros Vassaras

Venue: Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Athens, Greece



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