They may be in deep financial trouble, all but abandoned by the club owner and struggling with as many fast transfers as possible to secure financing, but Panathinaikos pulled a gutsy win against arch-rivals Olympiakos Piraeus in the Greek “El Clasico”.
Panathinaikos ground out a 1-0 win thanks to a solitary goal from Lucas Villafanez in a rather uneventful but tense derby played in unusually peaceful circumstances at a packed Apostolos Nikolaidis Athens Stadium on Saturday.
Olympiacos appeared particularly cautious in the first half, failing to produce a single effort on goal before the 51st minute of the game, while Panathinaikos applied a lot of pressure and threatened the Olympiacos goal four times in the first half, without success.
Eventually it was Argentinian Lukas Villafanez who put the Greens in front 11 minutes in the second half, as he ran through unmarked to latch on to the rebound from Silvio Proto, after the Belgian keeper parried away a Robin Lod cross from the left.
Olympiakos substitute Karim Ansarifard was twice denied by Panathinaikos goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos on the 78th and 79th minute, with the Iranian striker having also the upright to blame for failing to score then.
The Germany U-21 keeper came to the Greens’ rescue again on the 89th minute as he somehow managed to block Emmanuel Emenike’s effort inside the six-yard box, before Anthony Mounier wasted a great chance to make it 2-0 at the other end, lobbing the ball just over the crossbar.