Greece: Panathinaikos back in the hunt thanks to Cissé (+video)
Djibril Cissé was the star man for Panathinaikos as he helped his side to a crucial three points in a fiery Athens derby against old foes Olympiakos on Saturday. The win for Pana helps ensure that the gap between the two teams is reduced to a solitary point with Olympiakos just holding their own at the top.
In what resembled a former Premier League players’ gathering there were ten players in total who either started the game or sat on the substitutes bench who have former connections with clubs from England and one such player, the former Liverpool and Sunderland star Djibril Cissé, was to play a prominent role. After seeing Panathinaikos fall behind in the first half to a 37th minute Kevin Mirallas strike it was Cissé who took centre stage after the break. In the 57th minute it was the Frenchman who restored parity after firing home from close range to send the home fans into raptures. Just six minutes later Cissé won a penalty kick which he duly dispatched to score his seventh goal of the campaign and give his side the 2-1 lead which they never relinquished.
Panathinaikos, who won their 20th league title last season, are hoping that this victory can signal the beginning of a winning run which will take them back to the top of the table. Olympiakos, who finished empty-handed last season for the first time in six years, are hoping not to repeat the experience but yesterday’s defeat will have them fearful of the very real challenge that the current champions will pose throughout the season. After eight games of the Super League Greece campaign Olympiakos have 18 points, one more than Panathinaikos and five more than joint third AEK Athens and Asteras Tripolis.
WATCH PANATHINAIKOS v OLYMPIAKOS HIGHLIGHTS HERE: