Karagounis greek soccer playerWhat last summer promised to be Panathinaikos’ season has turned into another nightmare for the Athens soccer club. With rival Olympiakos holding a commanding lead in the Greek Super League made even stronger with a victory over 5th place Aris on Saturday, Panathinaikos needed a victory versus Iraklis to remain within touch of the pole position. But alas, another uninspired performance and a 0-0 draw now finds Henk Ten Cate’s team 14 points behind first place and tied for second with PAOK.

So far this season, team supporters can only be happy about their team’s performance in Champions League play. Panathinaikos managed 3 victories in the second round of the group stage to earn a spot in the top 16; most importantly, one of those victories came against jose Mourinho’s inter Milan in Italy nonetheless. Regardless, once more they have failed to keep up with Olympiakos in the Greek championship which the latter have won 12 times in the last 13 years. The arrival of Brazilian international Gilberto Silva gave much promise to Panthinaikos fans for a return to winning titles but his shaky performance on the pitch has definitely disappointed everyone.

Panathinaikos also complains often about the refereeing in the Greek championship. In the game against Iraklis, a goal scored by Mantzios in the 78th minute was disallowed as offside. Video replays showed that the player was probably covered by a defender on the far end but the linesman decided to indicate the offside; the truth is that the play is very hard to judge even after watching it several times on TV and considering that the linesman has to make a decision in a split second, his decision could have gone either way. That said, a team that has a budget as large as Panathinaikos, not to mention the many well known soccer stars in its roster, should be able to win this games scoring several goals instead of complaining about a borderline play.


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