There were so many flash-points in Sunday’s Athens derby, the sight of Giannis Anastasiou being hit in the face with a soda cup barely registered as news.
But that’s what happened to Anastasiou, head coach of Panathinaikos, when he was walking on the sideline during the early stages of his team’s 3-0 road victory over Olympiacos.
A fan threw a cup full of soda and ice from the stands, hitting Anastasiou on the left side of the face. It sent Anastasiou to the ground, but he was able to continue leading his team to victory.
“I feel a little dizzy, but I’m otherwise fine,” Anastasiou said, according to the Associated Press. “I saw Tuesday’s game (between Olympiacos and Manchester United) … and marveled at the fantastic atmosphere. Now, we have reverted back to our usual culture, where we (away teams) are not sure we will leave the field in one piece. What can I say?”
Both sets of fans marred the latest Super League (Greek first division) game between these eternal rivals. Fans repeatedly threw road flares and other objects onto the field at Olympiacos’ Karaiskakis Stadium, interrupting the game at various points. Afterwards, Olympiacos fans fought with police on the streets of Athens.
There was another scary incident in the first half, as Olympiacos striker Michael Olaitan lost consciousness and collapsed on the field. The 21-year-old Nigerian was taken to the hospital for tests. Olympiacos officials say a viral infection caused Olaitan’s collapse.
The result ended Olympiacos’ 27-game unbeaten streak in the Super League, but the Greek giant remains on course to win its 16th title in 18 seasons.
Watch Anastasiou get pelted with the soda cup in the video below.