SPORTS

Leali earns a point for Olympiakos before clash with Xanthi

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

Italian keeper Leali kept Olympiakos's goal intact.

TAGS: Soccer

Olympiakos stumbled for the second time in a week, as its draw at Asteras Tripolis on Wednesday saw its gap from second-placed Xanthi shrink to eight points on the Super League table, while AEK’s loss at Panetolikos led to its second managerial change this season.

The Reds actually had goalkeeper Nicola Leali to thank for the point they snatched at the goalless draw with Asteras at Tripoli, even though the host played the last half-hour of the game with 10 men.

Xanthi came from 1-0 down to beat Iraklis 3-1 at home and stay alone in second, as Panionios dropped to fourth through its 1-0 loss at PAS Giannina, in a game played on a terrible surface due to the freezing weather of the previous days.

Panathinaikos moved up to third, 10 points from the top, with its 2-1 win over Platanias Hanion on Thursday. The Greens had Marcus Berg to thank for his first-half brace, before Giorgos Giakoumakis pulled one back for the visitors at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium.

The game of this round took place at Agrinio on Wednesday, as Panetolikos led AEK 1-0, fell behind 2-1 and came back to win 3-2, with the hero being former AEK player Grigoris Makos, scorer of Panetolikos’s last two goals. The host’s first goal came from Marko Markovski, while AEK had temporarily turned the game around through goals by Hugo Almeida and Costas Galanopoulos.

The Agrinio team had parted ways with coach Yiannis Mantzourakis, installing Yiannis Dalakouras as caretaker, and forced AEK to finally let Portuguese manager Jose Morais go. On Thursday evening the Athens team announced the hiring of Manolo Jimenez until the end of the season. This will be the Spaniard’s second spell at AEK.

PAOK produced an emphatic 3-0 win over Levadiakos on Thursday, with two goals from Facundo Pereyra and one from Leo Matos, to rise to sixth, one place above AEK.

In other games Kerkyra thrashed nine-man Atromitos 4-1 away and Veria shared a 1-1 draw with Larissa.

The Super League continues on Saturday, with the top two teams facing off in Piraeus, as Olympiakos hosts Xanthi.

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