SPORTS

PAOK wins third derby in a row, Reds go down at OFI

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

PAOK keeper Alexandros Paschalakis saved a penalty shot in acrobatic fsahion.

TAGS: Soccer

PAOK seems unstoppable in the Super League, as after its wins over fellow title rivals AEK and Olympiakos, it managed to escape from crosstown rival Aris on Sunday, while the Reds underperformed to go down at OFI Crete.

PAOK beat Aris 2-1 after coming from behind at the first Thessaloniki derby in the top flight in over four years. The eventful match at the Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium saw Aris take the lead less than two minutes from kick-off through Mateo Garcia, but two goals from last season’s top scorer, Aleksandar Prijovic gave PAOK the win, the first coming from the penalty spot.

Between the two Prijovic goals PAOK keeper Alexandros Paschalakis saved a Hamza Younes penalty, which proved crucial for the course of the match that has extended PAOK’s perfect record in the league to seven wins out of seven.

Olympiakos suffered a 1-0 loss at OFI on Sunday night, collecting just one point in the last three games. Dijilly Vouho scored for OFI’s first win since its return to the top flight.

AEK overcame the three-point deduction, for its fans’ action at the derby against Olympiakos, beating bottom team Apollon 2-0 away on Saturday, goals coming from Petros Mantalos and Marko Livaja.

Apollon remains without a point, and only once in the 59-year history of the Greek top division has a team that started with seven straight losses escaped relegation (Ionikos in 1989). It is reminded that this season three teams will go down and a fourth will face a relegation play-off against the runner-up of the second division, as next year the Super League will only consist of 14 teams.

Joining AEK and Olympiakos, at six points off the pace, is Panathinaikos, that notched up in sixth win in seven matches downing visiting Panionios 1-0 in front of some 25,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium. Ilias Hatzitheodoridis broke the deadlock for the Greens on the 72nd minute.

There were away wins in all other weekend games, as Panetolikos beat PAS Giannina 2-0, Lamia came from behind to down Larissa 2-1 and score its first win of the season, and Xanthi saw off Levadiakos by the same score.

PAOK is on 19 points, Atromitos has 16 but with a game in hand, that against Asteras Tripolis at home on Monday, Panathinaikos, AEK and Olympiakos are on 13, as Aris and Xanthi have 12.

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