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Pino shines for Olympiakos, while PAO loses again

Pino and Mitroglou celebrate Olympiakos's opening goal against Veria in the Reds' 3-0 win that keeps them eight points ahead of second-placed PAOK.

By George Georgakopoulos

The top four teams of the Super League – Olympiakos, PAOK, Asteras Tripolis and Atromitos – returned to action after the Christmas holidays with easy wins, but the shock of the weekend was for Panathinaikos as it went down at home to Levadiakos.

The debut of Colombian signing Juan Pablo Pino turned things in Olympiakos’s favor in the champion’s home game against Veria on Sunday evening. The former Galatasaray winger was introduced at half-time and turned a 0-0 first-half result, that had the Reds’ fans jeering, into a comfortable 3-0 victory with his precious assists.

His first one fed Costas Mitroglou, who headed in the opening goal in the 54th minute, and after Rafik Djebbour had made it safe for Olympiakos from the penalty spot in the 86th, Pino fed Marko Pantelic for the last goal in injury time.

PAOK trailed 1-0 at half-time at 10-man Panthrakikos on Sunday afternoon, after conceding an own goal by Ergys Kace, but scored four times in the last 20 minutes courtesy of Costin Lazar, Dimitris Salpingidis, Apostolos Yiannou and Costas Stafylidis.

Asteras shook off struggling AEK’s 1-0 lead at Tripoli on Saturday to win 3-1, while Atromitos had no problems against Kerkyra, winning 2-0 in Nikos Anastopoulos’s debut on the Peristeri club’s bench. AEK and Kerkyra remain in the drop zone, three points from safety.

Panathinaikos opened the score just 11 minutes into the game with Levadiakos in the Olympic Stadium on Saturday through Toche, but two errors by experienced Jean-Alain Boumsong allowed Stelios Vasiliou to score as many times and gift the Viotia club its first ever win at Panathinaikos, with a 2-1 score, that has taken it up to fifth at the table.

The Greens were undoubtedly distracted all week from the saga of a failed bid by a Saudi prince to acquire the club's majority stake.

In other weekend games, Platanias drew 1-1 with PAS Giannina and Aris downed Panionios 2-1.

On Monday Xanthi hosts OFI Crete.

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