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Weiss departure overshadows Reds win

By George Georgakopoulos

Olympiakos overcame Xanthi on Sunday to stay 11 points ahead of second-placed PAOK, but the Super League champion has been rocked by the sudden departure of Slovak international winger Vladimir Weiss.

With the Champions League encounters with Manchester United just a few weeks away, the Reds have lost a useful tool in their midfield as Weiss is leaving Greece to join Qatari league club Lekhwiya for the next four-and-a-half years. The former Manchester City and Rangers player featured in 17 games with Olympiakos in his six months in Piraeus.

On the pitch Olympiakos beat Xanthi 2-0 away thanks to goals by Michael Olaitan and veteran Ariel Ibagaza, in a game where both teams ended up with 10 men each.

PAOK had no problems at home to beat relegation-threatened Veria 4-1, after leading 3-0 in the first 13 minutes of the game on Sunday. Greece striker Dimitris Salpingidis scored twice, with the other goals coming from Sekou Oliseh and new signing Hedwiges Maduro.

Atromitos, in third, needed a Dimitris Papadopoulos goal to defeat PAS Giannina, that during the week parted ways with coach Sakis Tsiolis and is about to hire former Ergotelis manager Yiannis Petrakis.

Panathinaikos had Algerian Mehdi Abeid on target in its 1-0 home win over struggling Platanias Hanion, to stay one point behind Atromitos. This was the first time this year Panathinaikos has scored three league wins in a row.

Fifth-placed Asteras Tripolis dropped two points at home as it shared a goalless draw with OFI Crete that has improved considerably since Portuguese coach Ricardo Sa Pinto took over.

Panthrakikos beat Panionios emphatically with a 4-1 score at home, and Kalloni Lesvou shared a 0-0 draw with Apollon Smyrnis at the Olympic Stadium of Athens.

Yet the most spectacular game took place on Sunday at Livadia, between Levadiakos and Aris. Bottom-placed Aris led 2-0 and 3-1 up to the 84th minute despite playing with 10 men, but Levadiakos bounced back to score three goals in 10 minutes to snatch all three points in the end.

On Monday Ergotelis greets Panetolikos.

ekathimerini.com , Sunday Jan 26, 2014 (21:51)  
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