Olympiakos cruises to 10th title in 11 seasons

Defending champion Olympiakos won its 10th league title in 11 seasons last night, two rounds ahead of the Super League’s finale, with a 3-1 victory over visiting Kerkyra. The Piraeus club, one of the country’s two most popular, has now been crowned league champion 35 times in its history. AEK secured second place, which earns the club a berth for next season’s pre-group Champions League qualifiers, with a huge 5-1 away win against Ionikos, last and already relegated. Panathinaikos was put out of the race for this Champions League berth by a 1-0 home loss against Aris that left the Athens club nine points behind AEK. AEK, six points behind Olympiakos, could still finish with the same number of points as Olympiakos, but the head-to-head record between the clubs favors the Piraeus team that beat AEK at home and drew away. At the league’s bottom end, seven clubs – Apollon Kalamaria, Xanthi, Atromitos, Larissa, Kerkyra, Iraklis and Aegaleo – are battling to survive relegation. Two of these, plus Ionikos, will drop divisions. Olympiakos went ahead early, in the second minute of play, with a header from Brazilian star Rivaldo, who put in a match-winning performance after being cleared of a red-card suspension earlier this week. Predrag Djordjevic solidified the dominant home team’s lead in the 21st minute with a penalty kick. The game’s result and league title were all but settled in the 52nd minute when Nery Alberto Castillo made it 3-0 ahead. Kerkyra reduced to 3-1 five minutes later. In the round’s other games, all played yesterday, it was: Aegaleo-Iraklis, 0-1; Apollon Kalamaria-Atromitos, 1-0; Ergotelis-Larissa, 2-0; Panionios-PAOK, 3-1; Xanthi-OFI, 4-1.

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