NEWS

AEK takes clear lead in league

AEK took a clear lead in the Super League after three rounds of play with a third win, 4-0 away, against Levadiakos yesterday. New arrival Ismael Blanco, the top scorer in his native Argentina’s second division last season, struck for the fourth time in three games. Hungarian midfielder Daniel Tozser opened the scoring for AEK in the 31st minute after the home side failed to capitalize on several opportunities. Blanco strengthened the visitors’ lead six minutes later, Brazilian defender Ramos sealed the win with AEK’s third goal on 58 minutes, and Panayiotis Kone finished off the walkover 13 minutes from time. AEK meets Salzburg in a second-leg away game this Thursday for a UEFA Cup group spot. The Athens club holds a 3-0 lead. Panathinaikos, a 2-0 winner over visiting PAOK in one of three games played Saturday, shares second place with Xanthi and Panionios, all on seven points, two points behind AEK. Xanthi was held to a 1-1 draw at Veria, and Panionios beat host Apollon Kalamaria, 2-0. Playing Saturday, defending champion Olympiakos drew 1-1 against Aris in Thessaloniki after the hosts’ Marco Aurelio scored an injury-time equalizer. Olympiakos, now four points behind leader AEK, had taken the lead with a Luciano Gallleti lob over Aris keeper Costas Halkias in the 38th minute. Aris piled on the pressure in the second half, forcing great saves out of Olympiakos keeper Antonis Nikopolidis, before scoring. Newly promoted Asteras Tripoli, a rapid climber up the country’s divisions in recent years, earned the club’s first ever point in top-tier competition with a scoreless home draw yesterday against Iraklis, also on one point from three games. Atromitos beat Larissa 2-0 at home on Saturday. OFI was scheduled to host fellow Cretan team Ergotelis later last night in the round’s final game.