NEWS

Panathinaikos maintains lead

Panathinaikos stayed on top in the Super League with six rounds of play to go following a 2-0 win over visiting Larissa on Sunday. Defending champions Olympiakos, knocked out of the Champions League’s Round of 16 last week with a 3-0 loss at Chelsea, won 1-0 at relegation-threatened Veria to stay a point behind Panathinaikos. Local media reports yesterday claimed that coach Takis Lemonis’s job was on the line despite his team’s impressive run – up until last week’s defeat at Chelsea – in Europe this season. Third-placed AEK remained a title contender with a 4-1 win at OFI. Panathinaikos leads the standings with 56 points from 24 games. Olympiakos is on 55 points and AEK on 52. Aris moved closer to securing a berth in next season’s UEFA Cup with a 1-0 win over Levadiakos on Saturday. The Thessaloniki club has a commanding hold of fourth place with 41 points, six ahead of Asteras Tripolis, its nearest rival. Also Saturday, Panionios, on equal points with Asteras, drew 0-0 at home against PAOK. In the round’s other games, it was: Asteras 1, Ergotelis 1; Atromitos 3, Apollon 0; and Iraklis 1, Xanthi 1. A third-division game between Athens club Ilioupoli and Panaitolikos, based in Agrinion, central Greece, was postponed on Sunday after an armed attack on the visiting team’s hotel. The Panaitolikos squad’s hotel in Glyfada, southern Athens, was hit by a firebomb. Perpetrators also opened fire on the team bus and a car belonging to one of the players. No injuries resulted but club officials requested that the game be postponed for security reasons. Players, officials and fans of the two clubs clashed in a mass brawl during a game in Agrinion last year.