Olympiakos regains the lead

Defending champion Olympiakos, which sacked its coach Takis Lemonis last Tuesday after a 3-0 defeat at Chelsea in the Champions League, returned to the top of the Super League with just five rounds remaining after previous leader Panathinaikos was set back 3-2 at Xanthi last night. Playing on Saturday with Lemonis’s assistant, Spaniard Jose Segura, debuting as head coach in an interim role for the season’s remainder, Olympiakos defeated Atromitos 2-0. Third-placed AEK fell further back in the title race with a 1-1 draw against visiting Thessaloniki club Aris, one place below in the standings. Olympiakos leads with 58 points from 25 games. Panathinaikos trails two points behind. AEK is third on 53 points. Canadian striker Tomasz Radzinski, formerly at English clubs Everton and Fulham, was the hero in Xanthi’s win over Panathinaikos, scoring all three goals for the hosts in the 10th, 58th and 68th minutes for a 3-0 lead. The visitors reacted swiftly with two goals in the 70th and 77th minutes, to almost pull off a miraculous comeback. The win lifted Xanthi to sixth in the Super League standings while Radzinski’s hat-trick elevated him to third place in the competition’s list of top-scorers with 14 goals this season. Panathinaikos last lost in the league on December 15, and prior to Xanthi’s three-goal onslaught yesterday, had managed to keep clean sheets in all but two games of the season’s second half. League leaders Olympiakos went ahead against Atromitos three minutes into the second half with a goal from Mirnes Sisic, the Slovenian midfielder’s first at the club since moving from Levadiakos in January. Julio Cesar wrapped up the win for Olympiakos by making it 2-0 in the 85th minute. Also Saturday, newly-promoted Asteras Tripolis held on to an impressive fifth place, two points ahead of Xanthi, with a 1-0 win at PAOK courtesy of an injury time goal from Mauro Milano. Also Saturday, Ergotelis beat Veria 2-0 in a relegation-zone battle. In the round’s other games, all played yesterday, it was: Iraklis 1-Panionios 0; Larissa 5-OFI 1; and Levadiakos 2-Apollon 0.

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