NEWS

Olympiakos comfortable at top

Olympiakos and PAOK remain the pacesetters in soccer’s Super League following weekend wins that left the Piraeus club four points clear of its Thessaloniki rival. The Reds beat Iraklis 3-0 in Thessaloniki on Saturday, while PAOK overcame Larissa 1-0 last night. The results mean that Olympiakos tops the league with 26 points after 11 games, while PAOK has 22 points. The Reds went to Thessaloniki on Saturday for what looked like a potentially tricky tie as Iraklis has found some form since coach Angel Pedraza left the club earlier this month. But the reigning champion took the lead through captain Predrag Djorjevic in the 35th minute. A second goal followed three minutes later from Argentinean playmaker Fernando Belluschi. Defender Christos Patsatzoglou was sent off a minute before half time for a high challenge on Tassos Katsambis but Iraklis did not capitalize on its advantage and Brazilian midfielder Dudu rounded off the victory for the visitors in the 83rd minute. PAOK had to wait until the 75th minute on Sunday to break down Larissa’s resistance. Striker Ibrahima Bakayoko slotted home from close range for the only goal of the game. Third-placed Xanthi was held to a 1-1 home draw by Aris. Toni Calvo opened the scoring for the visitors but Victor Okechukwu Agali equalized. Panathinaikos, now in fourth place, also notched up a 3-0 win on Saturday at home to Thrasyvoulos Filis. The Greens opened the scoring in just the 8th minute through Austrian winger Andreas Ivanschitz, who was returning from injury. Antonis Petropoulos, who was making his league debut for Panathinaikos, scored two goals in a three-minute burst in the second-half to seal the three points. There was no dream start to Dusan Bajevic’s third spell in charge of AEK as he saw his side grab a last-gasp equalizer in a 1-1 draw on Crete against OFI, which finished the game with 10 men. In Sunday’s other games, Panionios beat Levadiakos 1-0 and Asteras Tripolis’s new coach Nikos Kostenoglou saw his side beat Ergotelis 3-1 thanks to a first-half hat-trick from Daniel Cezarek. On Saturday, Panserraikos lost 2-1 at home to Panthrakikos.