NEWS

Reds win but PAO is still favorite

Olympiakos may have scored a morale-boosting 1-0 win in the big soccer derby against Panathinaikos last night but AEK’s 1-0 victory at PAOK has brought the Greens closer to their first title in six years. Panathinaikos had most of the scoring chances in the game at the Olympic Stadium, hitting the woodwork no fewer than three times, but it was Olympiakos who found the target in the 67th minute thanks to a Matt Derbyshire strike in front of a capacity crowd of 65,000 noisy Panathinaikos fans. With three games remaining till the end of the regular season of the Super League, Panathinaikos needs two victories to win the championship. The Reds have now leapfrogged PAOK, who lost to an Ismael Blanco goal in Thessaloniki after a terrible error by goalkeeper Costas Chalkias. Aris, in fifth, kept its five-point advantage over Kavala with a 1-1 draw at Panionios, as Kavala could not beat Larissa at home (3-3) in the evening’s most entertaining game. Iraklis earned a precious 3-1 win on Crete that put Ergotelis in relegation trouble. PAS Giannina, Xanthi and Levadiakos, three teams hovering just above the relegation zone, scored home victories that make the battle for survival even more complicated. PAS defeated Atromitos 1-0, Xanthi got the better of Asteras Tripolis with a 2-0 score and Levadiakos downed already relegated Panthrakikos 2-0. Panathinaikos leads the standings with 61 points, Olympiakos has 57, PAOK 56, AEK 48 and Aris 43. Kavala follows with 38, Atromitos and Panionios share seventh spot with 35 points, one more than Iraklis; Larissa has 31, just ahead of Ergotelis, Levadiakos and Asteras Tripolis, which all have 30. In the drop zone, PAS Giannina and Xanthi are on 28, while Panthrakikos has just 12 points.