Olympiakos regains top spot

Olympiakos returned to the top of the Greek first division yesterday with a comfortable 3-0 win against Panionios. But the 11th round was marred by crowd trouble at the Thessaloniki derby between PAOK and Aris. The Piraeus squad took advantage of PAOK’s 2-0 loss to crosstown Aris to move to the top of the 16-team standings for the first time in three weeks. Olympiakos now has 23 points, two ahead of PAOK. In the round’s major game, substitute Nyren Demba scored both goals for Aris. It was PAOK’s second loss in 11 games. At the end of the match, PAOK supporters broke plastic seats and tossed them onto the pitch. Outside Aris’s stadium, hooligans damaged seven shops and two houses. No injuries were reported. Police said eight people were taken into custody for questioning. With its victory, Aris moved from fifth to third place with 21 points. Panathinaikos played to a 0-0 draw at Xanthi and dropped one place to fourth with 20 points. In other results yesterday it was: Panachaiki 2, Akratitos 0; Kallithea 2, Ioannina 2; Ionikos 0, Proodeftiki 1. On Saturday, OFI drew 2-2 against Aegaleo. Iraklis plays AEK today. Three days after being eliminated from the UEFA Cup, following its 4-0 loss to Slavia in Prague, PAOK appeared tired and succumbed to an aggressive Aris. PAOK’s goalie Kyriacos Tohouroglou stopped Aris from taking the lead in the 6th minute. Aris coach Giorgos Firos’s choice to send in Demba in the 83rd minute paid off just two minutes later when the Swedish national gave his team the lead and then made it 2-0 in second-half injury time. On both occasions, Demba was set up by passes from Dutch midfielder Richard Knopper. Olympiakos, playing home games this season at Rizoupoli stadium, took the lead with Brazilian striker Giovanni off a cross from Stelios Yiannacopoulos in the 13th. Ten minutes later, it was Giovanni’s turn to feed Yiannacopoulos to make it 2-0. In the 82nd, Alexis Alexandris netted his team’s third goal. (AP)

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