Much-needed victory for PAO at Xanthi

Panathinaikos put aside its board problems to score a much-needed 2-0 win at Xanthi on the restart of the Super League on Tuesday. There were also wins for Aris and Atromitos.

The Greens moved to within two points from leaders Olympiakos thanks to one goal at the start and one at the end of the game at Xanthi.

Costas Katsouranis found Djibril Cisse outside the box with barely 30 seconds on the clock, and the French international lobbed the ball over Xanthi goalkeeper Sotiris Liberopoulos for his 14th league goal of the season.

Xanthi hardly put any pressure on the visitors’ goal and risked conceding a second in several occasions, succumbing to the last one at the 93th minute: A clever back-header by Katsouranis released Lazaros Christodoulopoulos who rounded the keeper and made it 2-0.

Aris made the most of an early goal by Carlos Ruiz to beat Kavala 1-0 in Thessaloniki and join AEK and PAOK at the third spot.

Ruiz had worked wonders for Aris last summer in the Europa League, but on Tuesday he scored his first league goal at the third minute to give Aris all three points in a tight game, probably the last Kavala have played with Henryk Kasperczak on their bench.

Italian manager Serse Cosmi was at the stands watching his new club as Kavala are likely to announce his hiring on Wednesday.

There was some bad news for Aris, though, as skipper Sergio Koke suffered an injury that threatens to keep him out of action for a long time.

Atromitos reduced further the already few hopes bottom side Larissa has of staying up, winning 3-0 at Peristeri.

Just like Panathinaikos and Aris, it capitalized on an early goal as Vangelis Nastos beat the Larissa defense from the first minute.

Marek Saganowski added the second at the 15th minute with a bullet header that Larissa keeper Giorgos Abaris could not keep out.

With Larissa disappointed and outplayed, Marcelo Sarmiento put the icing on the cake at the 82nd.

The other fixtures of the 16th round of games follow in Wednesday. They are Olympiakos vs Iraklis, AEK vs Kerkyra, Asteras Tripolis vs Ergotelis, Olympiakos Volou vs Panionios and Panserraikos vs PAOK.