The last round of games for the Super League in 2011 had a nasty surprise in store for AEK as it went down 1-0 at fourth-placed Atromitos on December 18, while leader Olympiakos had no problems in beating PAS Giannina.
The run of five victories came to an end for AEK at Peristeri, in an eventful game that was settled by a Stelios Sfakianakis goal in the 58th minute.
A few minutes earlier the referee had correctly awarded Atromitos a penalty, only to change his mind and give a freekick on the edge of the box instead. A scuffle followed involving Atromitos coach Giorgos Donis and AEK official Vassilis Dimitriadis, both of whom were handed marching orders.
Donis, a former AEK coach, can now see his team get to within five points from third-placed AEK and having a game in hand.
Olympiakos downed PAS 2-0 at home to stay four points clear of Panathinaikos, which had beaten Asteras Tripolis a day earlier. The Greens have two games in hand, however.
Olympiakos strolled to an easy win in front of some 18,000 fans at the Karaiskakis Stadium and scored two first-half goals through David Fuster and Rafik Djebbour.
PAOK returned to the fifth spot after spending Saturday night in sixth, thanks to its 2-0 away win over bottom side Doxa Dramas. Dimitris Salpingidis and Giorgos Fotakis were on target for the Thessaloniki side, who is now back above Xanthi.
The other two matches of the day ended in goalless draws: Kerkyra held host OFI on Crete to snatch its seventh point in 12 games, while Aris fans showered their own players and manager with abuse for the draw at home with Panetolikos.