SPORTS

Olympiakos winter champion as PAOK crashes at Asteras

PAOK suffered a 3-0 loss at Tripoli to local Asteras, allowing Olympiakos to retake the lead in the Super League with an emphatic 3-1 win at Xanthi, while Panathinaikos in third trounced Ergotelis 5-0 with all goals coming in the first half.

Fourth-placed Asteras dominated the game with visiting PAOK on Saturday, as Yiannis Yanniotas (a former Aris player) scored a brace and Papa Khalifa Sankare added one more, all in the first 45 minutes, while the hosts also missed a penalty kick and had two good goals disallowed for offside.

Xanthi had put four past PAOK and Panathinaikos in December, but against Olympiakos on Sunday it seemed rather toothless, while the champion seemed revitalized after the departure of manager Michel.

Portuguese coach Vitor Pereira, in his first game on the Piraeus team’s bench, saw Costas Mitroglou score twice, with Mathieu Dossevi adding his name to the scoresheet. Adrian Lucero pulled one back for Xanthi toward the end.

These results meant that Olympiakos has gone two points clear at the top of the table at the league’s halfway point, and will stay there at least for the next round of games as it was next scheduled to face Niki Volou that has withdrawn from the league.

Panathinaikos played a torrential first half against Ergotelis on Saturday, with Marcus Berg scoring a hat-trick and Viktor Klonaridis adding a brace in the first 42 minutes of the game. The Greens dropped a gear after the interval, but are now four points behind fourth-placed PAOK.

Panetolikos, in fifth, drew 0-0 at home with PAS Giannina, but sixth-placed Veria did not get any closer as it also drew at home, 1-1 with Kalloni Lesvou.

Portuguese Carlos Milhazes became one of the few left-backs in history to have scored a hat-trick, and in his last game with OFI Crete at that, as the Iraklio club defeated Kerkyra 3-2 at home. Milhazes has agreed to move to Levadiakos, which was not in action this weekend as it was supposed to play Niki Volou.

In other games Platanias thrashed Panionios 3-0 at Hania and Panthrakikos drew 1-1 with Atromitos.

The league continues on Wednesday and Thursday with a full list of fixtures.