Panathinaikos downed Olympiakos 2-1 at home on Sunday to get to within three points from its archrival at the summit of the Super League after comprehensively outplaying the champion and only conceding a goal with the last kick of the game.
The Greens took full advantage of the tired legs of their visitors, who were still smarting from their 2-0 loss in Ukraine three days earlier. They outran Olympiakos in the first half and had them exhausted in the second, forcing them to commit serious errors in defense, to the extent that the final score appeared flattering for the Reds.
Four minutes after the interval Danijel Pranjic crossed the ball toward Marcus Berg, when Olympiakos defender Arthur Masuaku tried to intervene only to send the ball into his own team’s net.
Half an hour later it was 2-0 as Mladen Petric was once again the match winner for Panathinaikos with a low shot to the left-hand corner of goalkeeper Roberto.
The only thing Olympiakos could do was to grab a consolation goal through a free-kick by substitute Chori Dominguez two minutes past the time added on.
Olympiakos has a three-point advantage and its run-in appears easier compared with that of Panathinaikos, so it remains the favorite for the title.
Third-placed PAOK scored a 3-1 win at Veria to put previous poor performances behind it and cut the distance from the top to eight points. Facundo Perreira, Miguel Vitor and Cristian Noboa scored for the Thessaloniki giant, all in the first half, while Nicolao Dumitru pulled one back for the host.
Asteras Tripolis is now alone in fourth after thrashing hapless OFI 6-1 at home, as Panetolikos shared a goalless draw with host Panthrakikos at Komotini to drop to fifth.
Panionios scored a precious 1-0 victory over fellow struggling Levadiakos at home to crawl away from the drop zone.
In other games Kalloni beat PAS Giannina 1-0 on Lesvos and Platanias drew 1-1 with Kerkyra at Hania.
On Monday Ergotelis hosts Atromitos at OFI’s home ground.