Olympiakos sealed its fifth consecutive Super League title triumph with a 4-0 win over Levadiakos on Sunday, while PAOK leapfrogged over Panathinaikos who lost again.
The Reds had Chori Dominguez on fire as he scored a couple of goals against 10-man Levadiakos, with Jorge Benitez and Costas Fortounis adding to the viewing pleasure of the few thousands of Olympiakos fans who attended the game at the half-empty Karaiskakis Stadium.
This is the 42nd league trophy in Olympiakos’s history, a Greek record, and the Piraeus club is planning to hold a title fiesta at the last home game of the season, on May 3 against Kalloni Lesvou.
A month and a half ago, on March 7, the league table read as follows at the top: Panathinaikos 61, Olympiakos 58. It now reads Olympiakos 73, PAOK 60 and Panathinaikos 59. This spectacular shift is explained by a number of factors, but is also peculiar to the state of the Greek game.
Since Panathinaikos’s wins over Olympiakos and Ergotelis on February 22 and March 7 respectively, the Greens have only earned one point, through a home draw with Asteras Tripolis, and suffered losses to Atromitos, Veria and Panthrakikos, as well as having three points deducted, hence the phenomenon of having two points less a month and a half later.
In the mean time Olympiakos has won five of the six games it had to play and claimed the title with three rounds of games left, while PAOK has recovered after the departure of coach Angelos Anastasiadis to move up to second.
On Saturday PAOK played with 10 men for the latter part of the game at Kerkyra but managed to snatch victory via a spectacular free-kick by Ergys Kace late in the match for a 1-0 result.
Then on Sunday Panathinaikos did everything it could to give away victory to host Panthrakikos: After a howler by keeper Luke Steele that allowed Igor de Souza to give the Komotini side the lead, Christos Bourbos got himself sent off to leave the Greens of Athens with 10 men, and Panathinaikos conceded a late goal to Christos Tzanis that gave Panthrakikos a 2-1 win and a lifeline in its effort to avoid relegation. Gordon Schildenfeld had temporarily equalized for Panathinaikos.
The battle between Atromitos and PAS Giannina at Peristeri, for the fifth spot at the table, ended all square at 1-1 after a first-half goal by Cristian Chavez for PAS and a spectacular equalizer by Pitu Garcia.
In other weekend games struggling Ergotelis somehow beat host Xanthi 1-0, that has beaten PAOK and Panathinaikos at home, while Panetolikos downed Kalloni Lesvou 2-0.
On Monday Veria greets Asteras Tripolis.