Araujo made the difference for AEK over PAOK


Argentine striker Sergio Araujo scored a brace to lead AEK to a 3-0 triumph over 10-man PAOK on Sunday and into the play-off positions, while Olympiakos ended its losing streak beating Atromitos.

Much as most of the Super League matches were competitive, one cannot help noticing that this was another poor weekend in terms of goals, with just 10 in seven games.

Araujo contributed some quantity and plenty of quality to that with a great opening goal at the match against PAOK just 49 seconds from kick-off, and then scored from a spectacular curving effort five minutes from the end, before substitute Christos Aravidis struck on his return to the AEK line-up after several months. PAOK had defender Stelios Malezas sent off early in the second half.

The result has taken AEK up to fifth, 14 points behind leader Olympiakos that had caretaking coach Vassilis Vouzas on its bench at the 2-0 victory over Atromitos at home, following three straight losses in the league. The result came courtesy of a Manuel Da Costa goal and a Sokratis Fytanidis own-goal.

Second-placed Panionios is still six points off the pace after its 1-0 home win over Larissa on Saturday, from another Mohamed Ben goal this season.

Panathinaikos dropped two points at Iraklis but still got within one point from third-placed PAOK, one week before the Derby of Eternal Rivals between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos. Marcus Berg opened the score in Thessaloniki from the penalty spot, the league’s top scorer (17 goals) missed several other chances to add to his tally, before Iraklis went level via a Rasmus Thelander own goal for 1-1.

In other results Platanias defeated Veria 1-0, Kerkyra downed Xanthi by the same score and PAS Giannina drew 0-0 with Panetolikos.

Monday sees a crucial relegation battle between Levadiakos and Asteras Tripolis.