Olympiakos moves to top spot

Vassilis Torosidis scored an own-goal and Predrag Djordjevic converted a penalty yesterday to help Olympiakos beat nine-man Xanthi 2-0 and reclaim first place in the Greek first division. Olympiakos has 21 points from nine games, one ahead of AEK, which beat Kallithea 2-0 Saturday. Xanthi, which had led the 16-team standings for the last three rounds, dropped to third place with 18 points. Panathinaikos retained fourth place with 17 points after a 2-0 win over OFI Crete. Also yesterday, it was: Ionikos 2, Apollon 0; Levadiakos 1, Akratitos 1; and PAOK 1, Panionios 0. Olympiakos, which was looking to overcome a humiliating 4-1 loss to Lyon in the Champions League, went ahead in the first minute when Torosidis headed a cross by Pantelis Kafes into his own net. Xanthi never recovered from the early goal and Djordjevic then pulled Olympiakos out of reach when he converted a penalty in the 54th after Akis Stoltidis was fouled in the box by Torosidis. The Xanthi defender saw his second yellow card and was sent off. Paraskevas Antzas, another Xanthi defender, made Olympiakos’s task even easier when he later got a second yellow card. In Crete, last season’s top scorer Fanis Gekas wasted three chances for Panathinaikos in the opening 15 minutes. The sustained pressure was rewarded in the 65th when Brazilian midfielder Flavio Conceicao found the net with a perfectly struck free kick. Panathinaikos’s second came in the 68th through Dimitris Papadopoulos, who headed home another Conceicao free kick. On Saturday, AEK was led to its 2-0 win over last-placed Kallithea with goals from Vassilis Lakis and Nikos Lymberopoulos. In Saturday’s other match, promoted Larissa beat visiting Atromitos 2-1. Kallithea, with new Romanian coach Ilia Dumitrescu on the bench, was troubled by AEK’s attacking game and rarely looked threatening at the Athens Olympic stadium. Lakis put AEK ahead in the 21st when he shot home a loose ball after a melee in the Kallithea area. Lymberopoulos scored his sixth goal of the season in the 53rd off a free kick by Vladan Ivic. Lymberopoulos, a Greek international, had earlier hit the crossbar with a header in the 14th. (AP)

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