AEK win marred by violence

AEK overtook defending champion Olympiakos at the top of the Greek league standings yesterday following a 1-0 away victory against Livadiakos in a trouble-marred match plagued by fan violence. AEK leads with 26 points from 11 games, but Olympiakos, on 24 points and playing at home today against Iraklis in the round’s final game, would regain top spot with a win against the Thessaloniki side. AEK went ahead in the 30th minute with Greek international Costas Katsouranis’s first goal of the season after he struck on a shot from Swedish-Syrian midfielder Louay Chanko. The goal was preceded by a 20-minute interruption in the 18th minute of play after riot police used tear gas to quell fan violence. AEK fans without tickets reportedly attempted to storm into the stadium. The use of tear gas caused respiratory problems on and off the pitch, forcing the referee to interrupt the game. Four police officers were injured, reports said. Private television station Alpha was unable to continue offering its live coverage of the game after the station’s broadcasting van was attacked. In other games yesterday, PAOK beat Akratitos 2-0 at home. Apollon Kalamaria triumphed 1-0 at home in a relegation-zone struggle against Panionios. Ionikos beat Kallithea 3-1, and OFI and Kallithea played to a scoreless draw. On Saturday, Panathinaikos beat Xanthi 2-1 at home. Srdan Andric and Vangelis Mantzios scored for Panathinaikos, and Alexandros Garpozis for Xanthi. Panathinaikos’s win, the seventh of the season, maintained third place for the Athens club with 23 points from 11 matches. After holding the lead for several rounds, Xanthi has now slipped to fourth place with 20 points from 11 games. In Saturday’s other match, Larissa drew 1-1 at home against Aegaleo. The host took the lead in the 21st minute. Xanthi leveled in the 34th through Cyprus midfielder Garpozis off a cross by Yiannis Papadimitriou. Four minutes before the end of the first period, Panathinaikos made it 2-1 when Mantzios shook off a defender on the left side of the box and curled a shot into the net for his fifth goal this season. (Kathimerini, AP)

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