SPORTS

AEK maintains perfect record and lead after six rounds of play

Ismael Blanco scored to give AEK a 1-0 win at Xanthi yesterday to retain its lead and perfect record in the Greek Super League. AEK achieved its sixth straight win from as many games without conceding a single goal and has 18 points, five ahead of crosstown rival Panathinaikos. Olympiakos, the defending champion, is third with 12 points. AEK squandered several chances before Blanco put the visitors ahead with his fourth goal of the season. Blanco, the current co-leader in the Super League along with Rafik Djebbour of Panionios and Darko Kovasevic of Olympiakos, beat goalkeeper Ivan Turina with a shot from inside the area after a through ball from Brazilian Rivaldo. Panathinaikos moved up to second place with a 2-0 home win over 10-man Atromitos on goals from Dimitris Salpiggidis and Dimitris Papadopoulos. Atromitos’s Giorgos Anatolakis was sent off in the 10th minute. Defending champions Olympiakos were held 3-3, away, by Cretan club Ergotelis. The Piraeus team’s coach Takis Lemonis cited fatigue felt by his players from last Wednesday’s Champions League game – a 4-2 loss at Real Madrid after the Greek team led 2-1 well into the second half – as a factor in yesterday’s outcome. Ergotelis took the lead with a penalty by Junior Silva in the 21st minute. Giorgos Theodoridis made it 2-0 two minutes later. But Olympiakos drew level within five minutes with goals from Julio Cezar in the 38th minute and Kovasevic in the 43rd from the penalty spot. Predrag Djordjevic put the defending champions ahead with a penalty in the 59th minute of play. The Cretan club leveled for the final 3-3 win a minute before injury time when Silva kicked the ball through a number of players in Olympiakos’s goalmouth and found the target. Also Sunday, it was: Veria 2, OFI 1; Panionios 3, Larissa 1; and PAOK 4, Apollon 1. In two games played on Saturday, Thessaloniki club Iraklis defeated visiting Levadiakos 1-0 to move out of the relegation zone and newly promoted Asteras Tripoli, currently midtable, was held to a scoreless draw by Aris, now fourth on 10 points with Panionios and Atromitos Peristeri. (AP/Kathimerini)