SPORTS

PAOK closes gap at top

It is very unusual for three of the country’s big teams, (Olympiakos, Panathinaikos and AEK) to drop points on the same day. But yesterday leader Olympiakos lost 1-0 to Aris, Panathinaikos drew 2-2 with Iraklis and AEK took just one point at lowly Thrasyvoulos (3-3). Consequently, PAOK made the most of its rivals’ problems to close the gap with Olympiakos at the top to just one point, thanks to its easy 3-1 win at home over Levadiakos. PAOK remains the only unbeaten team in the Super League. Aris was far more effective than in previous games and took a first-half lead via Javito Periane’s header after a Nacho Garcia cross in the 18th minute. Olympiakos was clearly tired from its 1-0 loss at Galatasaray on Thursday for the UEFA Cup and failed to get anything out of this game. Xanthi moved up to third with its 2-1 home win over Panserraikos, while Panathinaikos missed a chance to go within striking distance of Olympiakos, but actually nicked a point from visiting Iraklis at the Olympic Stadium. The Greens led at halftime through a Vangelis Mantzios header, but two goals in two minutes from Manolis Papasterianos and Kiko Raton just after the hour mark turned the game around. Dimitris Salpigidis spared the hosts’ blushes in injury time. AEK squandered a 3-0 lead at Fyli to Thrasyvoulos, having led at halftime via goals from Nacho Scocco (twice) and Ismael Blanco. The local side scored three goals in 25 minutes, thanks to Wellington Goncalves and Luis Alves for its first draw ever in the top flight. Elsewhere it was Larissa 1, Panthrakikos 2; Ergotelis 2, Panionios 5 and Asteras Tripolis 2, OFI 2.