SPORTS

Reds move up a gear

Olympiakos scored five goals in the last 30 minutes of its soccer match with Iraklis last night and needs just four more points from the remaining four games to clinch the Super League title for yet another season. Although Olympiakos had a rather sleepy first half at the Karaiskaki Stadium last night, the champion upped its pace in the second half to thrash its visitors from Thessaloniki 5-0 and maintain the distance of nine points from second-placed Panathinaikos. Oscar Gonzalez scored two goals and English substitute Matt Derbyshire added a brace, but it was Vassilis Torosidis who broke the deadlock in the 60th minute. «This game has opened the door for the title,» said Olympiakos manager Ernesto Valverde. Panathinaikos is now alone in second, thanks to its 1-0 away win yesterday at Thrasyvoulos through a Dimitris Salpigidis penalty, as PAOK dropped two precious points at Larissa (0-0) on Saturday. AEK, in fourth, practically sent OFI down with its 1-0 victory at the Olympic Stadium, courtesy of a Pantelis Kafes goal. Xanthi upset Aris winning 1-0 away, with Victor Agali’s strike being the most impressive goal of the weekend. Levadiakos edged closer to safety following its 1-1 draw at home against Panionios, as the first team inside the relegation zone, Panserraikos, lost at Panthrakikos (2-1). Finally in Crete, Asteras Tripolis beat home team Ergotelis 1-0 to move into joint eighth along with Panthrakikos. Olympiakos leads the standings with 62 points, followed by Panathinaikos with 53, PAOK with 51 and AEK with 50. Larissa has 39, and Xanthi has caught up with Aris on 35 points. In the drop zone, Panserraikos has 22, OFI has 20 and Thrasyvoulos has 13 and cannot reach Iraklis and Levadiakos at 29. Wednesday will see the first leg of the Greek Cup semifinals, pitting Asteras Tripolis against Olympiakos and AEK against Panserraikos.