PAO makes the most of Aris win

Loukas Vyntra’s goal in Tripoli and Aris’s 2-0 triumph in the Thessaloniki derby yesterday meant Panathinaikos has opened a five-point gap at the top of the soccer Super League after the weekend’s results with four rounds left to play. Vyntra scored the sole goal in the match between Asteras and Panathinaikos in the 72nd minute for the visitors’ first ever victory in Tripoli. Panathinaikos had dominated the game but had to wait until the last 20 minutes to find a way through and claim three points that have edged it closer to the title than it has been in six years. A few hours later, second-placed PAOK suffered a comprehensive loss against Aris in the Thessaloniki derby, owing to an impressive showing by Aris striker Javier Campora. The Argentine may have missed a first-half penalty, sending the ball to the post but made amends with two spectacular strikes, one in each half, to settle the high-octane match that also included minor clashes of fans with the police. PAOK finished the game with nine men due to red cards shown on Miroslaw Sznaucner and Vieirinha. Consequently, Panathinaikos now has 61 points and needs eight more to win the title, as PAOK has stayed at 56 and Olympiakos, whom Panathinaikos hosts next, has 54. The Reds failed to beat visitor PAS Yiannina on Saturday with the final score at 2-2 at the Karaiskakis Stadium. Goals by Matt Derbyshire and Lomana LuaLua were canceled out by two own goals by Avraam Papadopoulos and Olof Mellberg. Olympiakos fans called for the immediate return of former coach Ernesto Valverde. AEK scored a spectacular 3-0 home win over Kavala to ensure its entry to the playoffs, while Atromitos maintained some hope toward the same end, beating Iraklis 2-1. In the huge battle to avoid relegation, Levadiakos has Giorgos Barkoglou to thank for his late brace as he overturned Xanthi’s 1-0 lead at Livadia for a precious 2-1 win. In the other games, Larissa downed Ergotelis 1-0 and Panthrakikos got mathematically relegated after its 1-0 home loss to Panionios.

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