A Djibril Cisse brace sealsPanathinaikos’s derby victory

The stereotypical expression of «a game of two halves» was an apt description of Saturday’s big derby, which saw Panathinaikos beat 10-man Olympiakos 2-1 at the Olympic Stadium in Athens. Olympiakos enjoyed greater possession in the first half and saw Belgian striker Kevin Mirallas score a spectacular goal in a solo effort at the 37th minute to silence the crowd of some 60,000 Panathinaikos fans. Yet just as the match seemed that it was going to be a repetition of last year’s victory for Olympiakos at the Olympic Stadium, Panathinaikos coach Nikos Nioplias introduced Luis Garcia and Stergos Marinos at half-time, while shifting Lazaros Christodoulopoulos from the left side to the hole behind his lone striker, Djibril Cisse. The trick paid off for the Greens, who were a completely different side in the second half. A pinpoint cross from the right eluded Olympiakos defender Vassilis Torosidis and found Cisse, who thundered the ball into the Oympiakos net at the 57th minute. Five minutes later, Garcia picked out Cisse in the box with a through ball, but the latter was upended by Avraam Papadopoulos. The Olympiakos central defender got his marching orders and Cisse converted the penalty to make the home fans delirious. AEK could not continue its streak of good results after wins over Aris and Panathinaikos and lost 1-0 at Panionios, playing for 55 minutes with 10 men due to the red card to Claudio Dadomo. Sito Riera scored for Panionios. Asteras Tripolis came from behind to beat Kerkyra 2-1 in Patras, as did PAOK against Ergotelis on Crete. Panserraikos downed Kavala 1-0, Aris beat Atromitos 2-0 and Larissa thrashed Xanthi 3-0. Iraklis and Olympiakos Volou shared a goalless draw. Olympiakos remains top of the standings with 18 points after eight games, but Panathinaikos is now at 17. AEK and Asteras Tripolis share the third spot with 13, while Aris, Kavala and Kerkyra follow with 12. Iraklis and PAOK are at 11, Olympiakos Volou has 10, Ergotelis and Larissa have nine, Atromitos, Panionios and Panserraikos have each got seven and Xanthi is last with six points.