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Greece round-up: AEK back in pole position

AEK Athens regained top spot in the Ethniki Katigoria on Sunday with a 3-1 win over Aigaleo.

AEK Athens returned to the top of the Ethniki Katigoria table on Sunday with a hard-fought 3-1 win over city rivals Aigaleo.

Nikolaidis on target
Striker Demis Nikolaidis set AEK on their way with great solo effort in the 35th minute, but Dimitris Meidanis levelled with a header from a Carlos Gamarra corner three minutes before the break. Nikolaidis continued to threaten the home side's goal after the interval and eventually won a penalty, after being hauled down in the area by Aegaleo keeper Nenad Bikic, in the 64th minute. Vassilis Tsartas converted from the ensuing spot-kick. The result was sealed in the 77th minute when Christos Maladenis headed home from an Ilija Ivic corner. AEK stay two points clear of second-placed FC PAOK Thessaloniki, at the top of the table.

PAOK maintain pressure
PAOK kept up the pressure on the leaders with a 3-0 win over Iraklis FC in the Thessalonika derby. Yasemis Yasemakis headed PAOK in front just before the break but the home side did not make sure of the result until the closing stages of the game. Yiannakis Okkas made in 2-0, seven minutes from time, while Pantelis Kafes added a third in injury-time.

Olympiakos shocked
Olympiakos Piraeus FC's title-challenge suffered another set-back as they went down 3-1 at Panionios GS, with all the goals coming in the first half. Alexios Alexandris gave the visitors the perfect start with a goal in the third minute, but they failed to capitalise on their lead. Ermin Siljak levelled the scores in the 26th minute, while Petr Vlcek added two more before the break. Olympiakos, who slip down to fourth, have now failed to win in their last three outings.

Easy for Xanthi
Fifth-placed Xanthi FC continue to challenge for a UEFA Cup place as they narrow the gap on fourth place to a single point. They were comfortable 3-1 winners over rock-bottom Panachaiki GS with Stavros Lambriakos, Herbert Gager and Ismael Ba netting before Panachaiki grabbed a late consolation through Nenad Vuksevic. The visitors finished the game with ten men following the dismissal of Vangelis Kefalas in injury-time.

Afash the hero for Ionikos
Mohamed Afash's 19th-minute strike gave Ionikos a 1-0 win over FC Aris Thessaloniki, who played the last 40 minutes of their game with ten men, following Nikos Papadopoulos' dismissal. The game between Akratitos and Ethnikos Asteras was postponed following the death of Akratitos coach Yiannis Pathiakakis on Friday.