PAOK have gone top of the Super League, at least for a few hours, after beating Xanthi 3-0 away to reaffirm their title credentials.
Still on a high from their win against Panathinaikos, Fernando Santos’s men started the game decisively and opened the scoring in just the seventh minute thanks to the impressive Vierinha.
Just six minutes later, Vladan Ivic had made it 2-0 after nodding home from close range. Xanthi, who are battling relegation, made two substitutions at half-time, which saw former Wigan striker Nathan Ellington join the play. But the home side could not find a way through PAOK’s organised defence.
Instead, it was PAOK who scored the game’s third goal and put the result beyond doubt. The two goalscorers combined on 66 minutes, as Ivic crossed and Vierinha got ahead of his marker to slot home.
The win moves PAOK onto 53 points after 24 games – one point ahead of Panathinaikos and two ahead of Olympiakos, both of whom play on Sunday.
In Athens, AEK continued their good run of form as they beat Ergotelis 1-0. Raffik Djebbour scored the only goal of the game in the 12th minute.
The win means that AEK are seven points clear of Aris in the race for fourth place. The Thessaloniki side play Larissa on Sunday. Ergotelis remain in mid-table.
Iraklis took a massive step towards saving themselves from relegation with an impressive 4-0 win at Asteras Tripolis.
Romanian striker Victoras Iacob set the visitors on their way with a powerful shot on the 20th minute. Iraklis had the chance to double the lead 20 minutes later but Panayiotis Kone missed his penalty.
The former AEK player made up for his error with an outstanding long-range shot on 56 minutes to make it 2-0.
Iraklis won another penalty three minutes later. This time Argentinean midfielder Mauro Milano stepped up to take it against his former club and scored.
The rout was complete on 72 minutes when Iacob scored his second of the game.
Taking advantage of Xanthi’s defeat, Iraklis are now clear in 11th place, seven points clear of the relegation zone.