Panathinaikos has maintained their place in the mix for the premiership after earning a statement victory over AEK, adding further drama into the incredibly tense title race which is now being led by PAOK.

The “Trifylli” managed to earn a 2-1 derby success against Enosi at “Leoforos” Stadium on Thursday morning (AEDT) in the third round of the Greek Super League play-offs, handing the “yellow-blacks” their first league defeat since October last year.

AEK began the match perfectly as they found the back of the net just five minutes in through centre half Domagoj Vida, who scored from inside the box in the aftermath of a corner set piece.

The Greens fought hard to get back into the game, knowing very well that this match was a must-win for them, and they eventually made it level in the 32nd minute.

Some excellent pressing by striker Fotis Ioannidis led to an attack which culminated in a grounded long shot from playmaker (and former AEK player) Anastasios Bakasetas that made its way into the bottom right corner (32′).

Ioannidis then repeated his excellent pressing again just minutes later, stealing the ball from centre back Harold Moukoudi and then chipping it over goalkeeper Georgios Athanasiadis from the subsequent one-on-one opportunity (34′).

The “Trifylli” played a much more reserved game in the second half, allowing AEK to dominate the play, managing by the end to preserve their one-goal lead and secure arguably their most important league win yet this campaign.

The match is a disappointing outcome for Enosi, who had not lost a single derby against Olympiacos, Panathinaikos and PAOK this season before this clash, with it also resulting in them losing their place atop the ladder.

PAOK were the beneficiaries of this as they jumped into first following a 3-1 win at “Toumba” Stadium over Lamia.

The Thessaloniki giants were stunned early after an error from goalkeeper Dominik Kotarski allowed Lamia attacker Ruben Martinez to hit the ball into an empty net (7′).

It took until the end of the first period for them to bring it back level when centre half Giannis Michailidis scored a header in the 45+1st minute, with the defender dedicating the goal to his father who passed away a few days ago.

PAOK midfielder Stefan Schwab had an immense impact off the bench in the second half as he struck the ball in from just outside the box to give his team the lead (70′) before slotting away a penalty in the 88th minute to guarantee the points.

The “black-whites” have now displaced AEK, though they hold a slim one-point lead which means the fate of the league trophy is by no means decided.

Olympiacos breezed past Aris with a 3-0 triumph at “Georgios Karaiskakis” ground to get their first win of the play-offs.

The Piraeus outfit went ahead early through striker Ayoub El Kaabi, who headed in a Kostas Fortounis cross (6′), with the Moroccan then missing a golden chance from the penalty spot to make it two after his Panenka down the middle was caught by goalkeeper Julian Cuesta (41′).

Winger Daniel Podence managed to double the hosts’ advantage on the hour mark with an effort from outside the box before substitute Joao Carvalho made it three with an 89th minute goal.

Greek Super League Ladder

Championship Group

1-PAOK: 66

2-AEK: 65

3-Panathinaikos: 62

4-Olympiacos: 60

5-Aris: 48

6-Lamia: 34