Panathinaikos will go into 2010 top of the Super League after Aris managed to beat Olympiakos 1-0 in Thessaloniki on Sunday to leave the Reds languishing in second place.
The defeat means that Olympiakos have 36 points from 15 games to Panathinaikos’s 38.
The Reds, already ravaged by injuries, lost Enzo Maresca and Olof Mellberg before the game.
Javier Campora scored the only goal of the game on Sunday to lead Aris Thessaloniki to a 1-0 win over defending champion Olympiakos in the Greek league.
Olympiakos’ first loss this season helped rival Panathinaikos to retain the lead in the Greek league.
Halfway through the 30-round season, Panathinaikos has 38 points, two more than Olympiakos, following their victory on Saturday.
Aris controlled play from the kickoff and only several good saves by goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis kept Olympiakos in the match.
A powerful shot by Mehdi Nafti in the 15th minute forced Nikopolidis to make a diving save.
Seven minutes later, he saved with an outstretched arm to foil a low drive by Toni Calvo before tipping a free kick from Darcy Neto over the crossbar in the 31st.
A powerful shot by Calvo was again saved by Nikopolidis in the 58th. A minute later, Aris’ keeper Michalis Sifakis punched away a blistering shot by Leonardo.
But Campora finally broke the deadlock in the 70th minute after a mix-up between Nikopolidis and Oscar.
In the remaining minutes, Olympiakos launched a series of attacks to try and equalize but the Aris defence held firm.
It produced Olympiakos’s first defeat of the season and means that Aris have now beaten the Reds for two consecutive seasons.
Of more immediate importance is that Panathinaikos finish the year two points clear at the top of the table.
The win moves Aris up to sixth on 22 points, which is the same as Kavala who produced a memorable away performance to win 2-1 at Panionios.
Both teams sit below Asteras Tripolis, who are fourth on 23 points after beating AEK 2-0 in the Peloponnese. Eder and Daniel Cezarek scored the goals for Vangelis Vlachos’s team.
Atromitos heaped more misery on bottom side Panthrakikos as striker Ilias Anastasakos scored a hat-trick to help the Athenians return from northeastern Greece with a 3-0 win.
The game of the day was at Xanthi where the local side came out on top in a seven-goal thriller with Iraklis. All seven of the goals were scored by different players as Xanthi won 4-3 to ease their relegation fears and leave Iraklis hovering one point above the drop zone
Panathinaikos ended a relatively good week on a high, smashing four goals past PAS Ioannina on Saturday in the process of notching up its third consecutive win under Nikos Nioplias.
The home side had to wait until the 50th minute to open the scoring, when Djibril Cisse stroked home the ball from a spot-kick after Simao was brought down.
Cisse made it 2-0 with his 11th goal of the season in the 75th minute when the ball fell to him in the box following a save – the Frenchman kept his cool and drilled home as the defenders tried desperately to stop him
PAO’s third came when Loukas Vintra met a near post flick-on from Costas Katsouranis at the far post to nod the ball into the net.
Substitute Lazaros Christodoulopoulos rounded off the win with a fourth a minute before full time.
PAOK remain third, on 28 points, after beating Ergotelis 2-0 in Crete. Ilija Ivic set up both goals with neat passes.
The first was finished by Nikos Arabatzis in the 52nd minute, the second by Vierinha, who netted in the 65th minute.
In Saturday’s other game, Levadiakos disposed off Larissa with a 3-0 home win thanks to three goals in a frantic 10-minute spell in the first half.
Midfielder Yiannis Taralidis opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Then, a slip-up by Arkadiusz Malarz in the Larissa goal allowed Giorgos Barkoglou to pounce in the 22nd minute.
The rout was completed in the 25th minute by Stefano Napoleoni.The result means that Levadiakos have drawn level with PAS Ioannina and Xanthi on 14 points but remain in second last position on the table.
The next round of games is due to be played on January 5 and 6.