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Football | Europe

Stefanos Athanasiadis © Reuters Images

PAOK strike late to hold Olympiakos



Stefanos Athanasiadis struck two minutes from time as PAOK Salonika held leaders Olympiakos Pireaus to a 1-1 draw in Sunday's top-of-the-table clash in the Greek Super League.

Leonardo Jardim's side looked to be heading for their 11th win in 12 matches after top scorer Rafik Djebbour's 27th-minute opener but Greece international Athanasiadis struck his eighth of the season to level matters late on at Toumba Stadium.

Champions Olympiakos maintained their eight-point lead in the standings with 32 points, with PAOK remaining second.

"There are still plenty of games left and we are not champions yet," Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas told reporters.

"Olympiakos is a great club and, with no disrespect to our opponents, a draw is not good enough. When you are ahead by a goal, miss chances and then concede a goal from the opposition's only real clear chance then of course there is bitterness.

"Despite that we remain eight points ahead and we want to keep it that way until the end of the season."

In other action, Panathinaikos' mini revival under recently appointed coach Juan Roman Rocha stalled as the Greens succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at Platanias.

Goals from French midfielder Kendal Ucar and Greek striker Ilias Anastasakos gave the home side a two-goal lead before Toche's 70th-minute penalty reduced the deficit.

The Spanish striker had seen what seemed a legitimate goal chalked off for offside in the first half, while any hopes of salvaging a point disappeared when Portuguese midfielder Zeca was dismissed five minutes from time after a second yellow card.

"Our psychology must remain intact, what we have to do is keep putting in good performances and hopefully the victories and points will come," Zeca said.

"We won't use the excuse of being tired from the Europa League commitments. We have to keep our heads held high and look at the bigger picture."

The result left Panathinaikos in seventh place, 16 points adrift of Olympiakos.

AEK Athens fans who thought last weekend's 4-0 win over Veria was the turning point in what has been a terrible start to the season came crashing back to earth as Ewald Lienen's team suffered a 1-0 home defeat against Levadiakos.

The Athens club remain rooted to the foot of the table with eight points from 12 matches.

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