Olympiakos beats Xanthi 4-0, keeps perfect record
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -Defending champion Olympiakos remained perfect with seven wins from as many games after an easy 4-0 victory over visiting Xanthi in the Greek league on Saturday.
Costas Manolas opened the scoring, Rafik Djebbour scored twice, and Jose Holebas also netted for Olympiakos.
In Thessaloniki, Klaus Athanassiadis scored early in the second half to give host PAOK a 1-0 victory over last-place AEK Athens. The victory vaulted PAOK into second place, five points behind Olympiakos, as Panionios surprisingly lost 1-0 at home to Kerkyra.
Xanthi nearly scored 51 seconds in when Marcelinho, charging down the left flank, chose to unleash a shot that went just wide of the right post instead of crossing to two unmarked teammates inside Olympiakos' area. This was the closest the visitors would come to a goal.
Olympiakos' first chance came in the 24th, when a swift exchange of passes between Djamel Abdoun and Paulo Machado found the latter alone with goalkeeper Jody Viviani who managed to save.
In the 37th, Machado curled a free kick inside Xanthi's area and Manolas rose highest of all to head the ball in.
Olympiakos came out much stronger in the second half and nearly scored in the 46th when Djebbour latched into Abdoun's cross, sending the ball just wide.
Three minutes later, a deep ball from Olympiakos goalkeeper Roy Carroll found David Fuster who rattled Xanthi's crossbar with a blistering shot from outside the area.
In the 51st, Holebas took a corner kick and exchanged a short pass with Abdoun before unleashing a curling shot to the near post. Viviani, expecting a cross, was caught off guard and pushed the ball into his net.
Three minutes later, Djebbour met Holebas' curling free kick at the far post and pushed it in to make it 3-0.
The Algerian forward closed the scoring in the 63rd when he got a pass from Fuster just outside the area and volleyed into the top right corner of Xanthi's net for his league-leading eighth goal.
Olympiakos missed several more chances to widen the margin, including a shot by Costas Mitroglou that hit the post in the 86th.