Standing room only as Olympiakos close in on 45th Greek title


Athens (AFP)

Olympiakos closed in on a 45th Greek league title on Sunday with a 1-0 win at closest rivals PAOK Salonika, even if fans had to climb onto nearby rooftops to watch the game.

As the Greek Super League emerged from a three-month coronavirus shutdown, Olympiakos opened up a 17-point lead with nine games left.

With spectators banned from the usually intimidating Toumba Stadium due to health protocols, fans did their perilous best to still see the game.

One group clambered high onto the roof of an apartment block overlooking the stadium although a giant scoreboard may have obscured their view.

Moroccan striker Youssef El Arabi scored the only goal of the game in the 23rd minute after being set up by French teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

El Arabi had an earlier effort ruled out for offside after a VAR intervention.

Both teams will meet twice again before the end of the season - in the Greek Cup semi-finals and the return league clash which forms part of the championship play-offs.

After Sunday's game, dozens of PAOK fans gathered outside the stadium to jeer their team.

In other action on Sunday, Panathinaikos and AEK drew 1-1 after Italian forward Federico Macheda's 65th minute strike was cancelled out by Croatian striker Marko Livaja 10 minutes later.

Asteras Tripolis edged Larissa 2-1 despite having fallen a goal behind.

On Saturday, the play-offs began with Aris Thessaloniki beating OFI 3-1 and Panionios defeating Volos 1-0.