Apollon moved a step closer to the championship after a convincing 4-2 win over their main rivals Apoel, while in the relegation group Olympiakos will need a miracle if they are to avoid the drop after going down 2-0 to Nea Salamina.
For the second time this season Apollon hit four against champions Apoel, laying to rest any notion that the first demolition was a fluke.
From the very first whistle Apollon stamped their authority on the game and it was obvious that it was only a matter of time before they opened the score.
Alef and Sachetti bossed the midfield while up front the speedy Apollon strikers were having a field day against Apoel’s slow and flat back line.
For yet another game Apollon’s ‘rookie coach’ Sofronis Avgousti outfoxed and outsmarted the more experienced Giorgos Donis. Even when Apoel appeared to be gaining the upper hand early in the second half Avgousti made a couple of changes enabling his team to regain control of the game.
The Limassol side took the lead just after the quarter hour mark when Anton Maglica raced onto Papoulis’ through ball to beat Apoel’s Perez from inside the penalty area.
Man of the match Joao Pedro doubled the score with a sublime free-kick in the 31st minute to give the Limassol side a 2-0 lead.
Apoel’s Mikael Pote pulled a goal back four minutes before the break to reduce the arrears and set up a mouth-watering second half.
Apoel came out all guns blazing and in the first 10 minutes looked the more likely team to get the next goal.
However after weathering the storm Apollon took control of the game yet again and restored their two-goal lead when their captain Fotis Papoulis converted a penalty in the 65th minute after he had been upended by Apoel’s Perez when clean through.
Apoel pushed forward to get back into the game leaving huge gaps at the back and it was no surprise when an unmarked Papoulis scored his second of the game 12 minutes from the end taking away the last shred of lingering doubts on the eventual winner.
Stathis Aloneftis scored for Apoel late on but it was all too little too late against a much superior team on the day.
In the other top group games Omonia suffered their third straight defeat, this time a 3-1 home loss to fourth placed AEK who kept up the pressure on Anorthosis. The Famagusta team came away from the Tsireion stadium with the three points after defeating AEL 2-0.
After just one season in the top flight Olympiakos seem certain of a quick return to the second division as they lost 2-0 to the team just above them, Nea Salamina, meaning they are nine points away from safety.
Nea Salamina were the better side and managed to take the three points thanks to two second-half goals by Carlao.
Alki moved further clear of the relegation zone with a 3-0 win over PAfos FC while in the final game of the round Ermis Aradippou defeated Doxa 2-1 with all three goals coming in a frantic last 15 minutes.