APOEL moved a step closer to their fourth consecutive league title after beating arch-rivals Omonia while second-placed AEK, who beat Anorthosis, remained four points adrift with three games to go.
In the relegation scrap, Paphos FC increased their advantage to Ethnikos Achnas to three points following their narrow 1-0 win over Aris while Ethnikos could only draw with Ermis.
APOEL showed their mettle against Omonia and bounced back from their midweek Cup exit and the subsequent sacking of coach Temur Ketsbaia with a comfortable 2-0 win.
Greek winger Yiannis Yianniotas was the hero for APOEL who took advantage of sloppy Omonia defending and scored both goals.
The first came midway through the first half when the winger headed past Omonia keeper Panayi with his marker Margaca guilty of ball watching.
A minute before the break, Omonia’s defence was caught napping again and Yianniotas duly obliged by slotting the ball past the oncoming Panayi.
The 12,000 Omonia supporters that turned up for the game were bitterly disappointed not only by the score but also by the performance. It is now more than three years since Omonia last beat their fierce rivals and on this showing they may have to wait a while longer.
AEK overcame suspensions and injuries to defeat Anorthosis 3-2 to keep up the pressure on the leaders.
AEK were without their midfield quartet of Larena, Tomas, Bolievic and Lamban and had to dig deep to claim all three points.
They were offered a helping hand by some bizarre Anorthosis defending that gifted them the first two goals and some even worse Anorthosis finishing that saw their players stumbling just before they were about to pull the trigger.
AEK took the lead through a Triscovski penalty while an Avraam own goal doubled the score before the break.
Laifis, who was later sent off for lunging at Triscovski, pulled one back, before Triscovski restored his team’s two-goal lead with a volley from the edge of the penalty area six minutes from the end.
Ndlovu got Anorthosis’ second from the penalty spot with practically the last kick of the game.
Apollon had few problems in defeating Nea Salamina 3-0. The goals came from Angeli, a da Silva penalty and Stojanovic.
A 61st-minute goal by Ogoyie was enough to give Paphos FC the three points against Aris.
The Paphos team were the better side and should have won more comfortably with the scorer Ogoyie, de Melo and Agivi all guilty of glaring misses.
A penalty eight minutes from the end denied Ethnikos Achnas the three points away to Ermis.
The visitors were the better side and took the lead through de Vrysse but were unable to put the game to bed and were made to pay when Keita converted Ermis’ late penalty.
In the final game, Doxa beat AEL courtesy of an Aguinaldo goal and are now level on points with the Limassol team at the top of the relegation group.
(Highlights courtesy of the Cyprus Football Association)