Apoel coach Thomas Doll was sacked on Monday after the Cyprus champions were beaten 2-0 by Olympiakos at the Makarion stadium over the weekend.
Despite the loss only being the first of the season, it was another embarrassingly poor performance by the Nicosia giants in the domestic league, as they struggled throughout the 90 minutes against a combative and well-organised Olympiakos.
A goal in each half by Duvendru and a Kiko thunderbolt gave Olympiakos the three points that saw them climb out of the relegation zone for the first time this season.
Elsewhwere, Anorthosis and Omonia pulled seven and five points clear respectively of third-placed Apollon after their easy wins over AEL and Doxa.
Apollon, who up until a few weeks ago were languishing in the bottom half of the table, continued their comeback with a 3-1 win over AEK.
Despite failing to impress, Anorthosis were the better team against AEL with two first-half goals effectively deciding the game.
The league’s top scorer Ruben Rayios gave the Famagusta team an 11th minute lead while Georgian striker Kacharava doubled the score seven minutes from the break to make sure of the points.
Two first-half goals were also enough for Omonia to overcome Doxa Katokopias and keep up the pressure on Anorthosis.
Boteak opened the score for Omonia early on in the game while Ortega scored his first of the season with just a quarter of the game gone.
After a dour opening first-half, the game between Apollon and AEK sprung to life shortly after the restart with two goals in the space of five minutes for the Limassol side.
First Pittas, who had come on at the break for the injured Pereira, opened the score with a great individual goal while a few minutes later Zelaya all but ended the game as a contest with his fifth of the season.
Markovski added a third with 20 minutes still on the clock while AEK’s consolation goal came in added time through Florian.
The 2-1 defeat led to manager Imanol Idiakez and technical director Ander Murillo being fired by club bosses.