APOEL top scorer Pieros Sotiriou hit a first-ever hat-trick for the Cypriot champions as they stormed to the top of the league with a 5-0 thrashing of Aris Limassol on Sunday night.
The Cypriot international striker – whose goals were instrumental in APOEL reaching the Last 32 of the Europa League this season where they will face Athletic Club of Spain next month – scored on 24 and 28 minutes after heading in crosses from George Efrem and Facundo Bertoglio before Efrem added a third just before halftime.
Sotiriou added the fourth from the penalty spot after Bertoglio was brought down before Efrem scored a late fifth to complete the victory.
Thomas Christiansen’s men are now one point ahead of second place AEK Larnaca.
Elsewhere, John Carver’s Omonia moved joint-fourth along with Apollon Limassol after a late Matt Derbyshire strike ensured a 1-0 win at Karmiotissa in Larnaca.
Ethnikos Achnas gave their survival hopes another big boost after they beat Ermis Aradippou 3-1. Two goals from Emilio Zelaya and another from Nika Kacharava put Ethnikos in the driving seat before Cristian Sirghi scored a late consolation goal.