ATHENS, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Olympiakos Piraeus surprisingly parted company with Portuguese coach Leonardo Jardim on Saturday.
"Olympiakos announces the termination of its cooperation with coach Leonardo Jardim and thanks him for his services to the club," the Greek club said in a statement on their website (www.olympiacos.org), adding: "Antonis Nikopolidis will lead the bench for the team for tomorrow's match against PAS Giannina."
Jardim took over from popular Spaniard Ernesto Valverde last year and has led the club to the top of the table with an unbeaten league record and into the last 32 of the Europa League.
However, he has been criticised for the team's perceived defensive style of play and controversial owner Vangelis Marinakis has decided to dispense with his services.
Marinakis visited the club's training ground on Thursday to deliver criticism for a poor showing in the Greek Cup 24 hours earlier when the club struggled to a 1-0 win over second division Kavala.
Former Greece and Olympiakos goalkeeper Nikopolidis will act as caretaker coach until a replacement for Jardim is appointed. (Editing by Clare Fallon)