PAOK were made to pay for their bad start into the game and their numerical inferiority, losing 3-0 to AEK Athens in OAKA for Super League matchday 24.
A forced substitution, a dismissal, some bad calls in defence and some failed attacking attempts… That is the background of PAOK’s defeat by AEK Athens.
It all started with an early setback, with just 50 seconds on the clock. Araujo made the most of his rivals’ sloppy defending and scored the opener with a powerful shot from an angle.
It took PAOK 20 minutes to settle into the match, having also to negotiate Djalma Campos’s forced substitution due to injury.
The “Double-Headed Eagle” pressured high up the pitch and came close to leveling the encounter in the 23rd minute. Pedro Henrique’s first attempt was blocked by the home side and his rebound shot went wide.
Shortly afterwards, Panagiotis Glykos was called to intervene with two spectacular saves in a span of one minute.
Just before the interval, the black-and-whites applied pressure looking for the equalizer. A defense-splitting pass by Yevhen Shakhov to José Ángel Crespo was cleared by Galo just before the Spanish defender made contact. As for Léo Matos’s header, it was somehow touched wide by Barkas.
At the start of the second half, PAOK went close but AEK Athens goalkeeper volleyed out Henrique’s direct free-kick. But it was at the other end of the pitch that the match suddenly sprang into life. The home side wasted a double opportunity that started when the referee failed to signal a foul suffered by Diego Biseswar . Glykos saved Mantalos’s close range drive, while Araujo drilled his rebound shot wide.
Things got even more complicated for PAOK after Stelios Malezas’s dismissal in the 53rd minute for a second bookable offense. Even so, the visitors were first to the ball, gaining metres on the pitch and looking for that elusive equalizer.
But they were constantly under danger. In the 76th and 81st minute, the interceptions of Crespo and Glykos prevented AEK from extending the lead, but couldn’t prevent Araujo’s second goal of the evening with a long-range shot in the 85th minute.
The home side sealed their 3-0 victory during stoppage time, with Aravidis netting following Mantalos’s free kick.
ΑΕΚ Athens: Barkas, Galo, Vranješ, Lambropoulos, Dídac, Johansson, Simões, Ajdarević (63’ Bakasetas), Vargas (78’ Christodoulopoulos), Mantalos, Αraujo (88’ Αravidis).