Determination pays off…
Football, points and display of character! PAOK combined these elements at Peristeri to edge out a 2-1 victory over Atromtios.
For a second time in four days, Igor Tudor’s troops are called to turn around a match they completely dominated as they found themselves trailing against the run of play. After the game against AEK Athens, the Croatian tactician had expressed his satisfaction for having real men in his squad. And they vindicated him on Sunday as well.
PAOK were in total control once again in the first half, despite being the visiting team. They settled on the ball and would visit Gorbunov’s box again and again. Róbert Mak and Stefanos Athanasiadis wasted huge chances, while Ergys Kace was denied by woodwork in the 33rd minute.
Atromitos adjusted their tactics after the interval and managed to get back in the game. They even were the ones to break the deadlock through Umbides who beat Robin Olsen execution-style.
The introduction of Dimitar Berbatov and Jairo in the game, along with Mak moving to the right flank saw PAOK chase after a comeback with all guns blazing. There were no big chances, but the “Double-Headed Eagle” made the most of dead-ball situations.
Berbatov opened his PAOK account with the knee, following a headed pass by Giorgos Tzavellas. In the 90th minute, while going for a close-range finish, the Bulgarian striker teed up Mak whose right-foot shot landed at the back of Atromitos’s net.
It was a necessary away victory that served as a declaration of intent. PAOK are now third in the standings with 10 points earned in a tough set of matches. Igor Tudor confirmed their gradual improvement and are now focusing on their… hell week featuring the visits of Borussia Dortmund and Olympiacos at Toumba Stadium.
Atromitos (Grigoriou): Gorbunov, Usero, Kontoes, Godoy, Fytanidis, Stoychev (46′ Pitu García), Lazaridis, Kivrakidis, Umbides, Brito (58′ Le Tallec), Napoleoni.
PAOK (Tudor): Olsen, Tzavellas, Costa, Vítor (70′ Sabo), Tziolis, Rodrigues, Pelkas, Kace, Konstantinidis (59′ Berbatov), Mak, Athanasiadis (65′ Jairo).