A deserved victory
PAOK recorded a deserving 2-1 victory over AEK Athens in their first high-profile clash of the season. Any other result would defy football logic, even though it has already happened in their games this season
PAOK were once again in total control both in the axis and from the flanks. They were the ones to carve out the big chances, while conceding just 1,5 opportunities to their opponents before falling behind!
Igor Tudor’s troops would visit AEK’s box quite frequently in the first half, but couldn’t take the lead despite the huge chances created by Róbert Mak, Garry Rodrigues, Dimitris Pelkas and Stefanos Athanasiadis. As for AEK, apart from a direct free kick in the opening minutes, they didn’t pose a threat for Robin Olsen.
The complexion of the encounter didn’t change after the interval. However a set piece situation allowed Aravidis to plant himself at the heart of PAOK’s defence in the 47th minute and head the ball past Olsen for the opener. Those who feared the worst for the “Double-Headed Eagle” of the North, that their bad luck would once again prevail, were proven wrong. Despite the goal conceded, fans didn’t stop encouraging the players and allowed them to push forward and turn the tie around.
In one of his attacking efforts, Rodrigues took advantage of Mak’s ground work and scored the equalizer after 54 minutes of play. PAOK regained momentum and Dimitar Berbatov’s entrance provided them with yet another option in the box. His header led to the difficult save by AEK goalkeeper. Alexandros Tziolis -yet again marshalling midfield- was lurking around and earned a spot kick. Klaus scored his second goal of the season from the spot and handed PAOK the three points.
AEK charged forward in the final minutes, looking for an equalizer past Olsen, and produced more chances that they did throughout the games. The Swedish goalkeeper managed a spectacular and extremely important save during stoppage time. It was the last thrilling detail of a game that PAOK won deservedly and now have 7 points in the league.
PΑΟΚ: Olsen, Tzavellas, Costa, Vítor, Rodrigues, Tziolis, Sabo (Kace 46′), Konstantinidis (Berbatov 59′), Mak, Pelkas, Athanasiadis (Malezas 89′)
AEK: Baroja, Galo, Soiledis, Kolovetsios, Tzanetopoulos, Simões, Johansson, Anakoglou (Platellas 76′), Buonanotte (Mantalos 67′), Vargas (Barbosa 56′), Aravidis.