They lose to themselves
It was yet another suicidal evening for PAOK. They had 14 attempts to score, 3-4 of them being huge, a goal erroneously disallowed on the offside rule, 63% ball possession, but lost 0-1 to Iraklis who just fired 5 shots.
The “Double-Headed Eagle” were made to pay for not being effective, quick and for lacking balance, a direct consequence of their latest injury plague.
Igor Tudor opted for a 3-5-2 formation after a long time, in order to cover for the absence of wingers and fielded Dimitar Berbatov in his natural position. The Bulgarian star was the one who wasted the best chances of PAOK. Mainly, a point-blank header and a failed attempt to finish off a one-on-one in the first half.
He also mistimed another close-range header after the interval. PAOK managed to score with a header by Giannis Mystakidis, but the goal was wrongly disallowed on the offside rule. The scorer was in correct position, contrary to Berbatov who was not involved in play though.
Dimitris Pelkas completed the quartet of big chances with a shot on post. Then stress kicked in, making it even harder for the players.
Iraklis has camped in their own half and were lurking for counterattacking opportunities. They launched two of them, both in second half. Vellios was beaten by Markos Vellidis in the first time of asking, but Leozinho managed to score in the 73rd minute.
Unfortunately PAOK lost once again an encounter that they dominated throughout, both on the pitch and statistically. These defeats become all the more important ahead of the last stretch of the league.
PΑΟΚ: Vellidis, Chatziisaias, Kitsiou (Charisis 64′), Tzavellas, Vítor, Sabo, Cimirot, Kace, Leovac (Mystakidis 46′), Pelkas, Berbatov (Golasa 79′)
Iraklis: Perniš, Saramantas, Bartolini, Ziabaris, Boukouvalas, Karasalidis, Kyriakidis, Tsilianidis (Intzoglou 62′), Leozinho (79’ Pourtoulidis), Bulut (89’ Loukinas), Vellios