PAOK made to pay for timid start
PAOK were defeated 2-0 by SSC Napoli in “San Paolo” in the toughest friendly encounter of their preseason so far, but displayed fine qualities on occasions. However, they are still lacking in finishing and cohesion, as expected in early August.
The “Double-Headed Eagle” were made to pay for their timid start to the game and conceding the first goal just after three minutes –an fine finish by Callejón. It took PAOK at least 15 minutes to find their footing, but even after settling on the ball they didn’t create any danger.
In the second half and despite numerous substitutions, PAOK were improved, won ground, closed up spaces leading to their goal and created good chances for an equalizer. Mainly Koulouris’ close-range shot and Athanasiadis’ tap-in –both went wide.
PAOK’s performance after the interval satisfied the always demanding Angelos Anastasiadis, who said after the final whistle:
“We are working hard in eliminating childish errors from our game, but unfortunately we didn’t avoid them tonight. The players are fighting to win their matches, but they haven’t yet reached the desired level. We could have recorded a victory today over a stronger and fitter rival than us. We could have equalized and won –and the fact that we didn’t, drives me crazy. But I am satisfied with the guys’ overall effort. I just want them to operate even with that kind of psychological fatigue –I am aware they are tired from this preseason”.
Napoli: Rafael (72’ Colombo), Mesto (61΄Maggio), Albiol (69’ Luperto), Koulibali, Britos (46’ Ghoulam), Gargano (61’ Radošević), Jorginho (46’ Inler), Vargas (46’ Džemaili), Hamšík (69’ Pandev), Callejón (46’ Mertens), Zapata (46’ Michu).
PAOK: Giakoumis, Kitsiou (69’ Konstantinidis), Raț (53’ Spyropoulos), Vítor (53’ Skondras), Katsikas (61’ Pozatzidis), Maduro (46’ Kace), Tzandaris (56’ Savvidis), Golasa (53’ Martens), Mak, Pereyra (61’ Koulouris), Athanasiadis.