PAOK pay dearly for errors and profligacy
PAOK went all out to play for a win at the “Georgios Karaiskakis”, creating chances and controlling possession for long spells, but in the end the visitors paid dearly for every mistake they made and were beaten 3-0 on Matchday 19 of the 2020-21 Super League Interwetten.
The Double-headed Eagle lined up with three changes compared to the derby against AEK, with Rodrigo taking the left-back slot, Varela coming in for the injured Crespo, and Douglas in the midfield instead of Schwab .
PAOK came out in the first half in determined fashion, taking control of the ball even with Olympiacos trying to push high to make the visitors commit errors without success.
PAOK were first to threaten with Krmencik in the fourth minute, but Sa was able to gather at the striker’s feet. Up until the half-hour mark there was not a significant goal threat from either side. From then on, Olympiacos upped the tempo and initially threatened with Bruma, but Vieirinha intervened to snuff out the danger.
The hosts then had two good moments with a shot by Kamara that was narrowly off target, and another from Bruma that struck Zivkovic’s crossbar. The half ended with Tzolis just failing to beat Sa with a powerful shot.
The second half started in the worst possible way for PAOK. El Arabi found space at the back post to control a lofted pass from Bouchalakis and score with a diagonal shot to make it 1-0.
In the 53rd minute, Tzolis produced a clinical finish to score but the ‘goal’ was quickly ruled out for offside. PAOK then began to press and missed a couple of good chances, first from Krmencik , and then by Warda , who failed to connect properly with a header and did not trouble Sa. Finally, El Kaddouri also went close with a powerful shot from just outside the penalty area.
PAOK continued to press high up the pitch and commit players forward, and that meant there were gaps to exploit for the home side. And in the 77th minute, El Arabi took advantage when he played in Kamara on a counterattack, with the latter able to score after the ball bounced kindly for the hosts and Zivkovic unable to keep it out.
Despite being 2-0 down, the Double-headed Eagle did not give up the ghost, and the visitors kept looking for a goal that would put them back in with a chance of getting something from the game. However, Olympiacos were effective once more on the counter attack in the 89th minute with Vrousai scoring at the second attempt after his initial effort hit the post.
Olympiacos: Sa, Reabciuk, Ba, Semedo, Rafinha, M’Vila, Kamara (87′ Pepe), Bouchalakis, Fortounis (72′ Vrousai), El Arabi (89′ Masouras), Bruma (89′ Hassan)