Derby lost in 10-minute spell
PAOK paid dearly for a poor first-half performance and, despite an encouraging second-half display, Razvan Lucescu’s team could not manage to salvage a point from the derby against Olympiacos as they slipped to a 2-1 loss in their Super League Interwetten Matchday 7 derby clash at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.
In his pre-match comments, Razvan Lucescu summed up aptly how the game panned out at the «Georgios Karaiskakis». PAOK did not make a good start, and effextively wasted an entire 45 minutes. The players managed to respond in the second half, but lacked the required freshness and a clear head to threaten the home goal more and fell to a defeat.
The Romanian coach made several changes to the starting XI, choosing to bring Douglas Augusto back into the side as a number 10, with Biseswar taking a position on the left, Akpom at the center of the attack, and in defense Varela, Michailidis, Rodrigo and Sidcley were deployed in front of Paschalakis.
The start of the match was very tentative from both teams, with neither side eager to take many risks. After a fairly balanced 20 minutes, Olympiacos took the lead with their very first opportunity with Agibu Kamara taking advantage of some lacksadasical play in the Black and White’s defense.
The goal effected the psychology of the Double-headed Eagle players and Olympiacos took full advantage of it. In the 29th minute, El Arabi saw a host saved onto the crossbar by Paschalakis, and when it came back to him, the Olympiacos striker then headed the rebound just over, the ball skimming the top of the frame of the goal on its way over.
Then, in the 32nd minute, the hosts doubled their lead through Masouras, who surged into the box down the left before clipping the ball low past the on-rushing Paschalakis at the near post on a quick breakaway as the home side again benefiteed from some poor play in midfield from PAOK.
PAOK tried their best to respond and in the 35th minute a golden opportunity was lost when Schwab’s first-time shot hit the side-netting after great work down the left from Andrija Zivkovic . The teams went in 2-0 at the half-time interval.
In the first 10 minutes of the second half, the patten of the game did not change much, with Olympiacos having another good opportunity and Paschalakis again thwarting them, the big golakeeper stopping a shot from Agibu Kamara.
From that point on, however, PAOK took the reins and dominated the play. In the 58th minute, Michailidis smashed a shot off the crossbar with a shot from inside the penalty area when it seemed a goal was certain. PAOK controlled the possession, but found it difficult to cfeate a lot of chances inside the opposition penalty area.
In the 81st minute, though, Lucescu’s team finally found a route to goal through Murg after an assist by El Kaddouri, and in the final stages of the match, they lay siege to the Olympiacos goal, but could not find the equalizer they desperately sought.
Olympiacos (Pedro Martins): Vaclik, Lala, Papastathopoulos, Cisse, Reabciuk, M’Vila, Mady Kamara (70′ Bouchalakis), Rodregues (46′ Onyekuru), Masouras (83′ Vrousai), Agibu Kamara (83′ Kunde), El Arabi (59′ Tiqunho).
PAOK (Razvan Lucescu): Paschalakis, Rodrigo, Varela, Michailidis, Sidcley (60′ Vieirinha), Schwab, Esiti (46′ El Kaddouri), Augusto, A. Zivkovic, Biseswar (59′ Mitrita – 78’Murg), Akpom (59′ Swiderski).