History repeats itself
PAOK initially showed that they had learned from their mistakes from the previous match, and came out of the blocks with urgency and focus.
The players performed well for the first 39 minutes demonstrating good use of passing and possession, patience, pressing and fitness levels, as well as plenty of attempts on Dioudis’ goal – the best of the bunch being Andrija Zivkovic’s 16th-minute effort.
The Double-headed Eagle asserted themselves well and dominated the home side, limiting them to a passive role in proceedings. Unfortunately, however, history repeated itself. With essentially their first forward foray, the Greens found the net on 39 minutes. Chatzigiovanis sent over a cross from the right and Macheda beat Zivko Zivkovic with a header, and the teams went into the dressing room at half-time with the home side 1-0 ahead.
The goal brought a significant measure of calmness to the home side, while the PAOK players appeared anxious and indecisive in the second half.
PAOK missed several chances with Tzolis and Α.Ζivkovic being the danger men for the visitors, while later on the coaching team threw on Krmencik with PAOK switching to a 4-4-2 system for the final part of the game.
The Double-headed Eagle upped their tempo and pushed forward, and the Greens took full advantage by scoring a second goal through Ioannidis on a counter-attack in the 82nd minute.
PAOK’s response to that was swift, with Tzolis scoring from a Swiderski assist just two minutes later to reduce the deficit to 2-1, although the visitors did not manage to find an equalizer despite a period of late pressure.
The focus now turns to the Play Offs, while PAOK are also waiting to discover their opponents in the Greek Cup semi-finals.
Panathinaikos: Dioudis, Mollo, Juankar, Schenkeveld, Pougouras, Mauricio, Niasse, Ayoub (74᾽ N’Gbakoto), Villafanez, Chatziogiovanis (81᾽ Carlitos), Macheda (53᾽ Ioannidis)