Derby ends in a draw
It was a derby in every sense of the word. Full of intensity, passion and there were also four goals. PAOK and AEK could not be separated at the Toumba as the Super League Interwetten Matchday 18 derby clash ended 2-2.
For the first time in 12 years, a PAOK-ΑΕΚ derby contest in the league did not produce a winner. The two Double-headed Eagles battled it out with all their might for the three points, but in the end both teams had to settle for one point apiece.
PAOK came out strongly and tried to assert themselves early on. From their side, Manolo Jimenez’s AEK sought to unsettle the home side with Marko Livaja up front, and they managed to do just that in the first part of the match.
The Union took the lead in the 18th minute through Yevgen Shakhov, who scored against his old team from close range from an assist by Levi Garcia. PAOK reacted immediately, however, and started pushing for a goal to draw level by taking control of the match.
Ingi Ingasson, Michael Krmencik and Stefan Schwab all missed significant opportunities to make it 1-1, before the equalizer finally came in the 40th minute. Andelino Vieirinha sent over a free-kick which Amr Warda met to divert the ball goalwards with a header. AEK goalkeeper Athanasiadis saved it, but Jose Crespo was on hand to prod home the rebound and even the scores.
In the second half, AEK took the lead again in the 50th minute after some poor defending by the hosts let in Kostas Galanopoulos for a shot which found its target.
PAOK kept their composure and clear mind, however, and came out on the offensive again, searching once more for an equalizer which came from the boot of Vieirinha in the 70th minute. The Portuguese picked up possession in the box and beat the visiting keeper with a clever finish to make it 2-2.
The final stages of the match were characterized by tough tackling and marking, but the flurry of substitutions also slowed down the pace of the game and time ticked away with the game ending all square.
PAOK’s attention now turns firmly to Wednesday’s (27.01, 19:30) derby against Olympiacos at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.
ΑΕΚ: Athanasiadis, Bakakis, Laci (86’ Chygrynskyy), Svarnas, Lopes, Simoes, Galanopoulos, Shakhov (87’ Tankovic), Garcia (96’ Insua), Mantalos (71’ Symanski), Livaja (71’ Ansarifard)