Two victories will buy PAOK time
PAOK lost 2-0 to Panathinaikos after a below par performance.
The “Double-Headed Eagle” fielded an emergency line-up, as Giorgos Georgiadis had to deal with many injuries and fatigue issues.
Panathinaikos scored two almost identical goals relatively early in the encounter. Mavrias collected the rebound after Pranjić’s shot and Charles Itandje’s initial clearance in the 10th minute. Eighteen minutes later, Karelis made it 2-0, the ball having landed at his feet after the Cameroonian goalkeeper cleared Ninis’s shot.
After the interval, PAOK made an effort to hold on more to the ball and charge forward, however they were deprived of space.
As things stand now, second place and a place in the UEFA Europa League group stage looks like the most attractive scenario. In order to achieve it, PAOK need to win both their upcoming encounters against Atromitos and Asteras Tripolis.
Panathinaikos: Steele, Nano, Tavlaridis, Schildenfeld, Bourbos (80′ Marinakis), Zeca, Koutroubis (67′ Donis), Ninis, Pranjić, Karelis (56′ Berg), Mavrias.
PΑΟΚ: Itandje, Skondras, Costa, Vítor, Tzavellas (58′ Raț), Kitsiou (63′ Konstantinidis), Kace, Maduro, Κ.Savvidis (80′ Pougouras), Pereyra, Koulouris