PAOK give AEK too much respect and pay the price
In football you have to create opportunities and take advantage of them to get what you want from a game. In the derby against AEK at the Toumba, PAOK’s efforts came far too late, and this handed AEK the opportunity to spend long spells in the final third. In the end, PAOK paid dearly for this and suffered a 2-0 defeat on Matchday 5 of the Super League Play Offs.
This match presented PAOK with a great chance to put some daylight between themselves and AEK in the race for ‘second place’. The Dikefalos tou Vorra contrived to throw it away and now has five games left to battle it out with the Enosi and claim a place in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds.
Abel Ferreira decided to start with the same recipe which had worked so well against Aris at the KLeanthis Vikelidis Stadium, with Omar El Kaddouri taking the place of Diego Bisewar in the starting XI.
In the first half PAOK basically defended, and did not manage to create a single threatening moment to Vasilis Barkas’ goal, while conversely, AEK enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and fashioned plenty of scoring chances, mostly from set-pieces, finally taking the lead after 42 minutes through Dmytro Chygrynskiy.
Ferreira’s players showed some signs of life in the second half, and missed a couple of good chances with Biseswar and Akpom coming close to equalizing. The Portuguese coach opted to make chances in personnel and system, but he could not help his team, and a second goal went in in the 81 minutes from the penalty spot scored by Marko Livaja. The spot-kick was given after the referee reviewed the incident involving Giannis Michailidis on Daniele Verde using VAR.
The Dikefalos tou Vorra desperately tried to get on the scoresheet as the minutes ticked away, but another great chance went begging two minutes from time when Lazaros Lamprou saw his side-footed effort cleared off the line.
PAOK ( Ferreira ): Paschalakis , Matos (46’ Rodrigo ), Varela , Ingason , Giannoulis , Mauricio, Esiti (46’ Biseswar ), El kaddouri, Tziolis (56’ Michailidis), Stoch (74’ Lamprou), Swiderski (56’ Akpom ).
AEK (Carrera): Barkas, Paulinho, Scarnas, Lopes, Mantalos (82’ Symanski), Simoes, Krsticic, Almpanis (62’ Verde), Oliveira (87’ Araujo), Livaja (81’ Oikonomou).