Stalemate at the Toumba
In yet another home game in the Super League Play Offs, PAOK failed to find a route to goal and ended up being held to a 0-0 draw by Panathinaikos on Matchday 7.
Abel Ferreira decided to start with three at the back for this match, a system we had only seen deployed on certain occasions during a match beforehand. Giannis Michaildis won a place in the starting lineup alongside Ingi Ingason and Fernando Varela, while Rodrigo and Dimitris Giannoulis were the wingbacks, and a midfield trio of Diego Biseswar , Mauricio and Omar El Kaddouri played behind forward duo Christos Tziolis and Chuba Akpom.
The Dikefalos tou Vorra started the match with the intention of controlling possession and try and apply pressure on the opposition from the kick-off. For their part, Panathinaikos started with a defensive approach, pressing all over the pitch, but produced plenty of strength and passion, while they closed down the spaces well to prevent a route to Socrates Dioudis’ goal and this forced PAOK to try and look for solutions down the flanks.
In effect, PAOK wasted the first half without managing to create clear scoring chances, with only a couple of shots from distance registered, while Panathinaikos also had only one real chance with Giannis Bouzoukis’ early free-kick effort.
In the second half the Dikefalos tou Vorra stepped up the rhythm, put some pressure on the visiting players, but still found it difficult to find a route to goal. In the 56th minute El Kaddouri missed the best chance of the match, clipping his shot wide from a great position. Further efforts on goal from Rodrigo, Mauricio, Stoch and Swiderski did not provide a goal, and in the 91st minute Leo Matos failed to get a good connection on a cross from close-range following a header from Karol Swiderski. That proved to be the last chance as the referee Damir Skomin blew the final whistle and the match ended in a goalless stalemate with the teams sharing the points.
PAOK (Abel Ferreira): Paschalakis, Ingason , Mihailidis, Varela, El Kaddouri (82’ Tsiggaras), Mauricio, Rodrigo (82’ Matos), Giannoulis, Biseswar (62’ Stoch), Tziolis (62’ Limnios), Akpom (73΄Swiderski).
Panathinaikos (Giorgos Donis): Dioudis, Schenkefeld, Kolovetsios, Chatzitheodoridis, Theocharis, Zagaritis (80’ Beck), Bouzoukis (79’ Perea), Alexandropoulos (81’ Kolovos), Macheda (81’ Serpezis), Anuar, Kampetsis (65’ Chatzigiovanis).