A needless defeat…
PAOK were somehow left pointless in a game they dominated, with Panathinaikos leaving the Toumba Stadium with a 2-1 win on Matchday 6 of the 2022-23 Super League.
The Double-headed Eagle kicked off with Ivan Nasberg in the starting XI for the first time this season, and started with determination, passion and a clear mind from the first whistle.
Razvan Lucescu’s players took control of possession, were patient in their play and probed for a route to Brignoli’s goal.
The first chance came in the 11th minute, A.Zivkovic sent over a dangerous cross but Nelson Oliveira did not manage to connect with the ball. Panathinaikos responded with a shot from Aitor in the 14th minute, but Kotarski had the answer and saved his effort.
In the 17th minute, Oliveira then missed a great opportunity to put PAOK in front, but his header from Lyratzis’ cross flashed just wide. A minute later, however, the Portuguese made no mistake. After an excellent team effort, Douglas put the Double-headed Eagle forward through on goal with a clever back-heeled pass, and he beat Brignoli with a clinically-placed finish to make it 1-0.
The score remained unchanged as the players disappeared into the tunnel at half-time, with further efforts on goal from Dantas and Narey failing to bear fruit.
The second half did not start well for the Double-headed Eagle. Panathinaikos found an equalizing goal out of nowhere when a long ball from the defense found its way thorugh for Aitor, who scored to make it 1-1 in the 51st minute.
The game continued to be a balanced affair from that point, with PAOK still having the lion’s share of possession, however, and looking for a way to regain the lead.
In the 54th minute, Brignoli saved a shot from Oliveira, while in the 62nd minute, PAOK also contrvied to miss a great opportunity when Douglas failed to find the target following a cross by A. Zivkovic.
Against the run of play, Panathinaikos then scored another goal to take the lead for the first time in the match. In the 72nd minute, after a period of sustained pressure on the Double-headed Eagle goal, Kotarski was adjudged to have fouled Sporar and the referee, after using VAR, pointed to the penalty spot. Aitor stepped up and converted the spot-kick to make it 2-1 to the visitors.
Lucescu then threw every available attacking player into the game and PAOK didn’t give up, pressing and probing their opponents, but unfortunately the hosts could not find the equalizer and were left without a point from the game.
Panathinaikos: Brignoli, Sanchez, Schenkefeld, Magnusson, Juancar, Perez, Kourbelis, Cerin, Bernard (90′ Ganea), Aitor (90+4′ Sarlija), Sporar (86′ Ioannidis).