- Chances, Possession...No Goals -
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 5
|PAOK||0 - 0||Xanthi|
PAOK dominated the game in possession, missings tremendous chances to score, but remained goalless against Xanthi at the Toumba Stadium in Thessaloniki. Today’s draw is PAOK’s first lost points of the season.
PAOK started the match looking for an early goal against a struggling Xanthi side that has lost their opening two games of the season. PAOK had two good opportunities in the opening 10 minutes but both Rodrigues and Koulouris were denied by Zivkovic. After the 20 minute mark, PAOK’s pressure let up and with the exception of Rodrigues’ weak shot that did not bother Zivkovic, the two teams went into the break scoreless.
PAOK needed a goal to break down the stubborn Xanthi defense and the hosts came out on the attack with the first good chance coming 5 minutes after the restart, when a great solo effort from Pelkas was not turned in by Campos, whose shot went barely wide. Xanthi’s only chance of the game came in the 61st minute after a defensive mistake left Nieto alone inside the penalty area, but the Spaniard could not find the target. Eight minutes later, Xanthi was left with 10-men after Lazic was given a second yellow card for his foul on Tzavellas, leaving his team down a man in the 69th minute. With a man up, PAOK increased their pressure in the final 10 minutes and Rodrigues came inches away from an opener with his shot barely going wide from 11 meters out. In the final minute of stoppage time, PAOK once again came extremely close to stealing all three points when Thiam’s shot from the left side was well saved by Zivkovic and Rodrigues was denied by a heroic defensive effort from the visitors. The final whistle came with the teams remaining goalless.
PAOK will be extremely disappointed after losing points for the first time this season, especially at home. In PAOK’s previous SuperLeague matches, creating chances was not a problem, but converting them into goals has. Today, their inability to convert their possession (70%) and finish opportunities has cost them 2 points in the title hunt. On the other hand, Xanthi will be extremely happy with today’s result and their first point of the season. Next week, PAOK will hope to bounce back away to Veria (has a midweek Europa League match away to Slovan Liberec) while Xanthi hosts Atromitos.