Disappointment for PAOK...
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - ROUND OF 32 (LEG 1)
|PAOK||0 - 3||Schalke|
PAOK failed to translate their stunning recent domestic form to the European stage after the Salonika club slumped to a 3-0 home defeat by Schalke in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 32 contest on Thursday.
Vladan Ivic’s men went into the match at their Toumba stadium with high hopes on the back of a run of nine matches unbeaten in all competitions, but instead were given a footballing lesson by their Bundesliga opponents.
Schalke were simply slicker and more clinical in all departments on the night, with Burgstaller’s 27th-minute opener setting the tone. Naldo's header from a free-kick was well parried by PAOK goalkeeper Panagiotis Glykos but Burgstaller was on hand to turn in the rebound from close range and chalk up his 15th goal in 19 games.
PAOK enjoyed plenty of possession and actually were in the ascendency in the second half, but they could not carve out any clear scoring chances and when Schalke came back in the latter stages, the hosts had no answer.
Schalke skipper Benedikt Höwedes stood up a cross from the right on 82 minutes and Max Meyer, arriving late, headed down into the ground and past Glykos.
PAOK had now run out of steam and Schalke substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar added a third, and his 50th UEFA club goal, from close range after Glykos failed to clear Meyer’s corner.
The result means PAOK can almost certainly wave goodbye to the competition at this stage, with a three-goal deficit to make up in next week’s return leg in Germany.