PAOK on cloud nine after steamrolling Larissa
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 21
|PAOK||3 - 0||Larissa|
PAOK moved two points clear at the top of the table on Monday after notching up a ninth successive SuperLeague win as the Salonica club put Larissa to the sword 3-0 at the Toumba stadium with the minimum of fuss.
The Greek top flight’s in-form side, who are on an unstoppable run of late, were ahead after 12 minutes through Yevhen Shakov’s close-range strike.
Fernando Varela doubled the advantage five minutes before half-time with a header, with Aleksandar Prijovic rounding off the scoring with a powerful finish three minutes after the half-time interval.
Those three strikes sealed another impressive win for Razvan Lucescu’s title contenders, who restored their two-point lead over second-placed AEK, while Olympiacos are a further seven points adrift after Monday’s points deduction punishment was announced for the violent pitch invasion during the recent derby loss to AEK.
For PAOK, a first title since 1985 edged ever closer on another brilliant night for the home fans at a bouncing Toumba.
A confident start yielded an early goal to settle any nerves, with Ukrainian midfielder Shakon prodding the ball home from close range after Prijovic headed on a cross from Portuguese midfielder Vierinha.
Larissa struggled to find a response as PAOK sought to monopolise much of the possession, and a second goal seemed inevitable. Sure enough, PAOK got their second strike five minutes before half-time.
It came from a set-piece, with Greece midfielder Dimitris Pelkas picking out the run of Varela with a well-taken corner which the Carpe Verde international defender headed past Mladen Bozovic in the Larissa goal.
Pelkas was again the architect as PAOK made it 3-0 just three minutes into the second half, sending Prijovic clear with a defence-splitting pass which the 27-year-old Serbian fired past a hapless Bozovic.