PAOK record first away win in style
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 13
|Xanthi||0 - 3||PAOK|
PAOK chalked up a long-awaited first away win of the season on Saturday, beating Xanthi 3-0 in this one-sided matchday 13 clash in Pigadia to move top of the SuperLeague table.
An own goal from Pablo de Lucas and a Robert Mak strike in the opening half set PAOK on their way to a first success away from the Toumba at the seventh attempt, with Spanish defender Jose Angel Crespo adding a third two minutes after the hour mark.
The win moved Razvan Lucescu’s Salonica team onto 25 points, one point clear of previous leaders AEK, who visit Levadiakos on Sunday.
Olympiacos, who are third, can take over the leadership of the table if they beat Apollon Smyrni in Saturday’s late match.
While PAOK have impressed at their home ground this season, their away form has been indifferent, but they finally broke that hoodoo at the Xanthi FC Arena in comfortable fashion.
The Salonica club were on top from the start and were gifted an opening goal in the 25th minute when Xanthi goalkeeper Živko Živković tried to stop Vieirinha’s free-kick. The ball ricocheted off de Lucas and into the net.
Xanthi responded well to the setback and were almost level just three minutes later but
Alfredo Mejía’s long-range free-kick came back off the woodwork and bounced off the crossbar to safety.
That was the only glimpse Xanthi had of goal, however, with PAOK controlling possession for long spells and moving 2-0 up in the 33rd minute through Mak, the 26-year-old Slovakian international midfielder beating Živković at the second attempt.
PAOK’s Cape Verde defender Fernando Varela had the first sight of goal in the second half just three minutes after the restart, but Živković was equal to his shot, parrying the ball to safety.
The visitors continued to boss the game impressively and Crespo put the seal on a superb three-point haul after the break when he rose to head home from Vieirinha’s corner with Živković flapping at thin air.