A penalty from Mark van Bommel deep into injury-time gave PSV Eindhoven a 4-1 win on the night and a 6-4 aggregate victory over FC PAOK Thessaloniki in the UEFA Cup third round as the Philips stadium witnessed another feast of attacking football from these two teams.
Only when the spot-kick - awarded for a foul on Nyron Wau, like Van Bommel, a second-half substitute – was converted could PSV finally relax. They had led 3-0 at one stage – effectively a 5-3 advantage - and the ease with which they were cutting apart PAOK at the back it seemed sufficient for them to call for the cigars and take a breather.
However the Greek club, whose hopes of gaining revenge for PSV's victory over them in this same competition at the same stage last year appeared to have come to grief after a disastrous first-half performance, hit back immediately to reduce the deficit. The way the score stood, having won the first game 3-2, one more goal would have taken them into extra-time. They came close and wasted a glorious opportunity in the 68th minute when Pantelis Konstantinidis found himself clear only to dispatch a poor attempt high into the crowd.
PSV in front after a minute
PSV had a let-off then but they should not really have been in so tight a situation. They took the lead with just a minute gone when Dennis Rommedahl crossed for Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink to divert the ball in at the near post. It was Rommedahl's second cross in the move after his initial ball in was returned to him and it summed up the problems PAOK encountered in clearing their lines.
Dennis the menace
Rommedahl was a source of trouble for PAOK all night as he raided effectively down the right. He wasted a good chance in the seventh minute after Anastasios Katsampis had sliced his clearance. Adil Ramzi also went close and George Gakhokidze put over a golden opportunity and that delayed PSV’s second goal until the 33rd minute when Gakhokidze received the ball from a free-kick and sidestepped a defender before cracking a low drive beyond Kiriakos-Nektarios Tohouroglou who was a valiant last line of defence for the visitors.
Two becomes three
A two-goal interval lead did not reflect PSV’s supremacy but that became three close to the hour mark when Vennegoor of Hesselink bided his time before striking a clean volley from a ball chipped up to him from the back.
PAOK fight back
Within a minute Luciano de Souza had scored with a header and it was game on again. But PSV showed all their European know-how to march on into the last 16.
PSV coach Eric Gerets said he had witnessed two entirely different halves in the Philips stadium. “The first was very good, the second was not so good but I am very happy that we are in the next round” he said.
Van Bommel the inspiration
He was asked afterwards whether he feared that PAOK were right back in the tie when they made the score 3-1 in the 59th minute. Gerets answered that by saying: “I looked at the bench, saw Mark van Bommel, and decided to put him on. He brings the best out of the team and I knew he would make sure that a lot of balls which were flying around would be back in our control. He did a great job for us.” PAOK coach Dusan Bajevic described their first-half performance as “terrible”. “It was a difficult match and it proved that our victory in the first game was not a secure victory,” he added.