FC Aris Thessaloniki made a superb start to their UEFA Cup Group F campaign as three late goals earned an impressive 3-0 victory against FK Crvena Zvezda.
Two weeks ago, the 1991 European champions saw their lead at home to FC Bayern München turn into a 3-2 defeat in the final minutes. And they suffered similar disappointment in Greece as substitute Athanassios Papazoglou struck on 76 and 89 minutes and Sergio Koke added a third in injury time.
Aris had looked hungry from the start, Ronaldo Guiaro forcing a save from Ivan Randjelović with a free-kick and Vladimir Ivić shooting over from long range. Felipe Sanchon Huerta forced Randjelović to use his feet to keep the ball out, though at the other end Aris goalkeeper Konstantinos Chalkias did well to save a Nenad Milijaš header after a cross from Mauricio Molina. Felipe had a shot blocked by Grzegorz Bronowicki and Randjelović was once again called into play to deny Koke.
Crvena Zvezda had the first real crack at goal of the second half but Chalkias easily fielded Djorje Tutorić's shot from distance. Aris soon responded and Neto fired wide and Felipe's free-kick was headed just above the bar by Papazoglou, introduced early in the half. Randjelović tipped over an effort from Neto but then it was Chalkias's turn to save, this time from Milijaš.
Yet the Aris breakthrough came with 14 minutes to play as Papazoglou made no mistake after collecting a Koke pass. Crvena Zvezda sought to get back on level terms and Dušan Andjelković both threatened before Papazoglou got his second from close range and Koke was on the mark in the final moments.