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Ten-man PAOK advance thanks to Tottenham win

Tottenham Hotspur FC 1-2 PAOK FC
Despite being reduced to ten men, the Greek side confirmed their place in the last 32 with goals from Dimitris Salpingidis and Stefanos Athanasiadis.

Ten-man PAOK advance thanks to Tottenham win
Ten-man PAOK advance thanks to Tottenham win ©UEFA.com

Ten-man PAOK FC secured their place in the round of 32 with a narrow victory at Tottenham Hotspur FC in UEFA Europa League Group A.

The visitors made a lightning start, racing into a 2-0 lead inside 14 minutes courtesy of Dimitris Salpingidis and Stefanos Athanasiadis. Kostas Stafylidis was dismissed for handball before the break and though Luka Modrić scored the resulting penalty, the visitors held firm to extend their unbeaten run in Europe to seven games.

PAOK started brightly and, knowing victory would guarantee a place in the knockout stage, took the lead on six minutes. William Gallas gave the ball away on the halfway line and Giorgos Georgiadis broke clear down the left before delivering a pinpoint cross that Salpingidis headed past Heurelho Gomes for PAOK's 150th goal in UEFA club competition.

PAOK's dream start then got even better, Georgiadis again the provider down the left and Athanasiadis sliding in at the back post to send the noisy visiting fans into raptures. They did not have it all their own way, though, and Jermain Defoe set about trying to maintain Tottenham's three-game unbeaten home record in the competition with a fierce strike which brought the best out of Kostas Chalkias.

From the resulting corner, the hosts were back in the match. Vedran Ćorluka rose highest and, having blocked the first effort on the line, Stafylidis was sent off for stopping Harry Kane's follow-up with a hand. Modrić kept his cool from the spot, sending Chalkias the wrong way.

Tottenham began the second half on the front foot and started to make their numerical advantage count, with Kane and Steven Pienaar spurning opportunities to equalise. Substitute Iago Falqué had an effort cleared off the line by Pablo Contreras but PAOK defended resolutely and held on to qualify.

Spurs need a sizeable victory against Shamrock Rovers FC on 15 December and for PAOK to win at FC Rubin Kazan, a result which would wrap up first place for the Greek side.