Vidi turned in an impressive display to win at PAOK, leaving three teams level on three points in Group L.
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Boosted by an impressive matchday three victory in Greece that brought them their first points in UEFA Europa League Group L, Vidi will be hoping to complete the double over a PAOK side that are now level with them, and group rivals BATE Borisov, on three points – six adrift of table-toppers Chelsea.
• Vidi's 2-0 win in Salonika, provided by first-half goals from Szabolcs Huszti and Stopira, got their campaign back on track after defeats at home to BATE (0-2) and away to Chelsea (0-1). PAOK were also beaten 1-0 by the London club, at home on matchday one, before rallying with a 4-1 victory at BATE.
• The game on 25 October was the clubs' first UEFA encounter.
• PAOK's one previous tie against a Hungarian side ended in an away goals defeat by Debrecen (1-1 home, 0-0 away) in the second round of the 2003/04 UEFA Cup, while Vidi's only prior experience of Greek opposition came earlier this season when they lost their UEFA Champions League play-off against AEK Athens, going down 2-1 at home in the first leg before drawing 1-1 away.
• Vidi were Hungarian champions last season for the third time – after 2010/11 and 2014/15 – and were one step away from a UEFA Champions League group stage debut after qualifying wins against Dudelange, Ludogorets and Malmö – three teams who have also found their way into the UEFA Europa League group stage. However, the 3-2 aggregate defeat by AEK Athens ended that part of their 2018/19 European journey.
• Vidi have reached the UEFA Europa League group stage once before, in 2012/13. Although they progressed no further, they did collect six points thanks to landmark wins against Sporting CP (3-0) and Basel (2-1) in their opening two home fixtures; they lost the third 0-1 to Genk.
• The club's 11 European games this season have yielded just three victories, the success at PAOK ending a six-game winless run that included two defeats and a draw at home.
• PAOK enjoyed a successful 2017/18 on the domestic front, atoning for a rare early exit in Europe – they lost to Swedish debutants Östersund in the UEFA Europa League play-offs – by retaining the Greek Cup and finishing runners-up to AEK Athens in the Superleague. They harboured high hopes of reaching the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time this season when they knocked out Basel and Spartak Moskva in qualifying ties and then held Benfica 1-1 in Lisbon in the first leg of their play-off – only to suffer a second-leg 1-4 defeat in Salonika.
• That means PAOK have extended their record of having participated in every season of the UEFA Europa League to a tenth successive year. They have reached the group stage in six previous campaigns, four of which have extended into the knockout phase but never beyond the round of 32. Schalke were the most recent team to end their interest at that juncture with a 4-1 aggregate win in 2016/17.
• The Salonika side have an overall UEFA Europa League group stage record on the road of W9 D6 L4. The only defeat they have suffered in their last eight European away fixtures was 0-2 at Östersund last season (W3 D4).
Links and trivia
• Vidi's Bulgarian international Georgi Milanov was a team-mate of PAOK's Swedish midfielder Pontus Wernbloom for five years at CSKA Moskva (2013–18).
• Stopira and PAOK's Fernando Varela are international team-mates for the Cape Verde Islands.
• This is PAOK's 40th match in the UEFA Europa League group stage; only two clubs, Salzburg and FCSB, have played more.
• His playing career having been curtailed at an early age through injury, Belgrade-born Marko Nikolić began coaching at various levels with local club Rad and graduated to the position of head coach in 2008. His reputation grew year on year during spells with Vojvodina, Partizan and Slovenian club Olimpija Ljubljana, and he was re-employed by Partizan in August 2016, promptly winning the league and cup double. Further success followed in 2017/18 as he masterminded Vidi's Hungarian league triumph in his debut campaign.
• The son of Mircea Lucescu, Bucharest-born Răzvan spent most of his career as a goalkeeper with clubs from the Romanian capital. As a coach, he enjoyed early success with Rapid Bucureşti, winning back-to-back domestic cups and also steering the club into the UEFA Cup quarter-finals. He then had two years in charge of the Romanian national team, but it was in Greece that he further enhanced his reputation, firstly with Xanthi, then as a Greek Cup winner and league runner-up in his debut season at PAOK.