PAOK put us under a lot of pressure at the start. That kind of atmosphere can really act as a twelfth man and we had to stay strong against the tide. We did that. We took the lead at the idea point in the game, and following on from that we moved the ball well and gave very little away. Looking back on the game in full, the win was certainly well-earned. Things went exactly as we had envisaged, though it must be said that 3-0 away from home is a very, very good result. We played with a high level of concentration. We have to look to bring similar levels of performance in the days and weeks ahead. I was of course thrilled with my goal - it is not exactly every week that I score a header! It was only the second in my professional career.
We aimed to put a pin in the atmosphere quickly. We knew that it would be heated at the start and our plan was to have calm control over the game. In combination with the first goal, we did that very well, and the goal really put us on the right track. We dominated possession and our positional play with and without the ball was excellent. There were a few nervous moments in the opening stages but we worked through them calmly. We have to put in a similar performance in the second leg - we want to make waves in the Europa League.
I think that our performance was the reason for the stadium getting progressively quieter after the start. After the tenth minute or so we had things completely in our hands, and that much helped further bring the atmosphere down. The team was highly confident and reacted maturely to the pressure, and also moved the ball around very well. We did perfectly what we failed to do well against Frankfurt. Now we are playing good football again. Not everything will always come off, but we did very well to win the ball back quickly after losing it. Defensive solidity wins games, and while that was missing from the start of our season, it was visible today and is improving greatly. The chances are falling in our favour and at the moment we are making good use of them. It was fun to play here.