Watch footage of PAOK president Ivan Savvidis taking gun onto pitch

David Cooper 12/03/2018
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PAOK Salonika have said president Ivan Savvidis is “preparing to take all necessary steps to protect the club” after their match with AEK Athens was abandoned in chaotic circumstances.

Greece’s top-flight football championship was suspended Monday, a minister said, hours after Savvidis came onto the pitch with a gun strapped to his belt.

“We have decided to suspend the championship,” deputy minister for sport Yiorgos Vassiliadis told reporters after an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Sunday’s Greek Superleague game was abandoned after PAOK had an 89th-minute goal ruled offside with the score 0-0.

Savvidis marched onto the pitch with images showing him appearing to be carrying a gun in a hip holster, and PAOK later issued a statement.

“After what happened today in Toumba Stadium, PAOK FC president Ivan Savvidis is preparing to take all necessary steps to protect the club and all his executives and associates from the threats and attacks they are suffering,” the statement said.

“More relevant announcements to be made shortly.”

PAOK are third in Greece’s top division and could have moved within two points of leaders AEK with a win.

Last month, PAOK’s league game with Olympiacos was abandoned before a ball was kicked.

Olympiacos coach Oscar Garcia, the former Brighton and Watford boss, was hit by an object thrown from the crowd, which was reported to be a toilet roll.

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Paul Pogba could miss Manchester United's match against Sevilla

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Jose Mourinho is not sure whether Paul Pogba will be available for Tuesday’s crunch Champions League clash with Sevilla.

The 24-year-old has struggled for form and game time of late, with the club-record signing surprisingly named on the bench for the goalless last-16 first leg in Spain.

Pogba recovered from illness to be in the squad that day and is now fighting to be involved in the return leg having missed Saturday’s 2-1 win against Liverpool with an injury sustained in training on the eve of the game.

The France international did not appear in much discomfort at Old Trafford after the match and Mourinho is waiting to see whether he can return.

“I don’t know,” the United boss said of Pogba’s availability for Tuesday.

“He’s downstairs now and I will go and speak with him. The injury? It was contact with a player in the last minute of the training session (on Friday).

“If I finished the session one minutes before it wouldn’t have happened.”

Even if he is fit, Pogba may find it hard to start given how well-balanced United’s midfield looked against Liverpool ahead of Sevilla’s visit and the FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton.

“Seville and Brighton are more important games than Liverpool,” Mourinho said after the 2-1 win.

“Liverpool is Liverpool, it is a big match, it is a match against a direct competition for the top four, but nothing is decided yet.

“We have eight more games and 24 points to play for.

“But Seville and Brighton are ‘die or live’ games so the next two are much more important than this one.”

Those comments may not be surprising, but Mourinho’s stance on Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp perhaps is.

The United boss got sent to the stands for accidentally putting his foot over the touchline this season, whereas the German got off with his burst out of his technical area down the touchline late in the second half.

“Probably you are not expecting my answer – I’m happy with the decision,” Mourinho said.

“Because he was not speaking against the referee. He was upset with a player and the same happened to me against Crystal Palace where I was upset with my player and therefore they (the officials) understood that too.

“I think Martin Atkinson (the fourth official) after so many years of this, I think made the right decision. I saw it. He was very upset with his player and not at the referee.

“If you leave the technical area by a couple of metres – or in this case 20 metres – but to speak to your own player and not to complain about the referee’s decision, they made the right decision.”

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Scouting report of Man United and Liverpool target Leon Bailey in Bayer Leverkusen win

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Every weekend we pick out one player under the age of 23 from around Europe and analyse their performance to provide you with an in-depth scouting report.

As the new generation begin to make their mark, the big clubs start to be linked with an interest and that’s certainly been the case with Jamaica and Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey.

Liverpool and Manchester United are known admirers and so for those fans looking to know more, we examine the 20-year-old’s display as Leverkusen beat Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

STATISTICS 

Goals – 0

Assists – 0

Shots – 2

Shots on target – 0

Touches – 49

Passes – 30

Aerials won – 1

Key passes – 3

Dribbles – 2

Dispossessed – 0

30-SECOND REPORT

It’s easy to see why a whole host of clubs in Europe are interested in the Leverkusen youngster. Starting on the left flank, he was a constant threat and a regular outlet for the hosts.

His pace and trickery makes him a handful for defenders but he also showed glimpses of his fine technique with a few good touches and excellent crosses.

The Jamaican proved his ability to operate on either flank. While he is predominantly left-footed, he can deliver quality with his right as well.

Bailey did make a few mistakes as well but there’s no questioning his value to the team. He was quieter in the second half and was replaced in the 68th minute.

GOT RIGHT

Crossing – He attempted eight crosses in the game, more than any other play despite being substituted with more than 20 minutes to play. His deliveries were dangerous with four of them finding a team-mate. He should’ve had an assist but for Kevin Volland’s glaring miss while his very next cross set up the opening goal.

Breakaways – While he may not be one for tracking back, his pace on the counter-attack is a real asset to his side. He was at the heart of virtually every breakaway his side could muster while he was still on the pitch.

GOT WRONG

Shooting – He had two shots at goal on the day, neither of which were on target. His effort for the first was dragged horribly wide when he had time to set himself while his second attempt was just a wild lash which flew into row Z.

Decision-making – This particular flaw came to the fore when he completely ignored or just wasn’t aware of his two team-mates in the middle completely unmarked, choosing instead to shoot from the edge of the box against the angle with two defenders closing him down. Even if he wasn’t sure he had support, he’d have been better served cutting inside and getting his head up instead of letting fly from that position.

KEY MOMENTS

14th min TACKLED: Bombs down the left flank with plenty of promise on the break. Pulls off a few step-overs in the process

18th min FOULED: Driving through the middle this time, Bailey does well to win a free-kick in a dangerous area.

22nd min SHOT: Played in with acres of space on the left, gets inside the box on his favoured left foot but doesn’t make a good connection and drags his effort well wide.

24th min WASTED CHANCE: Breaking away on the left, he’s confronted by two defenders but has a team-mate completely unmarked in the box with another one arriving. He takes a wild pop at goal though much to the frustration of the rest of his team.

36th minute CROSS: Down the right flank, he cuts onto his left foot and hangs up an exceptional cross at the back post but Volland criminally heads wide unmarked from close range.

39th minute CROSS: Takes on the full-back and goes down the outside this time. Stands up another cross, this time with his right foot, at the far post. Volland knocks it down for Lucas Alario to slot away.

47th minute RUN: Storms down the right side on the counter-attack but can’t beat the defender and is made to check back. His attempted cross is blocked and the chance goes begging.

Leon Bailey (l)

Leon Bailey (l)

VERDICT

Still a very raw but very exciting talent. Under the right coach and in the right environment, Bailey could well mature into a very special player.

His shooting is far better than his two wayward shots against Monchengladbach but his awareness and decision-making needs work.

Still, the visitors couldn’t live with him at times and he was the spark Leverkusen needed to engineer the first goal.

RATING: 7/10

All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com

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