PAOK and Atromitos scored Europa League victories on Thursday, two days after Panathinaikos’ win over Club Brugges for the Champions League qualifiers.
PAOK played almost the entire game at home with Spartak Trnava with a man’s disadvantage, but still emerged victorious with a 1-0 score in the first leg of its third qualifying round tie with the Slovaks.
Miguel Vitor got his marching orders just two minutes into the game at Toumba, leaving PAOK with 10 men. However, the Thessaloniki club was the better team and saw its dominance bear fruit eight minutes from time when Yiannis Mystakidis fed Lucas Perez and he sent the ball home in what was probably his last game with PAOK before he returns to Spain.
Atromitos has taken a leap toward the Europa League play-offs with its 3-1 win at AIK Solna in Sweden.
The Peristeri team was 2-0 up from the first quarter of the hour through goals by Stefano Napoleoni and Marcelinho.
AIK then earned two penalties and converted only the second via Henok Goitom on the 70th, as the first one by Englishman Kevin Pavey was saved by Atromitos keeper Andrei Gorbunov on the 49th.
Man of the match Marcelinho, who created the first goal and scored the second, earned a penalty 11 minutes from the end for Atromitos and a red card for Noah Sonko Sundberg. Javier Umbides converted the penalty and Atromitos returned home with a precious win.
The second legs of both ties will take place on August 6.