Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to all our readers.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to all our readers.
Well, its been a while since weve seen our team scored more than one goal. In fact its been seven games since weve seen AEK score more than two goals and we havent seen three goals scored in one championship game since last season.
Oh well, better late than never (Im sure Blanco is saying the same thing after he finally managed to reach the top scorer position this week after scoring his goal in the Ergotelis game). We got the badly needed three points, and are now sitting fourth at the end of the first half of the season (thankfully, Aris only managed a 0-0 draw against Panthrakikos, therefore allowing AEK to pass them in the standings).
Unfortunately, Olympiakos is now getting further away from the rest of the pack after getting a narrow 2-1 win against Thrasivoulous (they were awarded a questionable penalty call in the 90th minute). PAOK only managed a 1-1 draw against Panseriakos so they now sit six points behind Olympiakos.
Now, for the AEK match. Well, it was an entertaining match, with both teams playing some good football at times. However, it was a scary match for any AEK fans. AEK early on in the 6th minute took the lead from a Rafik Djebbour goal (this was a promising start as Bajevic was promising an all offense game). However, AEK failed to take advantage of the chances that came later on, allowing Ergotelis to tie the game at 1-1 in the 35th minute (if it werent for fabulous goalkeeping from Sebastien Saja, Ergotelis could have taken the lead many times throughout the game).
Four minutes after Ergotelis tied it Blanco put another one in for AEK, after a perfectly set up pass from Djebbour (Blanco rightfully gave Djebbour the credit for this goal during his goal celebrations).
The score remained 2-1 until the 76th minute when Ergotelis once again tied the game, this time at 2-2. It looked like the game was going to end this way until the 85th minute when substitute Edinho scored when he beat the Ergotelis defence to the rebound after Kafes’ shot hit the crossbar.
Well, in the end, we came out of this game with three points. However, the fact that AEK still needs alot of improvement cannot be overlooked. This article states exactly that. Although we need alot of work, the future from now on is promising for AEK.
Some things to note from the match are 1) Basinas will not cut it as a right back. He simply does not have the defensive capabilities required. We will need a strong right back who we can trust, and one who can take some of the pressure off of Kyrgiakos, who constantly had to go and assist Basinas.
2) Juanfran will not cut it as a left back. The same can be said for Juanfran as was said for Basinas. Perhaps he might have been a better player earlier on in his career, he does not have the passing ability, or the defensive ability to cope with dangerous strikers (although yesterdays performance by him was alright, at least he managed to intercept some passes and make some decent runs).
3)The teams marking must be improved. Both goals, but especially the second one could have been avoided had the Ergotelis players been better marked. In the second goal, Budimir was left wide open and unmarked, in perfect position to score the header. There is only so much that Saja can do, and unless the defence starts helping a little more teams will continue scoring easily avoidable goals.
4)Seeing as the teams offense has finally started to click (it was only a matter of time with players such as Blanco, Edinho, Scocco, and Djebbour) the positions to look for during the January transfer window should be either in the midfield or defence.
It is important that these improvements are made quickly since the first match of the second half of the season is away, against Panthinaikos, who are currently looking very strong.
It seemed as though AEK played with a 4-4-2 formation which seemed to switch to a 4-2-4 when they were attacking.
Djebbour was awarded MVP of the match.
After a month and five days AEK managed to clinch their first win and gain a long awaited for three points. This was the first win for Dusan Bajevic after two away draws before this, one to OFI and one to Levadeiakos. Ismael Blanco scored the only goal of the game which puts him as the second highest Superleague Scorer at the moment, tied with Ogunsoto from Ergotelis with six goals. Cesarec from Asteras Tripolis is currently top scorer with seven goals.
The Blanco goal was scored from a pass by Scocco, who missed a clear chance as well. Nsaliwa played for his third game in a row and rightfully won the MVP of the game award after a great performance which shows alot of promise for the future. Pantelis Kafes also played a great game, with some great tackling (some tackles even resembled those seen in Ice Hockey)
AEK were the side pressuring most of the time with Panthrakikos only rarely getting a decent chance. The defence as a whole played a good game. Majstorovic was a little dangerous with the ball at the back, sometimes almost giving it to a player of the opposing team. Pliatsikas played a fearless aggresive game and Juanfran actually showed some improvement over his disastrous performance at the OFI match. Kyrgiakos, as always, was the most important figure in the defence, and was key on containing the Panthrakikos forwards on their counter attacks.
The team’s midfield managed to cope just fine without Basinas who sat out after receiving four yellow cards previously. However, the midfield is still currently the area which will need the most improvement, and possibly some new players in January.
Goal.com has a report here.
AEK’s poor away form, as many fans feared, has continued with little improvement. AEK drew away with Levadeiakos who currently sit in 11th position with 13 points. Despite hitting the post three times throughout the match neither Djebbour or Blanco could score.
AEK were handed a chance to salvage the three points in extra time after a penalty was called in the Levadeiakos box. Manduca originally took the penalty which was saved by the Levadeiakos keeper. The penalty however was ordered to be retaken and Basinas was instructed this time to take the penalty by AEK manager Dusan Bajevic. The weak and low shot by Basinas, who was 100 percent with penalties until this match, was easily saved once again by the Levadeikos keeper.
Nsaliwa played his second game in a row and once again proved himself to be one of the best players on the pitch. Kyrgiakos and Majstorovic were fairly tight at the back however they at times let their man slip forcing Saja to come out or make a quick save.
Lagos also played a decent game, and his performance at times was definitely better than previous performances we have seen earlier this season.
The starting lineup was like this
Scocco was instructed by Bajevic to play up front with Blanco for this match. This formation did not seem to fit the team. Many chances were created by Pliatsikas and Lagos running up the wings and making the crosses in. There were few dangerous chances actually created by passing in the middle.
The substitutions were Edinho, Manduca, and Djebbour.
Greeksoccer.com has a report here.