The first Athens derby of the new year ended in a 0-0 draw which gave Olympiakos the chance to move even further ahead in the standings after their 1-0 win against Asteras Tripolis.
AEK started strong and managed to keep hold of the ball for long periods of time, especially during the first period. The most significant scoring opportunity for AEK came in the 31st minute, when Sotiris Kyrgiakos’ strong header off of a corner by Basinas hit the post.
It took a while but eventually AEK started to build offesnively and could have scored had it not been for Blanco being offside on numerous occasions (This was a problem for AEK yesterday and Blanco will certaintly need to start noticing his position during the games more often).
Panathinaikos also had many chances to score and had it not been a combination of reliable goal keeping by Saja and a little bad luck for PAO the score could have been 2-0 for the home team by the end of the first half.
AEK’s defence was for the most part solid however, the marking was still a serious problem as it was at the last match with Ergotelis. Gilberto was found alone in front of the net many times and had his shots been on target he could have easily scored.
Another problem with AEK’s defence which we could see yesterday was its lack of speed, especially when Salpingidis got the ball. He was able to take off leaving Juanfran and Majstorovic trailing behind.
Aside from these two flaws, AEK’s defence was solid, especially with high balls, which Majstorovic (who played a fantastic game) easily managed to control and clear.
The first half was the better half for AEK. For most of the second half it seemed AEK was playing for the draw, and very few attacking opportunities were created for AEK during the second.
Most of the players played a good game, with exception of Pliatsikas and Nsaliwa, who were below average for the most part. Nsaliwa was constantly trying to carry the ball rather than passing which always led to him loosing the ball.
Majstorovic, Saja and Scocco (mostly for the first half) were the best players for AEK overall. Basinas also played a surpisingly good game at right back, until he was replaced by subsitute Gerogeas (at which point Basinas moved up to midfield to cover for where Nsaliwa was playing before he was taken off). Gerogeas also played a good game defensively when he came on.
Unfortunately, Bajevic did not bring on Edinho until the 88th minute. Perhaps bringing him on in the 75th minute would have been the wiser choice.
Match report here.