Well, I was wrong, we didnt get the win I was expecting, far from it.
There really isnt much good news to say about AEK from this match. AEK played a similar style of football to the how they were playing earlier in the year at games such as our 2-1 loss to Iraklis at home and our 1-0 loss th Larissa. The only difference between those two games and this one today was that today, well, we played even worse.
Its hard to think of anything to say considering how weve been playing the past ten games. The lineup was similar to previous games so it couldnt be that. We clearly werent dishearted from the court decision after seeing how we played when we beat Panionios 5-0, a team that we lost 3-2 to earlier in the season.
Perhaps the players had too much confidence entering the match. We started the two first minutes like we did against oly with a quick chance and control of the ball. Our passing was accurate, nothing was sloppy like it was eariler in the year. But after those first two minutes we quickly seemed to loose all of our calm and play quickly became sloppy and our players seemed to loose confidence.
The main fault that lead to this loss was defence. Three of the four goals could have easily been avoided had our defence been the reliable solid wall it had been at other games. But our defence wasnt the reliable solid wall we were used to. Instead, it was basically nothing, nonexistent. Throughout the game Blanco, Cezar, and Liberopoulos would come back to assist the defence, or rather do its job for it. Julio Cezar made some nice tackles getting all ball, its too bad he would be pushed down by Karagounis every time.
Now, our defence wasnt like the one we had seen during that peroid a few months back, where we had an extremely unreliable defence (the Panionios match we lost is a perfect example of what Im refering to) that would loose possesion in places where you dont want to loose possession such as in front of the goal. Instead, we had a defence that would simply walk aside and let the player with the ball walk right in front of the goal. The defence was never marking anyone, the PAO players could either shoot or pass to whomever they wanted to. And I must say that Macho didnt seem nearly as reliable as he had at other games.
If I had to pick on someone from the defence in particular it would have to be Pliatsikas. Of course nothing can be blamed on Kostenoglou, the players didnt play very well but I want to know WHAT WAS HE THINKING?!?!. Pliatsikas is a rookie, put him in if your playing Veria, even Panionios, but he still doesnt have enough experience to handle PAO no matter what form PAO has been playing in lately. He made many silly tackles that could have gotten him a card. And he took the free kicks. He took the first free kick and it went far over the post. Fine, he was giving it a try. But then he took a second one and did the exact same thing. I think it might have helped slightly if someone else had played. Perhaps Geraldo could have gone in or Ramos. I know left arent the ideal positions for either of the two but we need someone more reliable.
Our offence wasnt as bad as the defence but they couldnt make a pass. It wasnt like our usual offence lately that was calm, made smart passes, nice goals, and rarely gave up possesion. The only goal for AEK came in the 71st minute, a free kick set up perfectly for Rivaldo. It was easy for him, too bad he couldnt have scored a couple more goals (he did have a few chances but couldnt finish with a good shot). Blanco didnt do much except for a chance in the begining. But how could he, he scores goals by being set up with a good midfield and offence that can make constructive passes and get the ball close to the net or get into a good position to cross.
The second half was better for AEK but, being down 4-0 by the end of the first there wasnt much they could do. The passing was a little more organized, the defence a little more reliable and the offence did create a couple of chances (I think the substitution of Kallon in for Lyberopoulos helped the offence) but there was nothing for them to do. Of course, since PAO was up by four they came back and played a more defensive game than the first half which didnt help our weak offence. Lyberopoulos didnt seem to play with much life, much like the first playoff game against Panionios.
The referee tonight wasnt as bad as previous refs. He actually saved us further humiliation by not calling two penalties that PAO could have had and called many of the fouls against us.
PAO really didnt play great, not like how AEK has played at previous games like our match against oly. It was still nonetheless an easy victory for them with few chances for AEK.
AEK went into this game with five goals scored and none against them. Now they have six goals scored and four aginst them. Oh well, games like these happen but hopefully the players will put it behind them and play a good game this Sunday in Athens against Aris.