Panionios 0-1 AEK
We finally got a win, with the only goal of the match coming from a very nicely set up play.
Here is the first video I could find of the goal
Overall the team showed some promise but lacked consistency throughout. There were times when everything was going smoothly. Passes were being made, plays were built up, and a few chances were created. Then there were other times where the team fell asleep and we had to rely on Saja to save us.
We started with Saja, Kyrgiakos, Majstorovic, Koutromanos, Karabelas, Kafes, Makos, Manduca, Iordache, Djebbour, and Pavlis. Pavlis played a great game and missed some good chances, including a chance to score a nice bicycle kick. Djebbour on the other hand had only a mediocre performance. He lost the ball often and asides from scoring his goal, he did not contribute much else.
Manduca had a pretty good game. Had a decent shot but did not manage to get enough power on the ball. He is definately showing some promise once again. Iordache made some good plays but was not as actively involved in the match as Manduca, at least as far as I could tell. Makos had a good game but also with him I dont remember seeing much. Perhaps I was just overlooking both Makos and Iordache, but it looked like Manduca was doing much of the midfields work. Kafes was injured around half way through the first and was replaced by Nsaliwa who had a pretty good game. He fought hard, created some chances and overall proved he deserves to be playing with the team.
At the back Kyrgiakos had a pretty solid performance and made some good tackles. He even ran up from half way and took a pretty good shot which the Panionios keeper could only tap away. Majstorovic also played a good game but seemed to be stressed, perhaps due to the fact that his wife recently had a new child, I believe a daughter. Koutromanos played a good game and showed that he can be a pretty solid right back, just like he was beggining to show at the end of last season. However, I still doubt he is ready to be a starter, and I think we should look for a top quality player for that position. I can’t remember seeing much from Karabelas. I believe he had a shot which didnt manage to trouble the keeper.
Saja made some critical saves and looked to be alert, like last season. I think we are fine with him for the time being. Arabatzis was on the bench since it doesnt look like Lukac has been impressing much.
The subs in the second half were Diouf, Yahayia, Burns, Manolas, Geraldo, Georgeas, Juanfran, Gentzoglou, and Tachtsidis.
Tachtsidis took a very good direct free kick which was only a little wide of the goal. He looked alright, and came on to replace Pavlis. However, up front it seemed to be Burns who looked to be in form, playing especially well with Manduca. This was definately promising to see. He had a header which hit the post, and seemed to be working hard. Diouf did not impress and missed many chances and wasted many balls. It looks quite likely that he might be loaned out this season.
Our next friendly is this weekend against Boca Juniors, at OAKA. A big game for AEK, however people are saying there might be fan trouble since at the moment it doesnt look like any singings will be happening any time soon, however Thanopoulos has said that we will be getting a right back and have a list of targets.
Hopefully we see a more entertaining match against Boca Juniors. Its certainly one Im looking forward to.
The draw for AEK to learn its opponent for Europa League qualifying will be held this Friday, I believe. That information will be posted as soon as it is available.