AEK 3-1 Larissa
We got the three points we so desperately needed, as well as a little bit of reassurance for the players and fans. Beating a team like Larissa with a score of 3-1 is always a nice thing. Sure, Larissa might not be at their best, but they are rarely an easy team to win against (I feel like I’ve said that many times already this season).
We went up first with an incredibly strong header from Majstorovic (it was from outside the small box and the Larissa keeper still couldn’t stop it even though he managed to get a hand to it!). This guy is really mastering the art of scoring from set pieces, great stuff to see.
Larissa tied it up late in the first half, forcing the team to head to the lockers with a sour mood from the supporters in the stands (only 8,000 showed up though, it was 4:45 on a Monday night and I had to leave as soon as I got home from school). I thought it was over then, up to then we really weren’t playing all that great. Our defence in particular was quite poor, making mistakes which almost led to goal (mostly up to their usual tricks of passing the ball back and controlling until an opponent got it and had a chance on goal). Saja wasn’t fantastic. I can’t blame him for the goal since it was a really well placed shot but he made some more poor clearances and passes, and his confidence really seems to be getting worse. Hopefully we’ll see an improvement.
Some key players really deserve credit for this game. Firstly, Karabelas. The kid has been steadily improving at a fast rate, and was MVP for the previous two games. This game he was terrific, he’s defending well, making good runs, and contributing a lot to the games overall now. Turns out Dusan knew what he wanted when we wanted to get Karabelas from Aris.
Nameth! He made all the difference when he came on. Aside from scoring the goal, he made a nice pass which almost led to another goal as soon as he came on. He played great, which was good to see since it seemed like he toned things down the previous games. It was also great to see Nemeth run right up to the fans when he scored, and without hesitation. It is well known how much he appreciates the fans but it feels great to see him celebrate with us, a really nice thing to see from a player on the team.
I really wasn’t impressed with Guerreiro. He started great when he first came to us but now, he does very little. He spent most of the time with the ball just wasting time. When its extra time thats fine, but not when there is still plenty of time to score one or even two more goals.
Every other player had a good game. Scocco, Araujo, Gentzoglou (his confidence his improving and he’s turning out to be a pretty solid player), Blanco (three goals in three games) as well as everyone else.
Overall, we played a much better second half. The pressure must have done good for our players, who began to attack and began controlling the game much more. Larissa still had the occasional chance but I began to feel more sure of our players as the game went on.
Still, it was not a fantastic win, but it’s exactly what we needed at this point, both for the players and the fans. Hopefully we will begin to see more confident results.
Manduca was MVP of the game.
One more note, another two posts in this game! That’s 13 this season (I believe including Europa League as well).