Archive for February, 2015

AEK 2-1 Panachaiki

Posted in AEK, Football League with tags , , , , , , on February 24, 2015 by alexaek

A narrow important win for us today against the second placed team of the league. It was safe to assume before the match that it would not be an easy one, and Panachaiki certainly came for the win. Both teams had fantastic chances to score more goals, and while we ultimately created more chances than Panachaiki, the visitors came agonizingly close to scoring on a number of occasions (including at least one, if not two, posts).

Our two goals were scored by Platellas and Mantalos, and I’m certainly more than happy to see both of them score. Each match I’ve watched, Platellas always seemed to attempt at least one shot outside the box and hes come close to scoring on a number of those shots. Fortunately one of his shots finally reached the target, resulting in a fantastic goal from a nicely placed shot.

Mantalos had a pretty good game today with a number of nice crosses and passes, so its always good to see a good performance rewarded with a goal. In addition to Platellas and Mantalos, Soleidis and Johansson also had very encouraging performances, with Johansson being rewarded MVP (I must say, whoever it was who scouted Johansson deserves a round of applause since hes turned out to be one great signing).

The most disappointing player of the match for AEK would unfortunately have to be Anestis. I mentioned in my last post how he seems to be very consistently making at least one serious mistake each game. I also mentioned that we have until now not been punished too often by his mistakes. Well, today we were punished. I won’t even attempt to describe what happens, you’ll have to see it for yourself in the highlight video below.

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AEK 2-0 Archanaikos

Posted in AEK, Basketball, Football League, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2015 by alexaek

Laid back game from the sounds of things, though I guess at this point there’s no reason to push too hard, particularly with the game against Olympiakos coming up in less than a month (possibly).

Going by what I saw in the highlight video, there were a number of chances for AEK to score, though Acharnaikos had their fair share of chances too. Barbosa and Aravidis particularly looked very dangerous, though Mantalos too was quite involved. Defensively it looked like we were a bit too open at times, though I’m not particularly worried, since I have the feeling that was more the result of the team feeling rather relaxed more than anything else. Especially after watching how tight and organized the defense was against Olympiakos, I know our back four are more than capable of handling most situations quite well.

I’m gonna have to mention Anestis, because there seems to be a recurring theme here with him. Overall he’s been quite solid this season but it seems ever game now, there is a play where he makes a serious mistake. Luckily for us we’ve not been punished too often for his mistakes, but we very well could have. I’m not sure why it is this keeps happening, but if he wants to be our first keeper next season, he’ll have to work on his judgment because you can bet that in games against teams like Olympiakos and PAO, they will take advantage of his mistakes.

MVP of the match was once again Anakoglou, though AEK365 considered Barbosa to be the best player of the match. I remember when we first signed Barbosa, I had really high expectations but I wasn’t seeing too much consistency from him. He certainly had his moments where he looked fantastic, but I was getting the feeling it wasn’t enough at the time. I have to say that he has really stepped up his performances with each passing game and hes now becoming a key part of our team. With him and Mantalos leading the midfield and Johansson and Anakoglou providing the support behind them, we definitely now have a very solid midfield core.

Possession for the match was 74 percent in our favour, and we managed to get off twenty shots (twelve of which were on target).

There was another game today, this time with our basketball team. The classic Athens derby between AEK and PAO. Now, I hate to say it but we all know PAO is a powerhouse, not just in Greece but in Europe. They have been for a while, and looks like they still will be for a while. I was still hoping for a win though, considering how promising our play has been since things turned around for the team, but unfortunately the win was still too far out of our grasp. The final result was 62-70 for PAO, and even though a loss is a loss, I’m sure the score would have been worse had we not had the team we have today. Of course we still have a long way to go until our basket team can challenge for the title, but we have also come a long way since where we were a year or two ago. I think that as long as our management stays focused and continues to provide us with the best players possible, we will only continue to improve. With some of the recent signings we’ve made, we will without a doubt be able to attract even more high quality team, and hopefully by next season will have a top three team once again.

As was to be expected, the atmosphere for the game was fantastic:

A quick word about our next Cup game against Olympiakos… For those who have been wondering when the game will be, I unfortunately cannot say, because I, as well as the rest of the Greece, don’t know. It was originally scheduled for the 4th of March. However, Olympiakos play Tripolis on Monday, March 2nd, so technically they aren’t allowed to play another game within 48 hours. Unfortunately, March 5th there is a PAO basket game at OAKA for the Euroleague, which of course cannot be postponed. So, the obvious solution would be to move the Olympiakos-Tripolis game to Sunday, March 1st, right? Well, you would figure, but Olympiakos like to get things their own way, and since they are obviously now worried about playing us, they are looking to move the game to a later week all together. As a reported mentioned in an article I read today, why was this not discussed before the first leg game? Why were Olympiakos’ concerns for the “well being” of their players not brought up when they thought they would comfortably beat us in the first leg?

All I know is that this is Greece, and if history is anything to go by, Olympiakos will get their way.

Olympiakos 1-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2015 by alexaek

Well, where to start. Am I disapointed that we didn’t come away with all three points? Absolutely. Am I happy with our performance? Absolutely!

I was worried about the game. I knew we had a good team, I knew we were technically capable of getting things done. But still, I was nervous. For a lot of our players, this is their first time experiencing a game like this, and the pressure that comes with it. Certainly it was the first time our players as a team experienced something like this though, honestly, if I didn’t know any better I would have felt they do it every weekend.

Olympiakos had possession throughout the match. And it ends there. They had nothing else at all… They lacked creativity, they made mistake after mistake, they could hardly play as a team. They were embarrassing really, considering this team is in the lead for the championship.

AEK, on the other hand, entered the game for a result. Sure, we sat back a lot of the time, but we did it well, and took full advantage of the chances we made. The way we so calmly dealt with the pressure was the kind of playing I’d expect from a far more experienced team, but I think today we showed the rest of Greece that we are more than ready for a spot in the Super League, a chance to challenge Oly, PAO, and PAOK.

Maybe I’m being biased, but I doubt anyone could have watched the match and not felt we were actually the better team overall. We took advantage of our opportunities and had some fantastic chances. We pressured often, and Olympiakos simply couldn’t cope. Maybe they were complacent, maybe they weren’t expecting it from us, or maybe they really just as bad as they seemed.

All I know is that in our own stadium, and with a fair ref (but who am I kidding…), we have an excellent chance of going through to the next round at the expense of Greece’s “Champions”.

Now that I’ve mentioned the ref, let me just get it out of the way. I don’t know if there were orders given, I can’t make those accusations for sure. Either way, the lack of consistency between the calls he was giving us and them was plain to see to anybody watching. The tiniest of touches and Olympiakos players were down on the ground. With no touch at all they were still on the ground. And almost EVERY time, the ref gladly gave them a free kick.

Did we receive the same treatment? Absolutely not. Though part of that could be due to the fact that our players came to play a game of soccer, rather than lie on the ground and hope they could muster up some sort of a chance (which they rarely did).

Anyways, the game is over, and I’d rather focus on the positives we can carry forward from the game. First off, I’d like to say that the entire team deserves credit for today’s performance. We really played as a unit, and we were all clearly focused on a similar game plan. The system Dellas planed out today worked perfectly, allowing us to work as a team while also giving the flexibility for our players to create some magic on their own. Barbosa, Soleiding, Aravidis, Mantalos, each were heavily involved in moving the ball around, creating space, and ultimately, creating chances. As a team were quick but not rushed, effective and certainly not sloppy.

Our defense was just as organized, frustrating Olympiakos throughout the game. We pressured just as much from the back as we did further up the pitch, and the Olympiakos players simply couldn’t handle it. Sure, they had the ball up in our half often but they rarely managed to get it into any sort of a decent position. And when they did manage to create some sort of a chance, they always failed to capitalize, partly due to their sloppiness, partly due to our effective pressuring.

As far as goalkeeping is concerned, well Anestis wasn’t perfect. I think he could have done better on the Olympiakos goal (though to be fair, it was touch to judge as it probably wasn’t obvious if Milivojevic was going for a shot or a header), and he did make one mistake which almost gifted Olympiakos a goal. But otherwise, he was pretty solid, and had a solid defense to back him up.

Really, we have a lot to be proud of, as does Dellas and our whole team. Everyone was saying how Olympiakos were huge favourites, the odds were stacked incredibly high against us, but the team didn’t let any of that bother them and instead showed up to play the soccer they knew they could. Earlier in the season I was wondering what kind of players we’d need to sign over the summer but honestly, after today’s match, I have no doubt that we now have a very solid core to work around. Sure, a couple additions in certain positions will certainly help but players such as Barbosa, Johansson, Aravidis, Mantalos, and Soleidis have certainly shown they deserve to be playing in the first division.

Below I’ll post a few videos. The first is of our goal, yet another fantastic finish from Aravidis. The second will be of the incredible chance Barbosa narrowly missed, and the third will be of the non-existent foul that led to Olympiakos’ goal.

Half Time: Olympiakos 0-1 AEK!

Posted in AEK, Greek Cup with tags , , on February 11, 2015 by alexaek

1-0 for us, though it easily could’ve been 2-0 or 3-0. Olympiakos has had the possession, but we’ve had by far the better opportunities, and our defense has been pretty solid so far. Since our goal we’ve calmed down a bit, looks like we’re gonna risk a little less and wait for our chances. I don’t mind, we already have one away goal, and Olympiakos have not been too impressive so far at all, as long as we keep frustrating them and taking our chances, I think we can definitely get out of here with a good result.

Our players have to be careful though, Olympiakos players are going down every thirty seconds and the ref has no problem giving them free kicks every time they git tripped up by a blade of grass.

Link For The Derby!

Posted in AEK, Greek Cup, Streams with tags , , , on February 11, 2015 by alexaek

http://tml-agones.blogspot.gr/2015/02/1930-olympiacos-piraeus-vs-aek-athens.html

Seems to be working so far. I’ll update as soon as possible if it goes down.

AEK 4-1 Chania

Posted in AEK, Basketball, Football League, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2015 by alexaek

Nice to see a high scoring game again, this time thanks to two goals from Anakoglou as well as another two from Lambropoulos and Aravidis. The win, our 13th of the season, leaves us very comfortably in first with 41 points, 9 points ahead of second placed Panachaiki.

It was nice to see a promising final match before our mid week Cup game against Olympiakos. Possesion during the match was 58% in our favour, and we managed to get 14 shots (though Chania managed a respectable 8 shots as well). Anakoglou, probably rightfully so (I didn’t get to watch the game… again), won MVP of the match. AEK365 also gave decent ratings for Anestis, Bakakis, Lambropoulos, Rovas, Barbosa, Brecevic, and Aravidis.

Worth noting from today’s match was that our newest signing, promising Nigerian striker Macauley Chrisantus played a few minutes towards the end, and though he didn’t have enough time to make much of impact, it was nice to see that he’s already fairy comfortable and ready to play.

Also worth noting from this weekend was that our basketball team managed another impressive victory, this time beating Panionios away 78-94. We’ve made a few very impressive signings so far this season and they all seem to not only be making quite the impact, but I get the feeling they’re enjoying playing for the team and the fans. Its really quite nice finally seeing our Basketball team having some respectable performances for the first time in quite a while. The next big test for the team will be against first placed Panthinaikos. Won’t be an easy match by any means, but I’m hoping we can be as much of a challenge as possible for the Greens.

Just a matter of days until the match with Olympiakos! I’m nervous, but also extremely excited. It’s been far too long that we’ve seen a real derby for AEK.

Apollon Smyrnis 1-0 AEK HalfTime

Posted in AEK, Football League with tags , , , on February 2, 2015 by alexaek

Haven’t been watching the match, but I’ve read the live commentary on AEK365 and it doesn’t sound too good. Not only are we down 1-0, but we also got a red card in the 23rd minute for Platellas, and are now playing with ten players. In addition, we had two goals called back for offside, though I haven’t seen yet whether the calls were good or not.

More to come after the match.