Xanthi 0-1 AEK

A big win for AEK today, a win which was crucial to ensuring we progress to the next round of the cup. I was able to follow the commentary on and off throughout the match and it definitely sounded like an improvement over the last time we played in Xanthi.

I never expected this to be an easy match, and it doesn’t sound like it was at all. We managed to create a number of decent chances though and for periods of the match it sounded like we were in total control. Unfortunately though, our final few touches were lacking, quite the opposite of what we saw during the game over the weekend against Iraklis. I’m sure that this was at least partially due to the fact that Mantalos was missing from the starting XI, though the fact that we were still able to hold on for the win in a tough stadium without him is a relief. We were also missing Aravidis from the starting lineup, but thankfully Chrisantus managed to make it count when we needed it most. It wasn’t the most beautiful goal, but it was the kind of goal we need to score more of, the scrappy, loose ball kind of goal that Blanco was so good at finishing off. I’m very happy to see Chrisantus score again as the guy hasn’t stopped trying all season and judging from his reaction after scoring the goal, he was pretty happy too.

A big win for us, and hopefully a win that will help us build on the momentum we started over the weekend leading into the derby with PAO. Unfortunately though, today’s match was not the cleanest and there were a few injuries suffered, possibly the most worrying one being the injury Baroja picked up. He was able to play on which was a relief, but I’m hoping there won’t be some effects of the injury noticed later on as he has been crucial for us this season. In addition, I think Simoes may have also picked up a bit of an injury, hopefully we’ll learn some more about that later on.

In other AEK news, our basketball team won their first European game of the season, 87-70 against Nizhny Novgorod. Our performance in the 4th quarter was absolutely phenomenal, forcing wide open a match which had been rather close for the first three quarters. Things are still pretty tight in our group, and we were rather unlucky to not win the first game, so hopefully this win can finally turn things around. I never expected us to challenge for first place with Galatasaray being in our group, but I do think that we have a shot at second, or at least third place (neither of which will be bad performances considering this was our first European appearance in so many years).

http://www.eurocupbasketball.com/eurocup/games/results/showgame?gamecode=52&seasoncode=U2015#!report

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