Archive for Alexopoulos

AEK 2-1 Olympiakos and Im LOVING IT!!!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2010 by alexaek

Now, in my opinion we didn’t play the best football we could have but, WHO CARES!!!! It was the last game of the season, what mattered most was the result. And, to top things off, Aris also won which mean Oly finishes fifth in the league! IM LOVING IT!!!!

Alright, as I mentioned in the post before Oly had a very depleted squad. Squad depth was being mentioned as one of their greatest problems and it showed today. They were a weak side and though they did manage to create some dangerous chances up front their defense was nowhere to be found! Some tighter finishing by Blanco/Nemeth/Scocco could have seen us leave the game with a 4-1 victory though Saja kept us in the game in the dying minutes.

We had a perfect start to the game with none other than KOSTAS MANOLAS scoring the first goal six minutes in. However, the celebrating didn’t last too long as Olympiakos tied things up not long after. Never the less, we still managed to keep control of the match despite not creating as many chances as we would have liked. Olympiakos gave us the odd scare throughout the first half but the lack of overall quality on their team was evident and it was obvious that the game was ours for the taking if we came out stronger in the second half (don’t forget, we scored three goals in nine minutes against Aris, all in the second half).

Half time came with the score still tied at 1-1 but not long after the start of the second half AEK were creating chances and pressuring. We saw a bit of everything, two against one, one on ones with the keeper, balls going just wide of the posts on a number of occasions… the ball just never went in. Fortunately, Blanco got the job done with his left foot in the 54th minute and put a nice solid shot right in the Oly net. The guy has been far from great this season but he seemed to remember how to score for that one chance and it was enough to give AEK the win. Despite Olympiakos pressuring we held off the pressure well (thanks largely because of Saja) and after a few tense last minutes Kakos (who reffed a very poor game) blew the final whistle.

Well generally I must say it was obvious we need a stronger midfield. It was not there today at all; we would have a strong line of players in defense and some players up front waiting to attack but nobody was left in the midfield to act as a pivot between the opposite ends. Our wing play was good however (Lagos did very good on the left and Blanco/Georgeas were doing good on the right) and Gentzoglou managed to deliver some dangerous long balls so we still managed to get the ball up enough. However, we were constantly attacked through the middle and it was where Oly created most of their chances (their wing play on the other hand was terrible).

Alexopoulos (who?!?!) got to play some minutes today after being out nearly a year with injury. To be honest, I didn’t see enough of him in particular but he must have been doing his job good enough. Either way, its good to see him back on the team, I always like him and he obviously plays with passion on the pitch.

Manolas left the match early after requesting to be subbed (I will try and find pictures of his black eye which was very large) which meant Jahic had to come back to centre back to fill Manolas’ spot. I must say I was very pleased with Jahic today. Nothing superb but he did the job effectively in defense and seemed alot more reliable than normal.

Unfortunately this didn’t seem to be Nemeth’s best game. He did not have a chance to get as involved in the match, mind you I would never really expect a front three of Scocco-Blanco-Nemeth to work too effectively. Scocco had a good match though from what I saw it took him a while to get involved. Manduca also started quite strong but faded away as the match progressed and eventually started playing a very defensive role.

Alright, enough about that. We can critique all we want but its the last match of the season and things aren’t gonna change now for a while. I have to say I was extremely relieved that no serious incidents broke out with the Originals and the atmosphere in the stadium for the most part was a very good/optimistic/celebratory one. This match was one of the most important ones of the season and it was essential that all energy in the stands was put towards supporting our players and psyching out Olympiakos rather than threatening the coach (Bajevic deserves credit today since I feel he handled everything on the pitch quite well with regards to substitutions and the like).

So, Olympiakos, the team that started with +4 points, finishes last in the playoffs and fifth in the league. In case you didn’t read what I wrote before, IM LOVING IT!!! They start their preseason very early now as their first Europa League qualifying matches begin middle of July. We however, don’t begin ’till late August which gives us plenty of time to prepare and make some transfers.

Some pics below from AEK365. Enjoy.

Close your eyes, may be innapropriate for some viewers! 😛

ALEXOPOULOS!!

Zorro has returned (I believe I've said that a couple of times this season).

Why so sad?

Manolas had to go to the hospital.

BATE 2-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2009 by alexaek

Well, our night went from good to about as bad as it could get. As you can see from the post below we were up 1-0 at half time.

The second half started and early on Majstorovic gets his second yellow and is sent off and Bate tie the game. So, one of our key players is sent off, the pitch condition is deteriorating (and it was disgusting to begin with) and we were loosing the control over the game we had before.

We managed to continue fighting (at this point one point really wouldn’t have been bad at all) however we also continued to concede corners. Bate started pressuring and we couldn’t get good control over the game. Blanco was taken off and replaced with Makos. Makos had to cover right back as Jahic had to move to the center to cover the void left by Majstorovic.

Nemeth was left up front and had chance after chance, however the ref seemed determined to call him offside any time he had the ball (fine some of the calls were fair, but there were a few where there was no offsides at all) and refused to call any of the many fouls committed against him.

Eventually, Juanfran had to come off due to injury and was replaced by Karabelas.

As for the game in general, we saw some good things but lost control of the game as it went on, especially with Majstorovic being expelled. The team was clearly being frustrated by the ref, as well as Bajevic, who was eventually sent off.

We saw some good things from our players, especially Nsaliwa, but this is still not the AEK we all want. Bate were an average team at best. At one point in our beautiful history AEK was a team that was able to come back from 2-0 down, in Madrid and end up tying the game 2-2 (becoming the first team to ever do so), now we are struggling to beat poor quality sides from Belarus. Some things must change, especially our luck. Week in, week out, every year, luck does all it can to go against us. I dont exactly believe very much in luck and superstitions, but anyone who has been following AEK at all these past years would notice it must somehow play a part. To illustrate this point, consider the following:

-Had Everton won today, AEK would have still had decent chances of advancing. Instead, Benfica beat Everton 5-0, leaving us further behind.

-Our two centre backs today both got red cards, meaning they are suspended for one match. Our other centre backs are injured (Geraldo) or have just recovered from injury (Alexopoulos) and will not be ready to play anytime soon.

-Araujo is still suspended for a match, Georgeas is injured, and Koutromanos is severely injured and is out for the entire season. So, all three of our main right backs are unavailable for the next match.

-Juanfran received an injury today and might not be able to play next match.

Sp, essentially, we have no defence to field and will instead have to rely on other players from other positions. Of course, add to this the fact that nothing but wins will leave us with any chance of advancing and our future in Europa League this year looks grim. Not good news considering we already have no chance of winning the championship, or at least finishing high.

Not much else I can say right now, I just can’t believe what has happened to our club. I guess all we can do is continue supporting AEK and hope management (this new owner couldn’t come at a better time if he does) and the players do what they can.

Another Big Win Against PAOK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2009 by alexaek

Yet another big win against our northern rivals, this time with a scoreline of 3-1.

Videos below:

It was a fairly confident win against PAOK this time with goals coming from Djebbour, Blanco, and Scocco. There were some questionable calls from the ref (including a red for PAOK, which I agree with but could have been avoided by PAOK) and some calls not made (including a hand ball from Kafes which wasn’t called).

Nonetheless, AEK were the stronger team on the pitch and by far at times. We dominated the game often with some great control. Passing and crossing were excellent throughout the game. The players seemed to be playing perfect in their assinged positions and the game flowed well. After we scored our second goal PAOK all but stopped existing, except for a few attacks every now and then.

Firstly, Saja played a good game and made some critical saves, although he really didn’t have much to do, especially during the second half.

Secondly, Koutromanos was excellent. He played quite far up at times (it even seemed as times as if we were playing with three defenders and with Kouts playing as a midfielder) and made some great runs, really showing a boost in confidence, likely due to Bajevic taking over. He made some great crosses and showed great speed and ball control. Defeinately a lot of promise.

Majstorovic played allright, but I must say that I feel that he was the weakest player playing for us today. He let some men slip by him, and he, as usual, looked too often for the back pass rather than controlling (when he had time) and getting the ball up. Alexopoulos played a good game and missed a great chance on a corner when his header was cleared by a PAOK defender.

Alves played great today as well, in left back rather than his normal centre back. His tackles were smooth and almost always got the ball, his headers were good, and he controlled the ball calmly and confidently and managed to distribute well.

Our midfield was good. Nsaliwa played a good game, made some nice passes, ran well and managed to bring the ball up on his own many times to help set up the offence. Kafes played some good defending along with Pelletieri.

Our offence, which consisted of Scocco, Blanco, and Djebbour, was fantastic. They worked like a well greased machine. They created chance after chance. Blanco once again showed how much he has developed by making a beautiful cross. Djebbour took part in the game much more than normal, and Scocco (well, no surprise here) was incredible. He ran, passed, crossed, took some great corners, and was everywhere, swapping from left to right, taking great shots. I strongly believe that him and Blanco must be kept no matter what. If Djebbour keeps playing the way he did today (he got MVP of the match and the fans certianly appreciated the effort he put in today), we should look to keep him for another year, although he might not be affordable next year.

Our subs were Manduca, Gentsoglou, and Edinho. Firstly, Manduca played yet another great game, as he has been doing since the start of the playoffs. Im not sure what it is that brought him to increase his game so much so suddenly, but perhaps it might be worth it to keep him on another year at least. He ran great, and conrtibuted much to the team. Hopefully we will see some more of this form him until the end of the playoffs.

Gentsoglou played great, even though he wasn’t on for too long. Hi made some superb crosses, seemed confident enough considering he hadn’t played in so long, and had a beautiful shot saved by Chalkias (Chalkias had a horrible game today, hopefully his performance will be better when PAOK play Pao this weekend).

Edinho only managed to play a few minutes so not much can be said about him. He had a nice header but thats about all he managed to do this game.

PAOK created some good chances as well, and played some dangerous football at times however couldn’t keep it up. They did have some critical players out so that may have affected them.

Well, overall, it was a satisfying performance. The crowd was definately pleased. Hopefully, we will continue to see this level of play until the end of the playoffs, in which case we should beat Larissa this weekend and we should have a high chance of beating PAO at our last game of the playoffs.

Panathinaikos 1-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2009 by alexaek

1-1 was the final score at today’s Playoff game against our Athenian Rivals. Honestly, considering this is probably the toughest match of the Playoffs for us, this really isn’t a bad result. We now have five points, and PAO have six (depending on how the Larissa-PAOK match turns out we will stay in second or move down to third but it is still quite early so we still have a chance of finishing high up).

We went up first after a nice Scocco freekick was placed out of reach of Galinovic. I actually missed much of the first half but PAO had some close chances, including a Salpingidis one on one which he fortunately missed. PAO also had two penalties (they were both the correct calls I believe, especially the first one) in the first half. Salpingidis had the first penalty shot saved however PAO managed to score the next one which gave them their lone goal of the match.

The second half saw a great performance by AEK. They came out and dominated much of the game with some great passing and some close chances. PAO on the other hand really seemed to fall apart in the second half, however they still managed to create some extremely close chances (many of which came from set-pieces).

Our defence managed to read and hold down the PAO frontline quite well (relative to how our defence has been playing lately without Kyrgiakos). This was quite a relief to me, since I though that we would see a much worse defence today. Alexopoulos and Majstorovic played centre-back, while Koutromanos played right back and Georgeas played left back.

Blanco had a fine game, with some close chances. Djebbour, on the other hand, did not impress. I was quite surprised when I saw Bajevic pull Blanco out rather than Djebbour, but perhaps he wanted to rest him rather than risk an injury in the last ten or so minutes (Scocco got injured near the end of the first and had to be taken off and replaced by Manduca, but I’m still not sure how serious the injury is).

Manduca, Kafes, and Nsaliwa all had good games, and all played critical roles in our midfield. Nsaliwa fed our players some nice passes, while Manduca moved the ball well and provided some nice crosses.

Had we held on to the win we would of been in a great position and that much closer to Champions League Football for next season. Unfortunately we couldnt hold on but still, as I said earlier, a draw at this match is not a bad result. We still have some tough games ahead but PAOK isnt in their greatest form so we could win this weekend away in Toumba.

Ergotelis-AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2009 by alexaek

The squad has been anounced for tomorrow’s game.

As I was hoping earlier last week, Kyrgiakos will not play at this game. Neither will Alexopoulos due to being suspended (along with Scocco and Pelletieri). Since Juanfran is injured, and neither Alexopoulos or Kyrgiakos will be playing it is possible that we might see N’Siambamfumu, our recently aquired French centre back, play! This will be a good game to test him out since we cannot loose or gain a position in the standings.

The squad will be Saja, Arambatzis, Kafes, Geraldo, Majstorovic, Nsaliwa, Edinho, Manduca, N’Siambamfumu, Koutromanos, Pliatsikas, Blanco, Burns, Georgeas, Tachtsidis, Hetemaj, El Hadji Diouf, Pavlis, and Gentsoglou.

It is quite likely that we will see many of the younger players play including Pavlis.

AEK 0-1 Aris

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2009 by alexaek

The final home game of the regular season ended in disappointment for AEK after they lost 1-0 to Aris, the first time Aris had gotten an away win against AEK since 1989.

Edinho started the match in the end, along side Blanco. Unfortunately, however, neither he nor Blanco could do much to get the ball in the net. Aris’ defence was solid throughout the game and made it very hard for AEK to penetrate. Many of AEK’s chances came from set pieces, however, none managed to yield anything.

The starting lineup was Saja, Alves, Alexopoulos, Majstorovic, Juanfran, Nsaliwa, Scocco, Kafes, Tachtsidis, Edinho, and Blanco.

Georgeas didnt play due to cards, and Kyrgiakos and Djebbour were injured.

Unfortunately our defence is clearly lacking stability due to the absence of Kyrgiakos, as well as, in today’s case, Georgeas. Alexopoulos is a decent back up however cannot be a long term replacement for Kyrgiakos. However, he was not the main problem with our defence today. We simply left men open in front of the goal on more than one occasions (Aris could have scored another two from men who were left wide open in front of the net), partly due to our defence not being able to get back in time on Aris’ quick counter attacks.

The midfield today was not at its best. Tachtsidis, perhaps due to a lack of confidence, seems to scared to run with the ball and always looks to cross, even when he has time to control. Scocco did the best he could today however the Aris defence kept shutting him down. Kafes, along with Nsaliwa, was forced to hang back and support the defence at times. Kafes did not provide much to the game today, and it certainly was not his best performance. Nsaliwa played a decent game, and came close to scoring a beauty of a goal.

Unfortunately, our defence just couldn’t build any good plays with Aris’ defence cutting us down constantly and then attacking on the counter attack.

Overall, it was not AEK’s best game, and certainly not the best weve seen since Bajevic has taken over. The first half was a terrible display overall by AEK, and the second half was a slight improvement, at least in terms of the offence and midfield. Luck was not on AEK’s side today for the offence, however, we were certainly lucky not to have conceeded more today.

Both Juanfran and Geraldo Alves were injured today and we will know tomorrow how bad their injuries are.

Panthrakikos 1-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2009 by alexaek

An uninspired performance by AEK means that second place is now slipping out of reach for this season.

AEK, who had many of its main players (Kyrgiakos, Kafes, Scocco, Juanfran, Nsaliwa) remain in Athens due to either cards or injury, barely managed to get one point in Komotini today after a rather low class performance by the team.

There seemed to be no smooth connection from defence to midfield to offence today, as we barely managed to create any significant chances in front of the Panthrakikos. Passing between AEK players was horrible, and the whole team seemed to be disorganized.

The starting lineup was Saja, Georgeas, Alexopoulos, Majstorovic, Geraldo, Pelletieri, Hetemaj, Manduca, Blanco, Edinho, and Djebbour.Clearly, this was far from our average starting XI, which could have perhaps been one reason the team was not in top form. Without Nsaliwa and Kafes in the middle, clever passes just werent happening. Hetemaj didnt play a great game, and neither did Manduca. Although we started with three of our most attacking players (Edinho, Blanco, and Djebbour) we were very weak and hardly managed to cause Panthrakikos any stress. Hopefully we will see Kafes, Nsaliwa, and Scocco back in there for the Semi-Final game against Panserraikos later this week, or else we will unlikely see any goals.

Panthrakikos scored first, and their goal should be a strong candidate for most pathetic goal of the year due to unorganized defence and bad luck for AEK. Majstorivic tried to clear a loose ball forward but it unfortunately deflected off of the foot of a Panthrakikos player and into AEK’s net.

Videos will be posted once they are available.

Links to reports will be posted once they are available as well.

Scores from today’s other games here.