Archive for Bakakis

AEK 4-0 Panionios

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Champions League with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2018 by alexaek

Last week’s Superleague match ended 1-0 for AEK in Tripolis. While it was a good result for us considering our lack of wins in Tripolis, the performance wasn’t the most inspiring. Today’s match against Panionios on the other hand was quite the opposite. Aside from the emphatic scoreline, we also saw an AEK that was calm, organized, and able to perfectly execute their game plan.

Livaja had an off day to say the least. Livaja from a few games back would have easily put away one or two of his chances but yesterday he just wasn’t himself. Perhaps he was still getting over the emotional high from featuring for the Croatian national team just a few days ago but it was obvious his mind wasn’t fully in the game. I’m not too worried though keeping in mind the great form he has been in since last season.

Aside from Livaja, the entire team looked sharp. Barkas had little to do since our defense, particularly Bakakis, Lambropoulos, and Chygrinskiy all looked very solid and calm under pressure. In fact has AEK365 accurately put it, Barkas “had the best ticket in the stadium”. Essentially he was a spectator for the entire match, though I doubt he could complain about that.

Our midfield was solid, controlling the pace of the game for the entire 90 minutes. Mantalos looked particularly good, lively with his feet and delivering good balls to the box in typical Mantalos fashion. I was yet again impressed by Alef as well. For a fairly young player, he shows a lot of composure when he has the ball at his feet. What I find especially noteworthy is that he knows exactly when to risk a bit and bring the ball forward, and when to play the safe route with a safer pass.

Our attack was, as the scoreline suggested, especially clinical. I’ll be honest, I was a bit worried when we had much of the control for the first half but continued struggling to find the back of the net. When Ponce broke the deadlock seconds before half time though, everything seemed to click from that point on. The highlight of our offense however was Klonaridis, coming on as a substitute 81st minute but managing to find the net twice. His form has been phenomenal lately and if this keeps up, we’ll have a lot more to look forward to from him.

This result couldn’t have come at a better time with our first Champions League group stage match coming up this week. AEK will travel to Amsterdam where they will take on Ajax and to be completely honest, I fully believe we can sneak away with a draw or maybe even a win. Ajax are strong, don’t get me wrong. But this AEK team have shown that they can make the opposition struggle to find space and they seem to have found a system that works for them. It won’t be easy, but I’m certainly looking forward to this match!

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AEK 1-0 Asteras Tripolis

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Greek Soccer, Injuries with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2018 by alexaek

After two straight wins against Olympiakos, AEK would have gone in to today’s game against Tripolis knowing the 3 points were anything but guaranteed. Sure enough, we had a much harder time today though I would argue a lot of that came from bad luck rather rather than having anything to do with the opponent we were facing.

Bearing that in mind, it didn’t help that Athanasiadis had what might have been one of the best games of his career in nets for Tripolis. What really made this match a struggle for us though was the inability of players like Araujo and Livaja to finish plays which they normally would have no problem scoring on.

It was absurd really, but the ball just didn’t want to go in. We had a lucky break when we were awarded a penalty (rightfully so I might add) which Lazaros was able to put away, otherwise I’m not sure we would have scored any other way. I still cannot wrap my head around what I saw from Araujo today. After scoring one of the nicest goals of the season earlier this week, there was nothing he could do today to get the ball in the net. Aside from missing a relatively easy header and having another post later in the match, his strangest miss came early on in the match. A simple cross in from Masoud was dangerously deflected by an Asteras defender and was heading right for the open net when Araujo inexplicably tried to kick the ball into the net. Understandable as he was just looking to guide it a little more but the result of his attempt was the ball hitting the crossbar and floating harmlessly away from goal. The worst part about the whole play is that had Araujo simply not even touched the ball, it would have gone in on its own without a doubt.

Its one of those plays thats simply too hard to even understand, but I suppose its forgivable considering what Araujo has done for us so far. To be honest I’d rather he miss today and get it out of his system, considering we got the win, if it means he’ll be having some better luck for our match against Dynamo Kiev in a few days time.

Overall, it wasn’t a terrible match by any stretch. Tripolis are always a tricky opponent so any win is a win I’ll take, even more so considering Olympiakos’ draw against Atromitos earlier today. The good news from today’s game is that we’re now first, at least until tomorrow when that could change depending on PAOK’s result against Larissa. The bad news from today’s game though is that Kone had to leave the pitch shortly after coming on as a sub. He suffered a leg injury after recovering awkwardly from a challenge though its still not known the extent of the injury. Hopefully it won’t keep him out too long, as we’re already stretched thin as far as injuries are concerned.

Some positives from the match for me include:

  • Hult, our new singing from PAO, had a pretty solid start at left back today. The Swede, who was with PAO for two years and was arguably one of their better players recently, looked good overall defensively but was also able to contribute going forward on a few occasions. What I liked about his presence in the starting 11 today was that it allowed Bakakis to cover right back which gave Galo the opportunity to play as a right midfielder, a position that suited him as hes always been an offensively minded player.
  • Today’s match was our 22nd match undefeated in all competitions which I believe is a new record for the team. For more info on this run, check out this AgonaSport article here

As of now, this is how the top 5 of the standings looks:

standings

Still far too close for comfort, and I expect PAOK to get the win tomorrow. But hey, at least its exciting for once!

AEK 4-1 Iraklis

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , on January 28, 2016 by alexaek

Our second important win against a team from Thessaloniki in less than a week, a win which pretty much ensures we make it to the semifinal of the Cup. It was a game that had its fair share of excitement with an own goal being scored, Bakakis getting a red card early on, and the game being called off for a few minutes while the ref waited for the supporters to calm down. Despite all the commotion and going a man down from so early on though, we showed great character too not only hold on for the win, but to score three more goals.

While the refereeing left much to be desired today, our performance was very encouraging and I cant help but credit Poyet for setting the team up so well and reacting well to Bakakis’ red. I was a bit disappointed to see him take of Buonanotte so early on, but the decision to take him off and put Galo at right back was one that had to be made. We were only 1-0 up at that point and conceding then would have really altered the game. Iraklis also switched to a formation with two designated forwards as the game progressed proving Poyet’s substitution to be even more crucial.

It was great to see the team play seemingly unaffected by the red card and react in such a positive way. I was following the game on live commentary and I was so worried that we would hold back onto the 1-0 lead as we did against PAOK over the weekend but there was no sign of that today.

With every game I like Poyet more and more (though as our performances continue to improve, I get more and more worried that he’ll get picked up by another team this summer). I was worried when we first signed him that he would favour our foreign players over the Greeks in the squad but hes constantly shown that its not the case at all. Today’s starting XI for example contained seven Greeks and the fact that hes playing so many Greeks at this stage of the Cup really reassures me that he has faith in our Greek players. All I can for now is that games like today give him the confidence to start players like Kolovetsios and Lambropoulos in the league more often. I’ll be very interested to see who Poyet goes with for centre back this weekend against Veria. With Atromitos and Olympiakos coming up, this weekend is essentially Poyet’s only chance to experiment a bit more with centre back options before it really matters.

The match today really made it clear yet again that we desperately need to sign another attacker. Sure we scored four goals and showed great movement going forward, but one of those goals was an own goal, one was scored by a centre back, one was a deflection of a shot by a midfielder, and one was a penalty. For yet another game, not one of our goals has come from one of our strikers. In fact, looking back on recent games, the last time one of our forwards scored a goal was five games ago when Aravidis scored against Xanthi. We’ve done great to score and win these past seven games in a row, but we really need forwards who are able to get in the right positions and finish well. I can only hope that we sign someone who can do this job for us soon because we have some tough games coming up, especially if we make to the next round of the Cup.

Highlights can be seen here:

As well, MONOAEK24’s channel on youtube has also uploaded the whole game again for those who missed it. I’ve just watched the first half and will be watching the second half later tonight. I really hope they keep this up, its great being able to watch the game afterwards on days when I’m at work.

Larissa 0-5 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Football League, Greek Cup, Greek Football, Greek Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2015 by alexaek

Three wins in three games, twelve goals scored and none conceeded, and just like that we finish the first round of the cup in first place in our group.

I did not expect the first round to be the easy, especially not after our first game ending with a rather unimpressive 1-0 score, but whether it came down to good playing from us, weak opposition, or a bit of both, we certainly took advantage of the easier games to show what we’re capable of. Something worth noting about this particular game is the fact that the last time we beat Larissa by an impressive score in their own home was a 0-4 win in the 2010 Cup. Of course, we went on to win the Cup that season so I’m hoping yesterday’s match is a good sign for us.

Its nice when we not only score so many goals, but when all the goals are very well taken. Mantalos’ chip and Djebbour’s shot with his back towards the net were both very well played, but the player who really showed his class was Buonnanotte. Its certainly nice to see goals like that again, bringing back memories of when we had Scocco doing similar thing to opposition defense’s. Whether we’re going to see more of this in the coming games I can’t say, but the signs are definitely there and I look forward to seeing what else he can do.

Poyet gave some bench players a run for this game and while they did not have too much to worry about from Larissa, its nice to see they handled the game pretty well. Tzanetopoulos, Anestis, Bakakis, and Soiledis all started the game and I think its safe to say that they’ve given Poyet a reason to give them another chance. I also appreciate Poyet giving our Greek players some solid playing time. I was worried at first that they wouldn’t be a part of his plans, but the fact that six out of the starting eleven were Greek is reassuring to see.

Highlights are well worth the watch, not only for the goals that we score, but those that we missed. Djebbour had a great chance but his well taken header was just saved. Vargas also missed an incredible opportunity, but he did well to score later in the game and make up for the miss.

AEK 1-0 Olympiakos Volou

Posted in AEK, Playoffs with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2015 by alexaek

Another disappointing performance from our team, even if we did manage to come away with the three points. I can’t lie, I really am surprised we’ve been seeing such poor football from the team, considering a good number of our players will know that these playoff matches will be their last chances to show they’re worth a spot on next season’s team.

As disappointing as our performance was, even more disappointing is the news regarding Bakakis’ injury. I’m not sure about the specifics yet, I read someone suggest it might be a torn ACL, but whatever it is, it seems like its serious. Not sure how long he’ll be out for, but I think its safe to say we wont see him again for the playoffs. Certainly not the best of news considering we’re also really missing Mantalos at the moment.

Our only goal was scored by Grontis after he latched on to a lose ball in the penalty area following Aravidis’ post. MVP of the match was, unsurprisingly, Johansson. I really do hope we hold on to him for next season (not that I see any reason for us not to), he’s definitely a solid and reliable player to have in our midfield.

Not really related to the match itself, but an amusing video from the press conference (I particularly like that Dellas even told Eleftheropoulos to sit in the seat from which he ended up falling off of):

AEK 3-0 Panachaiki

Posted in AEK, Football League, Playoffs with tags , , , , , , on May 4, 2015 by alexaek

A vital three points for us earlier today, three points which go a long way in keeping us safely in position for promotion. Our performance was apparently anything but spectacular, especially in the first half, but we still managed to get away with a convincing score (even if our playing wasn’t always as convincing).

Judging from the highlights, we were lucky to not have a goal or two scored against us. Not sure if it was pressure getting to the heads of the Panachaiki players, but had their finishing been more accurate, we definitely would have had a much harder game on our hands. Thankfully though, it seems like it just wasn’t meant to be for Panachaiki and we managed to score a couple impressive goals (the third from Bakakis in particular is well worth watching).

The win keeps us level with Iraklis in 1st, with 13 comfortable points. Our nearest threat, Apollon, are on 4 points after their 0-1 away win over Larissa.

Episkopi 0-2 AEK

Posted in AEK, Basketball, Football League, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2015 by alexaek

Another match, another win (though I’d say the win here was never really much in doubt).

Judging by what I saw in the highlights and from the official statistics, Episkopi never really threatened us all that much. They managed to get 5 shots off, though none of them were able to reach the target. We managed a more impressive, though still relatively tame, total of 11 shots on net with 6 reaching the target.

Aravidis was the player who stood out for us yet again, scoring both our goals (including one in the first two minutes of play). I’m not sure what it is about him, but he just seems to have that knack for scoring goals that certain players seem to have. In a way it reminds me of Blanco during his first season with us. As long as the ball manages to get to his feet, he’ll find a way to get it into the net.

While Aravidis deserves much of the credit, we can’t forget about the rest of the team. In fact, AEK365 gave very high ratings to a number of players including Mantalos, Joahansson, Bakakis, Soiledis, and Anakoglou. The critique of a number of our players including Bakakis, Johansson, and Soleidis mentioned what I’ve seen often in the few games I’ve watched this season: our transition from defense to attack has been very smooth and efficient. A big part of that I feel has to come down to the fact that we have a number of players who are almost just as solid offensively as they are defensively, meaning we have options for getting the ball up instead of relying on one or maybe two players.

No news yet on when the second leg of our cup game with Oly will be, but our next league game is next Sunday against Emionida.

Solid performance today from our Basketball team in thei 105-78 win over Panelefsiniakos: