Well, there has been quite a bit of discussion in the post AEKBaltimore put up. Since the match alot has happened, most regarding the horrendous officiating at the match. But first, a review.
For everyone who has been following AEK you know how incredibly unlucky we tend to be, especially when it matters most. We saw that once again many times during this match. For the first forty minutes we pressured constantly except for a few counter attacks by Olympiakos. We dominated in terms of passing and we were all over the pitch, including in their own box. However, as is typical with AEK, we saw chance after chance but no goals were produced. How we continuously manage to do this really puzzles me. After all, we do have SCOCCO, BLANCO, and NEMETH up front. Just hearing those names together should send shivers down the spines of any defenders in Greece. But they still can’t manage to score more than one goal each game. What happened to the times when we would win most games by scores of 4-0 I will never know.
Obviously we never did manage to capitalize on our chances and when this happens the opposition is bound to score a goal before us. And, of course, that happened. The first Olympiakos goal came late in the first, scored by Torosidis (who is in incredible form right now). Of course, the goal came at a horrible time for both the players and the fans.
So, after many chances for us and one or two for them the score was AEK 0-1 Olympiakos at half time. Nonetheless, AEK came out strong in the second half once again producing some fine chances to score. Yet once again we could not get that final touch, just to knock the ball a little bit further and into the net. Instead, Olympiakos scored again, and again the goal was scored by Torosidis.
Our boys kept trying hard but only managed to score one goal, by Nemeth. Not enough even to salvage one point.
By the time the game had ended AEK had fifteen chances on goal compared to Olympiakos’ three (it might have been slightly higher). That statistic proves two things. Firstly, our forwards need to start scoring more and capitalizing on chances or else we will be drawing or loosing at home to teams like Kavala and Panthrakikos. Secondly, it is clear that our defence could be much stronger. When a team managed to score two goals from three or four solid chances clearly the defence needs to tighten up.
Now, time for the player reviews. Saja did not have much to do this game really, and the goals he let in were not his fault, especially the second one. Other than that, not much more can be said about him, though he made some incredible saves once again which helped to keep us in the game.
Araujo was absolutely incredible, and easily one of our best players on the pitch. His defending was as solid as it could be, he was everywhere he could be, his ball control was spectacular, and the runs he made left Olympiakos players only staring after him.
Both Majstorovic and Jahic were average at best. Although we now have Nemeth, we clearly miss Kyrgaikos’ presence back there. We are still horrible in the air when defending corners and free kicks for the opposition. But they are still strong players and will do… for now.
Juanfran was horrible! It was disgusting to see him play for us. He provided nothing to the team. All his runs were predictable which made him easy to defend. He provided few good passes, he was slow, he could not defend, and it was his poor marking which made Torosidis’ first goal an easy one to knock in. Rumors are saying Georgeas might start at left back. I personally wouldnt even mind if Pavlis, or even Arabatzis start at left back. Anyone but Juanfran. It’s incredible that he receives far more than Saja or Blanco and has a nice contract to satisfy him (all thanks to Demis).
Makos was sub par. He did little this match and he defended Torosidis poorly on his second goal (had he tackled Torosidis though, he most likely would have received a red card because of his previously recieved yellow, a card he should not have gotten). I think we should still keep Makos, but perhaps give a month or two with the youth team and see how he improves. He’s a good guy, a good player to have on a team, but his level of football just simply isn’t good enough for what AEK needs.
Kafes was good, nothing special, but a solid player, had some chances on goal and overall a fine player. Not much more to say about him.
Geurreiro played a fantastic match. His fitness still isn’t one hundred percent but his ball controll and passing are all excellent. A fabulous player to have on our squad and once his fintess improves he will be a key player, if he isn’t already. He also likes to prompt the fans to cheer which is always a great thing to see from a player on the pitch.
Ah Blanco, whats happening? Two years top scorer now only one goal. Although, for some reason, Blanco was playing on the wings for this match. I have no clue who ordered him to play there but it is not his position. He is a goal scorer and little else. Im fine with that, its why we have him. He is no Rivaldo or Scocco. He has some decent ball control and mediocre passing skills but the wing should be players like Guerriero. Nonetheless, good old Ismael worked hard all game and was all over the pitch and had some decent chances on goal. I still have faith in him. Who knows, maybe this weekend we will start to see some signs of the Blanco we know. Especially with Nemeth gone for a while and an open spot in the centre again.
Nemeth was fantastic. He had so many chances on goal, some really easy ones I must say, but was unlucky not to score more than one goal. He worked hard and played with passion, clearly wanted the win, which is a great thing to see. Not much more to say, he is a fantastic player (but the whole world already knows that) and we are lucky to have him if only for a year.
Scocco played a good game. He didnt do as much in terms of creating chances but his ball control was fantastic and he managed to get past many Olympiakos players before he would eventually be pulled down by a dirty tackle.
Our substitutes, Leonardo, Manduca, and Pavlis, provided little for the team. Manduca wasted many chanes, and both Pavlis and Leonardo showed nothing special.
Highlights video below:
Now, for the officiating. It was horrendous. The calls made against us, and the calls not made for us were incredible.
This video below shows some of the main ones:
PAE AEK has stated that if the ref is not punished they will take the match to UEFA so it can be reviewed properly. I truly hope this happens. The ref has apologized for the mistakes he made but what difference does it make? None.
The damage is done, and whether it really was an accident or the ref is really that poor or the calls not made were intentionally not called cannot be proved right now. Either way, the officiating is just horrible in Greece or refs are being bribed. Seeing as this has been going on in Greece for years, and corruption occurs at every level in the society of Greece, I would not be surprised at all if it was corruption. Why other people find it so hard to believe I cannot understand. It has happened in Italy, France, Portugal, Albania, Greece, and many other countries in Europe. And these are only the cases that have been proven. Until anything is proven though here in Greece we will continue to play games against refs who seem to be determined to make sure our team does not win. There is only so much we can do at this moment in time.
Now, we have another huge derby in only a day, and after that we play Benfica midweek. Huge games. Whether we are ready for the or not I do not know. Either way, this is AEK, and we support AEK win or loose. This weekend will be a tough match but despite our loss against Olympiakos we showed alot of promise, especially in terms of passing as well as creating chances. Also, PAO will have Cisse and Karagounis more than likely on the bench, as well as other players who will be out due to injuries. Seeing as both teams have decent defences at best but strong attacking players I would not be surprised to see a few goals scored this game. Hopefully, we come out with more than PAO.
By the way, AEK play Thrasivolous for our first Greek Cup game.