Unfortunate Results for AEK

The weekend seemed to be getting off to a good start after environment minister Panos Skourletis signed an agreement for the stadium in Nea Filadelfia, an agreement which was until now a big piece of the puzzle that we desperately needed. From then on though, it was mostly down hill for AEK… Allow me to start with our 0-0 away draw against Kalloni. I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch the game and from what I read I didn’t exactly miss too much. Having watched the highlights, it did seem like we had a couple decent chances, but the fact that we’re having such a hard time scoring against weaker opposition is very worrying. The team got an amazing reception at the airport when they arrived on Mitilini, one of the many eastern Aegean islands where support for AEK is very strong. I, along with undoubtedly many other fans, thought the
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AEK 92-57 Kolossos

We may not have had a football match this weekend but our Basketball team was certainly still active. Thankfully after a couple less than positive weekends for the team, we’ve finally returned to winning ways after comfortably getting past 7th placed Kolossos. It was a critical result for the team since it ensures we remain securely in fourth place with a playoff spot looking like a guarantee at this point. Take a look at the video for some highlights from the game:

Panaitolikos 1-0 AEK

For what I believe was the first time in Panaitolikos’ history, the small team from Agrinio managed a well deserved victory against AEK. I hate to say it, but at times we were actually outclassed today and even though we weren’t exactly the worst team on the pitch, we certainly didn’t deserve a win with only a draw or a loss being the fair results. If our performance today is any indication of whats to come during the playoffs, then we won’t have any easy time at all when our time to play PAOK and Panathinaikos comes around. Its still early at this point and I’m hoping what we saw today was just a fluke, but I am a bit worried considering we also had a hard time to make anything happen when we played Tripolis two games back. Today’s match wasn’t one of those games where just a few
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AEK 3-0 Panthrakikos

Such a disappointing finish to a game which started so well. I have no complaints about the score, of course, but when you score three goals within the first twenty minutes I can’t help but build up a sense of expectation. I wasn’t surprised to see the first half end at 3-0, but I was certainly expecting another goal at least. To be fair to the players though, it wasn’t exactly their fault. The fact that we had two injuries and were forced to make two substitutions very early in the game affected our rhythm from what I read and that’s definitely understandable. We also have to keep in mind the fact that the weather in Athens was dreadful today (cold and wet) as well as knowing that the team probably so no reason in wearing themselves out when we have some important playoff games to get ready for. MVP of the
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Yet again…

… Another derby thrown away by our basketball team. Today’s 93-100 home loss to Olympiakos means we only have one win from seven derbies this season. A couple years ago I may have expected that since we’ve rarely fielded a half-decent team these past few seasons, but I was hoping this year would be different. Really, things very easily could have been different. Sure, the referees at some of the games were pretty terrible (today against Olympiakos, and two weeks ago against Aris, for example) but half the derbies we’ve played this season we could have easily won had we not given them up so easily. Today’s game was not lost because Olympiakos was the better team but because we made unnecessary errors and missed free throws that we should have easily scored. The loss against PAOK in Thessaloniki was lost because we somehow let a massive lead slip away
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Asteras Tripolis 0-0 AEK

Didn’t get the chance to watch the game since I was at work, but I’ll try to summarize some of the main points from the game based on the highlights and what I read during and after the game. The good:
  • We managed to at least get a point. Asteras are never an easy opponent, as they proved in the first round, so I guess a point isn’t all that bad. We’re still five points ahead of Panathinaikos and have an easier schedule ahead of us.
  • Cordero managed to get some solid game time without picking up an injury, and Buonanotte also got the chance to play a bit.
The bad:
  • We really could not finish, and that is worrying. Its one thing if we struggle to create chances, but we definitely made some chances today but still never really looked like scoring. As my father pointed out, we have
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Looks like the end of the Cup

As usual, not a week or two go by in Greece without Drama of some sort. If you haven’t yet seen what happened earlier in the week during the PAOK-Olympiakos semi-final match in Toumba, check out the video below to get an idea: Not once, but twice was the game called off after fans invaded the pitch. Initially it was a response to the terrible officiating throughout the match, but I get the impression it ultimately stemmed from an overall sense of frustration with the overall sense of Greek football. Widespread corruption, leagues being won before they even start, an incompetent government getting in the way of any progress being made to advance the sport in Greece, the frustration can be somewhat understandable. As is typical of Kontonis, his first actions were to cancel games without making any attempt to actually solve any of the problems which have led to
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AEK 1-0 Panathinaikos

At the start of this season I wasn’t too sure we’d be able to compete too well when it came to the derbies. I figured with a mix of young players and players who had never experienced first division football in Greece, we’d struggle with the players and more experienced teams. Our derby performances in the first half of the season seemed to comfirm what I was afraid of at first but I never expected things to turn around the way they have. Yetserday’s win against Panathinaikos has made it three derby wins in a row, something that both Poyet and the team should be immensely proud of. Of course it hasn’t been easy. There were some scares in the PAOK game, Olympiakos were certainly not easy to come up against, and Panathinaikos managed to give us quite the fright on more than one occasion yesterday. But the fact that
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Iraklis 1-1 AEK Match Report

I finally have some time to sit down and write up a report on the rather dull game we had yesterday. As I mentioned in my brief post from yesterday, much of the pitch was flooded from heavy rains in Thessaloniki which continued through the match. As can be expected the game was unable to get into any sort of a rhythm pretty much from kickoff, with players being forced to pretty much lift the ball forward any time they wanted to attempt a run. Also to be expected was the fact that most chances would be coming from set plays, of which there were many though few ever ended up looking dangerous. I found it funny that after the game, players from both teams were saying their team deserved the win though with conditions the way they were and no team really managing to exert any control over the
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Iraklis 1-1 AEK

Playing on a pitch that quite resembled the one in the video below, we managed to sneak away with one point after a fairly dull match. A fair result for both teams I feel considering the conditions and to be honest, we could have even gone down 2-1 late in the game had Iraklis managed to put away a great chance they had. I’ll be away from my PC for the day but will try to get a match report up either tonight or tomorrow morning at the latest. Stay tuned for that. Oh and for those who haven’t heard, as gtmanleg commented on my previous post we’ll be playing Atromitos for the semi-finals of the Cup. Interesting matches coming up with some close games very possible. More on that later as well.

AEK 1-0 Olympiakos

I’ve been staring at this page for a good twenty minutes trying to figure out what to write, but its always difficult explaining in words what I (and most AEK fans around the world today) feel after a win like this. Its hard to know where to start, what to talk about first, when so much happened during the match. On one hand I feel like talking about our performance would be the natural place to start, but its hard to talk about this match without first mentioning some of the rather unbelievable things that happened. I really could not believe my eyes when I saw what I was seeing today. Who can remember the last time Olympiakos received a straight red, only to receive another red later in the game in addition to having a penalty called against them? And in a derby of all games? Of course we
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Atromitos 1-0 AEK

Just like that, our winning streak comes to an end. It was an unfortunate way for us to lose but I’m hoping that the loss at least serves as a wake up call for the team, a wakeup call which we desperately need following our performance today. So how did we play? Terribly. Did we deserve to lose? Absolutely. Its hard to find one person to blame the performance on since it seemed like there were very few players who came out today to win. Djebbour did absolutely nothing today, Mantalos seemed to have no imagination, Vargas was quieter and sloppier than Djebbour, and our defense had no idea how to handle any counter attack that was thrown at them. The game started off slowly, but I was sure that it was just our players getting a feel for how Atromitos would be playing. I was sure that by about
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AEK Through to Cup Semi-Finals

It wasn’t the easiest of wins for us today as Iraklis proved to be quite determined for a goal, but we managed to do enough for a 0-1 win. Of course, this now puts us at 9 wins out of 9 games so far in 2016, a stat which I find reassuring going into four very difficult league games. Today’s win was very much a formality as we almost all but guaranteed our progress to the next round, but I was glad Poyet took the time to give our new signings some playing time. Zuculini started the match and from what I read did a pretty decent job for his first appearance of the season. Generally, we were holding back quite a bit in the first half so there were only so many opportunities for him to get involved but judging from the commentary I was following, he looked promising
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AEK Announce Singings of Zuculini and Pekhart

Two singings were announced by AEK today on the final day of the transfer period, midfielder Bruno Zuculini and forward Tomas Pekhart. I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t end up going for a centre back, but both Zuculini and Pekhart seem like two promising players who can certainly help us. Zuculini, a 22 year old Argentinian who we got on loan from Manchester City, will help boost our already strong midfield (especially with the news we got today regarding Barbosa being out for a month due to injury). He’s a young player with some good experience already under his belt from his time in Spain so hopefully the option will be there if we want to extend his stay here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_Zuculini Pekhart, 26 years old and from the Czech Republic (though he was born in Czechoslovakia) will surely help us up front with Aravidis and Djebbour both having
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AEK 3-0 Veria

Another match and yet another win, bringing our total so far in 2016 to eight wins in a row. I really could not ask for better momentum going into the games against Atromitos and Olympiakos. For the third league game in a row it was Vargas who opened the score for us after tapping in a beautiful pass from Didac. The scoring thankfully did not end there though as Aravidis added a second early in the second half before Mantalos scored off the rebound of Buonanotte’s penalty towards the end of the match. It wasn’t the easiest match for us as Veria were pretty stubborn up front, sending in a few shots that looked dangerous but ultimately went wide more often than not. Yet again though, the team showed they now have what it takes to get the win one way or another, even if we don’t always score the prettiest
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AEK 4-1 Iraklis

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
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AEK – PAOK Full Game

For those who missed it, the entire AEK-PAOK derby over the weekend is available on youtube. The channel also has some other full games from this season.

AEK 1-0 PAOK

After three attempts this season we’ve finally managed to win a derby, and an important one too. It was a scrappy game, one where we certainly could have done a lot of things better, but the three points against PAOK could not have come at a better time. The win puts us at 39 points, 4 points ahead of PAO and 6 ahead of PAOK. Considering both those teams have been shaky at best lately and we seem to have found some good form since the start of the year, we have now put ourselves in a great position to make sure we get the best start we can to the playoffs… assuming we can continue to get the results like we have been lately. The game was our sixth win in a row for 2016 (including cup games) and while it has given us a lot to celebrate, including
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PAS Giannina 0-2 AEK

Our fantastic start to 2016 got even better after we got an important three points away against in cold and wet Northern Greece. Conditions for the match were less than ideal as the rain that had fallen the previous couple of days meant the pitch was in terrible shape, but our players handled the situation very well. In fact, with how well they were moving the ball around at times I often forgot that there was even anything wrong with the pitch. It was a good game from most of the team though there were certainly a few players who never really managed to get into the game. From what I could see, Djebbour especially stood out. From the moment he came on in the second half, I rarely saw him make any effort. I hardly even saw him run as he spent most of his time taking jogging slowly
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