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SL–R19: Panaitolikos - PAOK (28 Jan 18, 15:00 EET)

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Those penalty decisions ones are always tough, they had gotten away with a few earlier in the game. Technically it's there but it'll be viewed as harsh. IMO the handball that wasn't given earlier in the half was a penalty for me but what do I know.

Found a way to come away with the 3 points and that's most important. Our performances away from home still need improving. Another tricky test away at Giannina next week, if we get through that one with a win, I'll start believing we are contenders. 

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Good win, no great win.

Panaitolikos were very good in the first half.  Much better than us.  Some of their passing in the midfield they were cutting us open with two and three passes.  They deserved a goal.

As for us, I don't know why we were so much better in the second half.  It's not like our tempo lifted but rather more like Panaitolikos just stopped and sat back.  Maybe they ran out of puff ?  We definitely deserved to score a goal.

@paokarag4 we found a way to win this one. :wink:

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The Athens media are going to have a field day with that penalty decision.

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5 minutes ago, pash said:

And that's game! A real nail biter. We improved from 40' onwards, should have been better. Hopefully El Kaddouri is relegated to a substitute going forward.

El Kaddouri has been so poor.  Massive disappointment.  I expected MUCH more from a player that had played in Serie A for years.

One bright spot today was Biseswar's play in the 2nd half.  He was doing that thing where he drops deep to get the ball and just starts laying it off left and right.  Gimme more of that afro man.

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Agree with ya re banana, some brilliant balls from Biseswar, sliced them open a few times but we just couldn't finish. hopefully his performance today goes a long way towards him getting his starting XI spot back. 

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6 minutes ago, paokarag4 said:

Agree with ya re banana, some brilliant balls from Biseswar, sliced them open a few times but we just couldn't finish. hopefully his performance today goes a long way towards him getting his starting XI spot back. 

As long as he plays like that we are covered while Pelkas is injured.

As for El Kaddouri, I don't even know where he fits into the team.  The club is talking about loaning Mystakidis to PAO but I'd rather have Mystakidis on the bench any day of the week over how El Kaddouri is playing now.

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Vital win, lads!

And no jinx, bananaki mou!

 

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On 1/24/2018 at 10:49 PM, Yiankos said:

If we win this one, I will start thinking we are serious league contenders!

And we did it!!!

I didn't watch the game, but from what I read, it looks like we had the same usual problem on the midfield. Maybe it's better that El Khaddouri got injured? It's a shame we don't count on Biseswar at all. And I hope they will at last get a decent DM.

Anyway, incredible win which became even better with Olympiakos' draw. Now we have to show we are serious and stay on the lead next week as well. It's one thing to chase the first and it's another thing to stay first! Let's hope Azevedo will become fit eventually and we will get an amazing DM!

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Oly-AEK play each other next week. So regardless of result, if we win vs Giannina, we will start to build a lead against one of our rivals.

The big difference with this game was that Panaitolikos played very well for much of the game. They were very motivated; much more so than most of the teams we've faced this year.

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I would prefer a nice tie on the Olympiakos-AEK derby. Whoever wins will get a huge boost of confidence. And I think the psychology and the momentum of the teams will make the difference this year. For example, I can see us taking three points from Giannena and then beat Olympiakos at Toumba. On the other hand, I can see us getting just one point against both Giannena and Olympiakos and mizeria all over Thessaloniki -as we love to do. 

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Can't really judge El Kaddouri in this game. He should have not started since he was coming back from a lengthy injury. The worst player on the field was Canas. He is just not the same player he was last season. Not sure why we want to get rid of Kace so badly.

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Agree about Canas.  He was poor, almost invisible.  It's quite surprising considering he was one of our most reliable players last season.  His was one of the first names I would pen in a starting 11 last season.

This makes the replacement for Cimirot all the more important.  Because we have only Mauricio as a reliable midfielder.  We had Cimirot also but we sold him, go figure. :confused:

Neither Canas nor Shakhov are in stellar form and can be relied on to play a solid 90 minutes.  They may perform but do we really want to roll the dice ?

Add to that the fact the last season AEK really gave us trouble in the midfield because they play 3 in the middle and they stormed all over us in Athens.  Ivic seeing this, chose to play 3 in the middle in the Cup Final with no number 10 (Biseswar was on the wing).  So if we have to play 3 right now we have Mauricio, Canas and Shakhov and no one on the bench.

Yeah, go sell Cimirot for 2.5 million during the winter break.  It's not like we need him.  It's not like we might possibly challenge for the title.

Xaivania.

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