After a very intense game, Panathinaikos and AEK they remained at 0-0, in the great derby of Leoforos, in the context of the 7th matchday of the Stoiximan Super League playoffs, leaving the battle for the title “wide open”.
After the match, Matias Almeida spoke in full at the press conference. The Argentinian coach referred to what shaped the final result, Rota’s injury, while also commenting on the refereeing part of the game.
What he said in detail:
“We came to win, it was a big game, nice from both of them. We had more chances, with more combinations. And the opponent had phases, from set balls. It was an even game. I am very happy with the group I coach, I am proud of it. Eight of our players were not very well, they couldn’t train. one had stomach pains, another fever but they gave everything. I have asked them to identify with the history of the team, I try to do the same. And I could and felt it here as well as in other games. They gave their best.
We are a bit worried about Rota, we were really scared. But thankfully he is out of danger. Pineda came in for Rota, where he had a fever until today at noon, he also had a muscle problem. But every player gave their best. I really stand out in the pride I feel for these kids. It’s obvious that we were chasing the win, but with that attitude these guys are going to do great things.
As I said three days ago, sometimes the ball hits the post and goes in, other times it hits the post and leaves. There is always room for improvement in finishing, but I told you that eight players did very little training. At another point in the season these players would most likely have been rested. At the end there were two very good interventions by Brignoli, as was ours on Sporar’s header. Then what we lacked was to make better contacts. The draw is fair, in football the one who scores the goals wins and no goals were scored.”
Is it wrong to have one game with the other so soon?
“I think this part of the playoffs is the spectacle that people are waiting for. Lots of derbies in a few days. It’s the program so I can’t intervene. It is complicated for us coaches to be able to present a strong and competitive team. This is not an excuse, this is the program and we accept it. We play according to the schedule. We left the hotel and were accompanied by people in an amazing way. Extra power. We have another footballer. And we and the players will give our best until the last second. May the champion be the one who plays the best”
How much weight does it create that the championship is not in the hands of AEK?
“We will try to make it three wins from here until the end. If we had won today, we would have thought the same. I have made calculations in my head and say that the championship will be decided until the last second. Based on the regulations, Panathinaikos is ahead. And we will fight it. We have difficult games left and we will see how it ends. I hope that the championship will not be won by a team that will receive gifts”.
On whether AEK has been wronged in the games against Panathinaikos and whether Mukudi should have been expelled
“I agree they could have sent Mukudi off, but Bernard had to come out for the phase with Rota and we were both left with ten. I want them to play 50-50. No disadvantage, no advantage. Bernard’s is red directly.
I want to remind you that throughout the year I have said how good a team Panathinaikos is. But I like to win and not have weird things happen. With those two penalties in the second round I would have been sent off. This defeat challenged my work. I don’t steal work, for better or worse I work.
If I sit down to watch some games we can see some penalties that aren’t, some fouls that aren’t. Then I’m not here to lie to the world. And I never will. So the champion will be the one who beats them all. And if we don’t come out as champions, we won’t deserve it. I regret the two penalties in Leoforo and another in the previous game. And today it was an injury that was not even seen in the VAR, four. As you will see, he received an elbow and if there is a VAR, how can someone in the VAR not see it. Today we would have three points more, because in that game we won. Memory is too short. I have a memory, I remember my faults more than my disadvantages. Today we were followed by 3-4 thousand people. We want respect and I repeat may the best win”
Source: Sport Fm
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