Almeida: “The same referee last year did not go to VAR when they hit Rota”


AEK and Olympic they stayed at 1-1 at OPAP Arena for matchday 4 of the Stoiximan Super League, in a game where the “ball” could sit on both sides.

The “Union” technician, Matias Almeida, spoke at the press conference, about her picture of his team and his players, but also for her referee’s decision to go check the VAR in Rota’s penalty phase, stressing that his action was correct.

At the same time, regarding the issue with vida injury, he stated that tomorrow there will be news and it will be seen if he can catch the match against Brighton, in the Europa League premiere.

What Matias Almeida said in detail:

For AEK’s good start, the goal they scored and what was to blame for the sudden drop in competition and whether it is due to the players’ mentality or fatigue: “Now we will have to come up with the word mentality. Many times some things are established and we follow them. The mentality of the players is the same as always, because we recognize when we make mistakes. We entered to play a derby, as you play a derby: with passion, soul, intensity. Football. We put the opponent in their own half. An opponent who had scored many goals on their own opponents. We led him astray. After the goal, some minutes passed and as a big opponent like Olympiacos should do, they had to come forward to get the draw. With their move, they took control. I think it was between 25′ and 30′. There the match became more equal and AEK fell too far behind. In the second half we corrected some things. The team played with intensity in the opponent’s half. We were not comfortable with the draw. We needed a goal. We made some aggressive changes and the match ended in a draw. In general, I liked the team, knowing that there are several injured players.”

On which team deserved the victory more and how he sees this year’s Olympiakos: “Regarding the first question it is difficult to answer because the game ended in a draw. I always try to talk about our own team and not the opponent. We persisted because we wanted to win. When we won 1-0 we took the ball to the sides and played fast. It showed that the team wants to win more. I can’t speak for Olympiakos. It wouldn’t be right to say anything. I focus on AEK. My energy is there. The rest can do whatever they want.”

About the penalty phase for Rota that the referee later took back and if he was told something in the locker room: “It was something that happened and passed. It seemed important to me that this referee went to VAR tonight. He is the same referee who in another game had not gone to VAR for a hit that Rota had received (he means last year’s match with Panathinaikos in the playoffs at Leoforos). It is in favor of the referee who has now gone to VAR. I haven’t seen it yet. I believe in the good will of the referee. It’s good that it went to VAR.”

On the fact that Olympiacos did not make a move in the second half, even if the overall defensive function of the team is improving: “We study football. On the one hand I stay quiet and calm because the team tried to play what they know. It was some minutes that are normal for a great team to have. We had 10-12 bad minutes, the opponent had more. We stick to what we want to do. Considering how we start and the opponent, from this side I can accept it about our own defense, because Olympiacos had scored a lot of goals in their previous games. We didn’t allow the opponent to do things in many places. When we let him, we did. In essence, for most of the second half we were playing in the opponent’s half. There were phases that did not create confidence. Also the change of Vida was important for us. It’s not that easy to come in and play stopper in a derby. But overall they did well. Sometimes they did better. But nothing special was created.”

On whether the result is fair as the game unfolded: “It will be difficult for me to produce a footballer to make my team defensive. If I do it will be like I want to protect result. We made a mandatory change (Vida). Another more defensive one, someone could say it was Galanopoulos’, but I wanted better control in the center. All the others were to show an aggressive spirit. We never put five defenders to keep a result. It doesn’t mean we won’t do it at some point. But on message we wanted to win the game. If in the third game of the league I can say that I feel comfortable because my team leaves with a draw, then I am not suitable for this position.

The great and historic teams come in to win. Our intention was to win the game. That’s what I think personally. I might be wrong. When a derby ends 1-1 there were little differences that didn’t make a difference… There might have been some differences in pressure, possession numbers that didn’t make a difference. So the result is fine.”

On Vida’s situation ahead of Brighton and whether there will be some of the injured in England: “Tomorrow we will have something more specific about Vida. It came from a hit in the National Team. He wanted to play this match and he lasted 45 minutes. As for the other three, I hope to count them. They will lack pace, but there are times when I want to count them out. They are important players for our system.”

For Cullens: “Cullens came on Friday. In fact, he hasn’t trained yet. This team will not be able to again, because we will be on a trip. We have training sessions tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and when we get back we’ll see how he’s doing. We won’t have an easy game. Our opponent scored three goals at United. I hope everyone is available.”

Source: Sport Fm

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