AEK lost 2-0 to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in Germany.
In a result that was expected by many, considering the huge difference in the budget that separates the two teams, Marinos Ouzounidis’ men put up a solid display of their capabilities and will have nothing to be ashamed of as they walk away from the pitch.
The Greek manager chose a more defensive 5-3-2 formation, with Chygrynskiy, Lampropoulos and Cosic in the centre of defence and Galanopoulos, Alef and Simoes in front of them, while skipper Mantalos was in the play maker position.
Meanwhile, Niko Kovac, who is constantly under heavy fire in Germany, used all the weapons he had at his disposal, with Hummels, Boateng, Muller, Ribery and Lewandowski all finding a place in the starting eleven.
But despite the presence of all those star players in the lineup, AEK didn’t really feel much pressure in their defence and goalkeeper Barkas was having a comfortable evening.
That is until the 30th minute of the game, when during a corner kick for the German team, the Slovenian referee Matej Yung awarded them a penalty after a tug on the shirt of Robert Lewandowski by Uros Cosic.
The Polish striker easily converted the free kick and gave his team the advantage 15 minutes before half time.
The second half didn’t have much in the action department either, with AEK focusing more on closing down space in their own defence rather than moving forward in search of an equaliser, as Bayern now seemed more comfortable to move the ball around searching for the right opportunity to strike.
That came from yet another Muller corner kick, after a poor clearance by Ezequiel Ponce gave Lewandowski the chance to double his personal tally and his team’s advantage over the Greek champions.
On the 76th minute, tempers flared among the AEK players as Cosic inexplicably pulled Nicholas Hult by the hair, with their teammates needing to jump in to avoid further confrontation between the two.
After the game was over, Marinos Ouzounidis claimed that the penalty decision was harsh, while giving credit to his players for keeping a low score.
AEK now has no points from four games and have mathematically been disqualified from the round of 16 of the Champions League, however they maintain hopes of continuing their European journey in the Europa League.
MANOLAS SCORES FOR ROMA, MANCHESTER UNITED LEAVES TURIN WITH THREE POINTS
Meanwhile, in other games that were held for day four of the Champions League, Manchester United came from behind to defeat Juventus 1-2 in Turin, in a game that was marked by Jose Mourinho’s clash with the Italian team’s players.
Kostas Manolas scored the opening goal for AS Roma as they beat CSKA in Moscow (1-2), while Barcelona managed to escape from Milan with a 1-1 draw against Inter.
Atletico Madrid got payback for last week’s heavy 4-0 loss against Dortmund as they beat them 2-0 and Milos Degenek’s Red Star Belgrade scored the shock of the day, defeating Liverpool also 2-0.
Thierry Henry’s managerial debut seems to be going from bad to worse as his AS Monaco were demolished by Club Brugge (0-4) as Santiago Solari’s debut on Real Madrid’s bench was met with success in the Czech Republic, beating Victoria Plzen 0-5.
Napoli held PSG to a 1-1 draw while Manchester City annihilated Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 with Gabriel Jesus scoring a hat-trick.