Two Robert Lewandowski goals sank AEK in Munich for the Champions League group stage on Wednesday, but the 2-0 loss and the fairly solid performance by the Athens team for most of the game will work wonders for the Greeks’ spirit.
AEK fielded three central defenders and three defensive midfielders, and the plan appeared to work out well for manager Marinos Ouzounidis, with Bayern reduced to just two shots on goal throughout the first half. In fact the first chance of the game fell to AEK, with Vassilis Lambropoulos failing to score on the fifth minute.
The Greek champions defied expectations to enjoy plenty of possession in the first half, and braved the Bayern storm in the second mainly thanks to goalkeeper Vassilis Barkas.
Lewandowski opened the score for Bayern on the 31st minute from the spot after a controversial penalty decision in the Polish striker’s favor.
It took another 41 minutes for Bayern to strike again, as Lewandowski scored his 49th Champions League career goal from close range, capitalizing on a weak clearance of a corner kick by the Greek defense.
Despite the result the 4,000 Greek supporters at the stands of the Allianz Arena kept singing throughout the match, praising their players for their satisfactory performance.
AEK remained without a point in the group, rooted at the foot of the table. Up next AEK is hosting Ajax on November 27 in Athens and can still catch Benfica in third.