Anastasiou: “Legia always play with passion at home”
After holding Legia Warsaw to a credible 0:0 draw in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, Atromitos head coach Giannis Anastasiou expressed his satisfaction with the defensive performance in Poland.
For the vast majority of the 90 minutes, Atromitos were forced to soak up plenty of pressure from Legia Warsaw, but the Peristeri outfit defended solidly and tallied a valuable 0:0 draw in Poland. Goalkeeper Balazs Megyeri was in inspired form for the visitors, making a series of excellent saves to preserve the draw and give Atromitos a fighting chance of qualifying for the Europa League playoffs.
Giannis Anastasiou shared his emotions with the media: “We knew it was going to be a tough game,” stated Anastasiou in his press-conference. “Legia always play with passion at home. We had to defend well during the entire match, and we managed to achieve that goal. We take the positives with us and we have an opportunity to advance in the second leg. I congratulate my players with their efforts.”
“It will be a completely different match in Peristeri,” continued the 46-year-old. “We understand that in order to qualify, we have to win. I call on all football fans in Athens next Thursday to help us qualify by attending the match in Peristeri. In every match, we always try to be competitive, but while we defended solidly, we have to improve our attacking play.”
Atromitos centre-back Spyros Risvanis, who gave a traditionally committed performance, focused on the result rather than the performance when speaking to Sport FM: “Let’s not fool ourselves; we didn’t play good football, but we achieved a good result. We played defensively and had to work very hard against a strong team. We gave 100%, and I congratulate all of our players. In Peristeri, we can’t afford to concede any goals, and we must play quicker football. We are an organised team.”
Fellow defender Alexandros Katranis is hopeful of qualifying in Peristeri next week: “Defending for 95 minutes is difficult, but we’re happy about achieving this positive result,” revealed Katranis in an interview with Sport FM. “Legia were playing at home and we expected their fans to roar them on. We were prepared to soak up pressure and I congratulate my teammates. I believe that we will be able to qualify in Peristeri next week.”