Jovanovic’s internal intervention in the structure of the “greens” after the unnecessary dismissal of Arao in the 82nd minute, which made Panathinaikos dominant at the end of the match against Lamia and gave him the most important three points of the season.
A match not going as you originally planned is something that happens… Either because the degree of concentration is probably lower than in other games, or because some “key” players may not be at their best night, either because… the opponent is also playing.
And the last one is something that nobody should forget in football. And if the opponent is such a tough and determined team as this year’s Lamia, which plays with ignorance of danger, betting more than any other year on its mid-attack quality, the match can go “wrong” for you and you flirt with the gela.
What is always asked in these cases is the “reaction” to the flow of the match. And how the bench manages a difficult condition and situation. Much more, this very “special” situation that Panathinaikos was asked to face on Saturday night (4/11) at “Athanassios Diakos”, staying with ten players in the 82nd minute, Manouhos dismissed Willian Arao completely unnecessarily with a second yellow card , who on the one hand did not touch Akunias and on the other hand pulled back his leg so as not to find his opponent.
The “clover” managed to reach the most important three points of its course so far in this year’s Stoiximan Super League (given the conditions), because first and foremost its bench kept its calm, especially at the time when the match now “hot”.
The entry of Bernard, Sporar and Palasios (as well as Aitor and Kotsiras) also helped a lot, confirming that Panathinaikos has this year what it didn’t have last year: depth and many different options for its coach to mix up the deck and the game , depending on its development.
More than anything, however, the most important part in Panathinaikos remaining “active” and “alive” in the stadium, came from the intervention of his bench. And of the internal “trick” applied by Ivan Jovanovic and his team, looking for something drastic to bring back the data and the scale closer to the “green”.
The change in structure and the 3-3-2-1
The Serbian coach changed the structure of Panathinaikos on the pitch, doing something that involved a risk, but proved to be very effective.
The question for the “greens” at that moment was not to waste time and try to somehow increase their pressure towards Lamia’s goal, even though they had a numerical disadvantage.
And this could only be done by managing to reduce the distances in the field and bring his lines closer, without losing his balance in transition. So what did he do?
He pulled Kotsira into a third stopper role, with Cerin as a “6” now covering his ups, whenever the Arkas full back took the ball and went higher up the pitch.
At the same time, he promoted Mladenovic as a left inside midfielder (something he also did in pre-season friendlies, but under different conditions, i.e. 11 vs. 11), while he gave complete freedom of movement to Bernard as an “8”, giving him all the circulation of the ball .
At the same time, Aitor and Palacios took the whole side left and right, with the Argentinian playing a little more inside in an attacking position, to have support next to Sporar.
This peculiar 3-3-2-1 essentially “disappeared” the numerical disadvantage of Panathinaikos, who maintained very high percentages of possession of the ball. And it enabled him not to waste too much time after recovering the ball, keeping the whole game under the midfield of Lamia.
A shot that came out in the final (despite the fact that Lamia also looked for a way to hit the risk of Panathinaikos on 2-3 occasions), keeping the “greens” high and coordinated on the field, to look for their one “big” moment .
And they found it in the 90th minute, thanks to the acumen and composure of Bernard who found Sporar where he needed and at the right time to make it 1-2…