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Andre on Athens draw

Posted on 5 October 2012  - 04:29

Andre Villas-Boas couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed after our 1-1 draw against Panathinaikos in Greece on Thursday night.

That disappointment stemmed from failing to capitalise on a dominant first half display in the Europa League Group J encounter in Athens.

We were quick off the blocks at the Olympic Stadium and had already tested the home side when Michael Dawson opened the scoring with a glancing header in the 35th minute.

Panathinaikos then had goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis to thank for denying Gareth Bale and Tom Huddlestone, the midfielder firing in a textbook half-volley on his first start in over a year.

However, Panathinaikos came out a different side in the second half.

Ibrahim Sissoko was a big influence off the bench as they started to ask a few questions, but we still had the better chances as Gareth, Jermain Defoe and Clint Dempsey tried their luck.

Panathinaikos finally carved out that one gilt-edged chance to equalise as Giourkas Seitaridis picked out Toche’s run through the middle and the striker finished well to earn his side a point.

“We had a very good first half, but not so good in the second for different reasons,” reflected Andre. “We felt the heat and tiredness a little and lost control of the game and our possession.

“In the first half we were superior, we created lots of chances and everyone feels disappointed for not putting the game to bed with the second goal.

“The disappointment comes from what we saw in the first half and not being able to do it in the second half.

“If it had been the other way around, we would probably be speaking completely differently. It’s obviously a point away from home but when you feel the game was in your hands, you feel disappointed.

“At the end, we congratulated the players at the final whistle, they made the effort and pushed themselves.

“They understand that we’ve been doing good things and this is not a step back that is going to stop us in our tracks.

“The most important message we could give the players at the end was to congratulate them for their effort and focus on Aston Villa in the short time we have.”