AEK Athens managed to emerge from its tough fixture at AC Milan on Thursday with a goalless draw that keeps intact its unbeaten run in the group stage of the Europa League, largely thanks to the heroics of its goalkeeper, Yiannis Anestis.
The Greek international rose to the challenge set by the Italian attack, stopping the hosts time and again to make AEK the first Greek team ever to get a result at the home of the “Rossoneri”.
Coach Manolo Jimenez fielded three central defenders and managed to reduce the pressure in the box, but it was Anestis who really frustrated the Italians with his saves, including a very difficult one in injury time.
While Milan had the biggest share of chances in the game, AEK also had its good moments, particularly in the last quarter of the first half, following the same recipe as in the game against FC Bruges at the qualifying round of the competition (that had also finished 0-0, in Belgium).
The 3,500 AEK fans really made their presence felt at the San Siro with their noise, boosting a team that had only collected one point from its last two games in the Greek league.
AEK is now on five points from three games, two points behind leader Milan and two ahead of third-placed Rijeka.
In two weeks’ time AEK will host Milan for the fourth round of games in the group.