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Gilberto admits Panathinaikos FC have a mountainous task to overturn the 3-1 deficit from the first leg of their UEFA Europa League last 16 tie against R. Standard de Liège.
The 33-year-old was as disappointed as anyone after the Greens failed to reproduce the form that saw them eliminate AS Roma with two 3-2 victories in the round of 32. They are down, he says, but not out. "It's hard for us now but we have to go there and change our situation," the former Arsenal FC man told UEFA.com. "We've had much better results at home than what we had in the first leg and it's up to us to turn it around."
Gilberto is expected to be part of Brazil's FIFA World Cup squad this summer and is enjoying an Indian summer to his career challenging for the Greek title with Panathinaikos. He and his team-mates were caught cold by Standard, and the midfielder maintains it was not down to a lack of respect. "We didn't underestimate them," he said. "We respect all of our opponents, especially in a competition like this. What I can say is that everyone played their part in what was a disappointing performance. It was a warning for us and we have to make sure we correct a lot of things which went wrong before the return leg."
Standard forward Milan Jovanović was Panathinaikos's tormentor-in-chief in the first encounter, scoring one goal and having a hand in the other two at the OACA Spiros Louis Stadium, though Gilberto believes it is the Belgian titleholders' ability as a unit which holds the key to their success. "Jovanović is a good player but I think it is more to do with the way that Standard played as a team against us," he said. "They are a solid unit and that made the difference."
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