Polonia Warszawa manager Piotr Stokowiec heaped praise onto his hastily-assembled squad after a strong defensive display saw them emerge from Poznań’s Stadion Miejski with a surprise three points. His Lech counterpart Mariusz Rumak however was left frustrated as his side failed to, at least temporarily, climb to the top of the Ekstraklasa – putting pressure on Legia Warszawa in the process.
It was one of the Czarne Koszule’s want-away players, experienced midfielder and captain Łukasz Piątek, who earned the visitors the surprise win with a right-footed thunderbolt with just five minutes on the clock. Whilst Lech defender Kebba Ceesay was able to dispossess Polonia’s young winger Miłosz Przybecki, he was unable to clear the ball properly. Rolling straight into the path of Piątek, the 27 year-old let the ball cross onto his right foot before firing an unstoppable drive straight past Jasmin Burić and into the top corner.
Whilst the goal will likely be a contender for best in Spring, it was the all-round display which pleased Stokowiec the most.
“I am pleased with the result and consistently implemented tactics. Perhaps it looked like we parked the bus; In fact, that was the aim of our tactics – to minimize their chances to a minimum” Stokowiec told journalists post-game.
However it was the home side who came closest to scoring the next goal before the half-an-hour mark had passed. Mariusz Pawełek’s short goal kick to his full-back was easily dispossessed by Aleksander Tonev, and the Bulgarian’s 18-yard drive smashed against the Polonia crossbar.
But despite having their squad ripped apart in winter, Polonia continued to press. Former GKS Katowice midfielder Tomasz Hołota saw a long drive parried by Burić, but with Paweł Wszołek lurking, the Bosnian keeper was able to clear up.
With many expecting Lech to come out stronger in the second period, the visitors went close straight after the break – Przybecki’s hopeful attempt from 40-odd yards eventually kept out by a combination of Burić and the crossbar – but that only spurred Lech into life.But with Bartosz Ślusarski failing to direct a free-header goalwards, and Rafał Murawski’s curling effort just slipping wide of the post, a breakthrough couldn’t be found meaning that Polonia now climb above Lech in the Ekstraklasa table.
With just eight points to show from their eight home games this season, Mariusz Rumak knows that his side’s home form is what is keeping them off of the top spot.
In the second half we changed the set-up, we played better, we created a situations. But goals at Bułgarska are perhaps magical. We need to demystify it as soon as possible. Preferably in two weeks”.
Stokowiec was sure however that his side were thoroughly underestimated by the Kolejorz.
“In Poznań I think everyone thought about the fight against Legia and forgot about the other Warsaw club. Here, Polonia nicely reiterated that it still is up there”.
Lech Poznań – Polonia Warszawa 0:1 (0:1)
Łukasz Piątek 6
Lech Poznań: Jasmin Burić – Kebba Ceesay, Hubert Wołąkiewicz, Marcin Kamiński, Luis Henriquez – Łukasz Trałka, Rafał Murawski – Kasper Hämäläinen, Szymon Drewniak (46. Vojo Ubiparip), Aleksandyr Tonew (64. Mateusz Możdżeń) – Bartosz Ślusarski (79. Karol Linetty).
Polonia Warszawa: Mariusz Pawełek – Jakub Tosik, Aleksandar Todorovski, Wojciech Szymanek, Igor Morozov, Daniel Gołębiewski – Łukasz Piątek, Tomasz Hołota – Miłosz Przybecki (81. Vytautas Lukša), Paweł Wszołek (76. Paweł Tarnowski), Adam Pazio (90. Piotr Piekarski).
Yellow Cards: Piątek, Pazio (Polonia)
Referee: Paweł Gil (Lublin)