Górnik Zabrze slipped to their third successive defeat away at Legia Warszawa, effectively ruling them out of an Ekstraklasa title challenge in Spring. Having been beaten at home by both Lech Poznań and Jagiellonia Białystok, a win – or even a point – would have given them slight hope of overhauling Legia’s advantage, which before the game stood at six points. Now with both Śląsk and Lechia looking to overtake them, Górnik will be reassessing their season’s aims, hoping for a European spot at the very most.
In Friday’s late kick off in the capital, Górnik didn’t look like a side which had been threatening to snatch a title away from one of the big boys, but rather like one at the opposite end of the table. With not even twenty minutes on the clock, Legia came close to taking the lead on three occasions; but unfortunately for the home side, a good save from Górnik keeper Łukasz Skorupski, poor finishing from Ljuboja, and a debatable penalty shout kept the game goalless.
Whilst visiting striker Tomasz Zahorski should have done better with a back-heel in front of goal, it was the best that Górnik could muster, whilst they once more were forced to rely on Skorupski to keep the game level; the young stopper blocking Marek Saganowski’s effort at close range.
However former Southampton striker Saganowski finally did break the deadlock just after the half-an-hour mark. Jakub Kosecki performed one of his trademark mazy runs, cutting inside before firing off a shot. Whilst Skorupski did well to get down to the low strike, his parry fell to the feel of Miroslav Radović, who laid the ball to “Sagan” for an easy two-yard tap-in.
Even on the few occasions Górnik did try to attack, it came close to backfiring. In search of a quick equaliser, Zahorski’s attempted header found it’s way to a white shirt. Advancing through Radović, the Legia midfielder hit the back of the net on the stroke of half time, although the Serbian midfielder was ruled offside.
Whilst Górnik did gain some rhythm in the second period, their lone striker Zahorski looked toothless, and it was Legia who managed to double their lead with 25 minutes left on the clock. Veteran striker Ljuboja was played in at the edge of the box, and advancing, his low drive beat Skorupski at his far post.
Even with a two-goal lead Legia pressed the Silesians, Saganowski blazing over from just four yards, a goalmouth scramble eventually being cleared by Oleksandr Shevelyukhin, and the Ukrainian once again coming to Górnik’s rescue two minutes into stoppage time, clearing off of the line – again from Dvalishvili.
But with the referee almost ready to blow his final whistle, the Georgian striker finally did get his goal. Allowed too much time to turn in the box, his low drive saw Skorupski beaten for the third time, marking Legia’s title ambitions in the process.
Legia Warszawa – Górnik Zabrze 3:0 (1:0)
Saganowski 32′, Ljuboja 66′, Dvalishvili 90+3′
Legia: Kuciak, Jędrzejczyk, Wawrzyniak, Astiz, Bereszyński, Vrdoljak (Furman 66′), Łukasik, Radović, Kosecki, Ljuboja (Brzyski 72′), Saganowski (Dvalishvili 85′)
Górnik: Skorupski, Olkowski, Danch, Shevelyukhin, Gancarczyk, Mączyński, Iwan (Nakoulma 66′), Kwiek, Przybylski, Łuczak (Jeleń 74′), Zahorski (Bonin 66′).
Referee: Tomasz Musiał (Kraków)
Danch 43′, Mączyński 66′ – Jędzrejczyk 76′, Bereszyński 82′