Ekstraklasa Matchday 31: Five Things we Learned

The Ekstraklasa’s points-split took effect last week, with drama both on and off-the-pitch deciding the league’s outcome. Now entering the final seven rounds of the season, there is plenty to play for at both ends of the table, and plenty of talking points from Matchday number 31. Here are five of them:

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Awans do Francji!

Poland boss Adam Nawałka was applauded into his post-match press conference, after a 2-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland ensured guidance through a qualifying campaign for the first time since 2007. First half goals from Grzegorz Krychowiak and Robert Lewandowski, either side of a Jonathan Walters penalty, were just enough to secure a third straight appearance at the European Championships, avoiding a perilous play-off.

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Focus solely on Lewy could lead to Scotland’s downfall

With twelve goals in his last four games, and ten goals in eight qualifiers for his country, Poland striker Robert Lewandowski is rightly picked as the danger man for the upcoming clashes with Scotland and Ireland. His ability to unlock defences and punish weaknesses has not gone unnoticed either, with the Bayern frontman singled out by a Scottish press worried for their back-line, and bookmakers who place him at 13/10 to score at anytime. But while Gordon Strachan must find a way to stop European football’s in-form man, focusing solely on Lewandowski could be a final nail in the Scots’ Euro 2016 coffin.

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On the crest of a wave: Poland have qualification in their sights

It doesn’t seem that long ago when Poland were predictable: get the ball down the right-hand side through Błaszczykowski and Piszczek, give it to Lewandowski and let him do the rest. If a defence could neutralise the then-Dortmund striker, there was usually a chance they could come away with at least a share of the spoils. This was proven by Russia and Czech Republic in Euro 2012; as well as Montenegro, Moldova and Ukraine in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

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