12 wrz 2010

Ruch 1-0 Legia: Battle in the middle

Legia lost away and second game in a row, again not scoring even a single goal. But what will be more crucial for their coach, Maciej Skorża, they simply did not show enough determination to even draw it. Ruch Chorzów on the other hand was obviously the team with lower level of football skills but showed how much can be done by being the better in the head. But let's look closer at what had happened on the pitch.

Targeting opposition

Clearly Waldemar Fornalik did his homework and knew exactly who to target in the crucial area - middle of the pitch. Malinowski did great job to get Iwański out of the game and also Straka with Pulkowski had to close down Borysiuk, every time the young midfielder was on the ball. That was wise and payed off when they scored the goal in the first half. The other thing is, probably the most important mistake in Maciej Skorża selection, Bruno Mezenga had another awful game today, playing in the role of target man. But he did not hold on to the ball, rarely won any headers, did not link  with other players and lost the ball in 80% times when he had it. That was very helpful for the hosts. 

Midfield battle

As You can see on the formation graph, the midfield was pretty packed. Legia every time when in counter attack turned from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3 which was surprising... only at the beginning of the game, when guests looked like wanting to score a goal. Then Malinowski switched wisely, moved closer to Iwański and Straka with Pulkowski targeted Borysiuk... You know the rest. But more should be said about 'second balls' - both teams lacked fluidity, movement was rather sharped than prepared by few passes from defence, moving forward. Lots of headers but more crucial was that what happened after the 'air competition' - Ruch won like 90% of the second balls and this was the main reason to win the game.


Maciej Skorża had to do something during half time so he brought young Kucharczyk for unimpressive Rybus and Cabral for careless Borysiuk. Both young Legia players had horrible day which may be crucial for their longer stay in the team. Legia switched to 4-1-4-1 with Vrdoljak as the only holding midfielder and it did the trick... for few minutes, again. Then something happened and Iwański with Cabral were clashing once and again, making it easy for Malinowski to cover that area and stop Legia attacks. Also Skorża advised his players to use wings more often but Manu was losing it against Sadlok and Kucharczyk had only few chances to impress on the left wing. Another mistake from Legia coach was to sub Iwański off too late - Giza came on in 88th minute when all they needed was height in the Ruch box and they've been playing with 10 man as Wawrzyniak got sent off for very silly behavior. On the other side, Waldemar Fornalik stayed patient, sticking to the starting formation that clearly payed off.

The best player on the pitch was by far Malinowski who stopped Legia everytime they were going forward through the middle. Ruch had more chances to make it two than their rivals to get even one goal. Maciej Skorża is still looking for perfect formation for his team and, what's even more important, to choose right eleven, without weak sides. Today, they had too many of them and this team lacks not only a proper striker but also character. The only good thing for Legia is that Skorża knows it.

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