12 lis 2010

Wisła 4-0 Legia: Push the tempo

And it all started so nicely for Maciej Skorża – home fans welcomed him chanting his name despite comments that former Wisła manager was given ‘dream job’ in Legia. Three years back and he was saying similar thing when he joined the White Star, to win two championships with this club. But it ended with four goals in Legia’s net and the display that may result in rise of new hero at Reymonta – Robert Maaskant.

But even the toughest job done on training pitch by the Dutchman could be not enough to deliver in the league if not the players. With one small exception, they were magnificent and presented football wanted in Kraków so badly. If You look at every single goal they scored tonight it’s pure quality – before the half time the cross from Jirsak was magnificent with acrobatic finish from Paweł Brożek couldn’t be better. Then in second half Małecki exchanged the ball several times with Brożek to send a bullet into left corner of Legia’s goal. For third goal, Kirm made smart move through rivals defence and even though there will be doubts how easily Slovenian went down after contact with Machnowskyj, Paweł Brożek took his penalty very, very calmly. The last one wasn’t bad either – Patryk Małecki run all the way from the half line to force good save from opposite goalkeeper but the rebound fell luckily to Cezary Wilk who netted with diving header.

Legia was not that bad as result says. Ariel Borysiuk, take several clumsy tackles (that came probably from his frustration) apart, was their best player showing once again that he may be successful in both roles – defensive midfielder and playmaker. Maciej Skorża wisely allows young midfielder to shoot from the distance often and the result may come very soon – few Row Z’s had happened to him so far but he is getting closer to send a beauty. Some say that Inaki Astiz had not the best of games but I liked what he did with his team – pushing them higher up field to force small games from Wisła, something they are not the best at. Miroslav Radović was at the center of everything they did in attack again but he left his teammates irritated too often with too much dribbling. On the other hand Ivica Vrdoljak had a really bad game and when Skorża later introduced Iwański, his player not showed anything worth mentioning.

Legia lost because they could not answer great performance of Wisła’s trio in the middle of the pitch. Hosts kept their side composed, smartly moving on and off the ball, attacking with fast passes exchanged between players. It could go all the other way as their defensive midfielder and captain, Radosław Sobolewski could earn early yellow card after horribly mistimed tickle on Borysiuk, definitely something Robert Maaskant wouldn’t enjoy.  

But the win wouldn’t be that high if not great performance of Paweł Brożek and Patryk Małecki. The first one scored twice and added an assist to his tally, while the second threatened oppositions defence with every dribble… clearly wanting to show Legia that he could be great addition to them, if he wasn’t devoted to Wisła so much. He may be rude (and that’s not enough said), vulgar and not wise but on his day he is able to tear every defence he faces. Same can be said about Paweł Brożek, although only about football of his – today every touch showed class that fans of Wisła and Polish team once saw in him. Hopefully Robert Maaskant found the way to take the talent out of Paweł Brożek and make him play like in those times where he was unstoppable in Ekstraklasa.

What impressed me the most about the game was not necessarily the score but the tempo. Typical Polish league big game starts with huge hype and ends with even bigger disappointment. It was really high, not going through stages of boredom. Even when Legia was losing with four goals they tried very hard to get a consolation and even came close with Radović and Mezenga just missing the target. Wisła’s win was deserved but the score doesn’t tell the story of the game where Legia had something to say – it’s only up to them that they couldn’t convert any chance into a goal. Home fans will hope that the confidence is back in Maaskant’s team after that win and voices about championship will become louder in Kraków as they were very silent in last two months. Legia, after four wins in a row, showed that Skorża’s project still has too many problems to end with Championship.

All in all, it was a great game for the start of the weekend full of interesting matches in Ekstraklasa. Hopefully tie between Korona Kielce (2nd in the League) and Jagiellonia Białystok (1st place) and clash of Lech Poznań and Lechia Gdańsk will not end up in disappointment – after all those years we deserve to have our league so interesting that it may be enjoyed by people and fans.

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