23 maj 2011

League Round-up XXVIII

Just two league rounds until the end or, to make it clearer, just six days of the season left, we are finally know at least few things. Wisła Krakow have won the title and... er, that's it. We don't know anything else.

Relegation battle is still pretty open but down to 180 minutes of football we can at least point at clubs that will have a quite higher mountain to climb. Polonia Bytom has the steepest challenge ahead as face Lech Poznan at home and then travels to Warszawa for a meeting with Legia. This weekend's defeat to Arka in Gdynia was awful for them and maybe just lifted Arka, gave them one more breath of fresh air - many crossed them out weeks ago to be fair to Straka's men. They had their problems but played really well against Polonia and deservedly won - how costly look that points dropped against Lechia few weeks ago in last seconds though? They could be save by now! But then they are just point over relegation places and we cannot cross Cracovia either - although their test seems now toughest as manager Jurij Szatałow may be banned from the bylines after he abused referees after their match with Widzew Łódź. Cracovia lost 1-2 when they counted that last two home games will give them best chance to stay up.

Interesting battle continues at the top for the places in European cups. Wisła is sure as champions but last two places in Europa League looks an open shot for few teams - Jagiellonia found their form from start of the season and first round (winning 4-0 with Korona Kielce), Lechia Gdansk is third just two points off Jaga after defeating Lech Poznan 2-1 on Sunday, while Śląsk Wroclaw dropped two places after Friday's loss to Górnik in Zabrze (Śląsk;s players scored two own goals!). But it's not the end - Legia is point down seeking a chance to a nice goodbye to manager Maciej Skorża with a place in top three (Vladimir Weiss will take over next season), while Górnik Zabrze, Widzew Łódź and Polonia Warszawa may have a final shot if results will go their way. But this battle is less for European cups, more for the money club will get from the league and players' bonus money. Several clubs give signs that starting early season in Europe is unwelcomed for them, mainly for Śląsk, Górnik, Widzew who may not have the funds for much needed transfers.

Several people lost their nerves this round - Sergiej Pareiko was shown red card at Legia which was undeserved and he firstly refused to go down the tunnel and when he did so, he abused referees, devastated 'Exit' sign and had a row with security. He didn't go out in style, did the Estionian goalkeepere of Wisła? I mentioned earlier what Jurij Szatałow did at Cracovia after the game when he went to the bus and saw referees talking with press - he abused all of them and suggested that linesmen should get themselves a pair of glasses. Finally, Mateusz Klich was sent off during that game which was for two deserved yellow cards but he was so nervous that he abused cameraman and fourth referee. Steady there, young man.

Some would say that it is a sign of season's end and nerves are getting to the heads of those who have something to fight for. But then we take a look at Korona Kielce, how easily they have been beaten in Białystok, it's easy to say that this team failed to cope with pressure of having two good rounds and now pays the price for bad winter. Then there is Ruch Chorzów whose financial problems are well known and they lost 0-3 at home to Polonia Warszawa with the dullest of performances. Interestingly, when their manager Waldemar Fornalik suggested that he hopes (but doubts) this loss was only due to sports reasons, press picked up the story it may have been fixed. But today he rubbished those claims saying that players had enough of problems with their own clubs delays in payments. Sadly, this things still happen in Polish football.

Goals HERE, table standings HERE.

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