Lechia Gdansk hosted Gornik Zabrze on Saturday 5th August at 15:30 in the Stadion Energa. This was round 4 of the 2017/18 Ekstraklasa season.
Lechia needed a breakthrough
Lechia went into this match with only 3 points from all 3 Ekstraklasa games, not the start to the season we were hoping for.
This week the supreme committee of appeal of the PZPN made a decision that delighted Lechia fans, Slawomir Peszko’s ban was suspended meaning he could play in this match. Peszko has been missed in the squad so he was a welcome addition to the starting line up. During his ban he has been entertaining the fans in the stands. He received the ban after his red card in last seasons closing game against Warsaw. With Krasic currently on the injury list, Peszko took the captains armband against Gornik.
Gornik fans were involved in a huge fight after stopping at a service station on the A1 on the way to Gdansk. They met rivals Stal Stalowa Wola who were on their way to a game too when trouble started. A Gornik fan was shot by police during the trouble.
Both teams started with a pace. You could see that both sides were up for the challenge. In the 6th minute Peszko was fouled on the edge of the 18 yard box and won a free kick, Daniel Lukasik curled the free kick towards the goal but his strike couldn’t beat Gornik keeper, Tomasz Loska.
Lechia were controlling the game well and switching play from flank to flank with ease. Peszko was on fire and creating problems for Gornik. They tried to deal with this by committing many fouls on Peszko which all resulted in chances for Lechia during the first 17 minutes.
Gornik had a chance to get into the Lechia half in the 18th minute where Igor Angulo found Kuciak way to far out of his goal. Angulo rounded the Lechia keeper but fortunately put his shot just wide of the goal, big let off for Lechia.
In the 27th minute Lechia won another free kick close to the 18 yard box on the left hand side. Lukasik curled a great shot at the target where Gornik keeper caught the ball but fell back into his goal. The Stadium erupted! Goal! The referee waved no goal, shocking decision. Lechia really could have done with a video referee today.
The game started to open up and Gornik were starting to test the Lechia defence. Challenges were flying in from both sides with Peszko continuing to take the brunt of them.
Angulo opened for Gornik
In the 38th minute Kurzawa took a long range throw in for Gornik into Lechia’s penalty area where Angulo was waiting, with loads of room, and volleyed it into the back of Lechia’s goal 0:1. Lechia’s heads dropped after this as it was really against the run of play.
The fans then took the atmosphere to the next level with one of the best pyro shows I have seen in a long time at the Energa.
The half time whistle blew to a sea of green smoke across the pitch and flash bangs echoing around the stadium. There will be a fine heading Lechia’s way this week.
Half time 0:1
The second half began in front of 14,567 fans who were slightly quieter than at the end of the first half.
Gornik seemed to have a lot of extra confidence after their goal as the continued to pressurise the Lechia defensive line. Wawrzyniak made some great challenges to keep the Gornik attack at bay.
Paixao made it equal
In the 56th minute Lechia were awarded a penalty. Marco Paixao stepped up and put Lechia level, he was never going to miss! 1:1.
The second half continued to be as physical as the first. Both sides were looking to take the lead chances. The best for Lechia came in 66th minute when Peszko placed the ball perfectly in front of the goal for Kuswik who was sliding in but unfortunately he couldn’t make contact with the ball and it rolled past the goal.
Kuciak was called into action on a number of occasions during the final 30 minutes as Gornik pushed forward to try to win the game. After 60 minutes the game was played mainly in the middle of the park.
In the dying moments of stoppage time, Peszko, Mila and Marco Paixao all tried to get that vital winning goal to no avail.
Final Score 1:1
Something felt different about this Lechia team compared to the previous game so far this season. I’m not sure if it was because Peszko was back in the team or the fitness levels are improving. Lechia are still nowhere near the standard they were at during the closing games of the last season. However I can see work is taking place and things are improving, albeit slowly. Lechia should have won this but that poor decision on the goal that didn’t stand cost them 2 points. I’m still disappointed with the amount of actual shots on target, the team seems to be able to get into some dangerous positions and behind the opponents defence, but then just wastes the opportunities. Gornik are one of the leagues in form sides so a draw isn’t really the end of the world. Today White&Greens played really well and showed some great passing skills. As usual the fans were amazing and put on a great show.
Man of the match
My man of the match goes to Slawomir Peszko.
Polish Cup – Bytovia Bytow Vs Lechia Gdansk on Wednesday 9th August 19:00
League – Pogon Szczecin Vs Lechia Gdansk on Monday 14th August 18:00
Coach Nowak made the following comments in his post match press conference:
I think the result 1: 1 is a loss for us two points. In the second part of the match we had enough to win this meeting, but we lacked efficiency. There was too little combination and creativity in our work. On the other hand, we lose too easily goals. These shortcomings were visible today and we need to improve it. On the wings our actions were driven by Sławomir Peszko, Paweł Stolarski and after the break Mateusz Lewandowski.
Nowak also commented on Sebastian Mila:
Seba earned his posture in training to get into the game in the match. With our rival defence tight, we wanted a pitcher who could find free corridors and send the ball to our players. Sebastian can do it perfectly. It is a pity that one of his passes to Sławek Peszko did not switch to the goal, because there was a chance for it. I think that with Sebastian’s further work he will have another chance.