Piast Gliwice 1 – 5 Legia Warsaw
There were a few changes in Legia’s line-up for their game against Piast in comparison to the team that faced Sporting CP. Missing from the squad were Guilhereme, Bartosz Bereszynski and Aleskandar Prijović. Their places were taken by Łukasz Broż, Kasper Hamalainen and Nemanja Nikolić. Konrad Michalak made got his name on the teamsheet for Legia for the first time, and watched the game from the substitute bench. Piast on the other hand were missing the on loan from Legia, Michał Masłowski, who is currently serving out a one game ban due to picking up four yellow cards. Once again as the furthest forward in Radoslav Latala’s team was Maciej Jankowski, with Sasa Zivec and Gerard Badia supporting him.
The start of the game was somewhat sluggish. Neither sides took control of the game, Legia were not able to start off the game as well as they did two weeks ago, in Wrocław against Śląsk. There was tough competition in centre of the pitch especially between Thibault Moulin and Radosław Murwaski, the Piast captain.
For any concrete action fans were made to wait until the second quarter of the game. The hosts created a fantastic chance, with final cross reaching the head of Jankowski, but Arkadiusz Malarz reached for the headed effort and parried it away. Legia replied with two action of their own – one in the 20th minute when Moulin directly passed to Nikolić, who shot the ball above the goal, and then a beautiful free kick shot from Vadis Odjidja Ofoe. These attacks really opened up the game and increased the tempo of the play. Piast even scored a goal, but luckily Jankowski was flagged off side and Legia took care of the situation.
It ignited with the Legionnaires the need to put in even for effort which came into effect in the 32nd minute. The action was started off by Kopczyński, who put Nikolić in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper Szmatuła, who later handed the ball to the unmanned Radović who calmly palced the ball into the back of the net.
Piast ambitiously wanted to recover from their loss, but they lacked options. The closest they got was in the 39th number, after a double action from Badia and Zivec, but Malarz handled the Bosnian. Our goalkeeper took a beating after this battle, but the skilful intervention from the medical staff allowed him to continue playing. When it seems that Legia would go into the break, holding only a one goal lead, the Militarians gave the opposition another blow. The attack was fantastically played out by Odjidja, who passed the ball to the unmanned Hamalainen, and his shot rebounded into the path of Nikolić who managed to squeeze it back in.
Both teams started the second half without any substitutions. The picture of the game however somewhat changed. Piast attempted quickly to recover their two lost goals and in the first few minutes created several opportunities to do so. The best of which came in the 51st minute from Sedlar, whos shot was stopped by Malarz. Seven minutes later, Arkadiusz shined once again, instinctively parrying a shot from Murawski. The pressure from Piast kept on rising – moments later a dangerous shot came from Zivec.
Legia managed to survive this wave of attacks and as the game progressed this calmed down. In the 64th minute the first substitution in the Militarians ranks happened. Hamalainen (who assisted the second goal from “Niko”) left the pitch to give an opportunity to Qazaishvili a chance to shine. Legia brought the game higher up the pitch, and a couple attempts from Piast were intercepted by Pazdan.
To see an effect from this change in personal, we did not have to wait long. After the ball was intercepted in the middle of the pitch, the ball made its way to Qazaishvili, who skipped passed his attackers and placed the ball in the path of Radović who was charging down the right flanks, who hit the ball hard and low, defeated Szmatuła. Legia once again showed their quality. You must give credit to Piast for their ambition in the second half, they created many good chances, but the Militarians were having none of that, and confidently made use of their chances. A reply to these words can in the 79th minute. A prompt counterattack, three Legionnaires found themselves in front of Szmatuła and a short pass from Radović was untilised by Nikolić.
The cannonade of shots continued. Two minutes later another excellent performance was summed up by Ofoe, finishing off another counterattack from the Militarians. What an amazing piece of play it was from the Legionnaires! No wonder with their position and hold of the game, manager Jacek Magiera decided to give a Legia debut to Konrad Michalak. The young Legionnaire came on for Nikolić. The young Legionnaire ambitiously attempted to break away from his opponents and it would be worth looking out for him in within future games. The hosts were able to minimise their loses slightly by getting a consolation goal in the dying minutes of the game, with a terrific long distance effort by Sapała.
Legia is once again returning home with three valuable points. A terrific offensive display from our team – once again the trio shone, Ofoe, Radović and Nikolić, but after such a win the whole team deserves to be congratulated.
Piast Gliwice – Legia Warszawa 1:5
Goals: Sapała 90’ - Radović 32’ 73’, Nikolić 45’ 79’, Ofoe 81’
Yellow cards: Korun 22’ - Broź 7’
Legia: Malarz - Broź, Rzeźniczak, Pazdan, Hlousek – Kopczyński, Moulin – Hamalainen (Kazaiszwili 64’), Odjidja (Kucharczyk 82’), Radović – Nikolić (Michalak 82’)
Piast: Szmatuła - Sedlar (Gotal 62’), Korun, Hebert – Moskwik, Pietrowski, Murawski, Mokwa – Zivec, Badia (Sapała 81’) – Jankowski (Barisić 75’)