Jagiellonia Białystok 1-0 Polonia Warszawa

Andrzej Gomołysek believes the Polish league leaders need to start showing their quality more often if they are to go on and win the championship…

Want to know how the minnows from Białystok are doing so well in the Ekstraklasa this season? The answer is simple – they play really good football, really well. And after beating sixth-placed Polonia in round 11, they stay two points clear at the top of the table.

Both teams started this game with just the one striker, and an overriding focus on controlling the midfield. Polonia went with a 4-4-1-1 formagtion, young Polish international Artur Sobiech floating behind the more experienced Ebi Smolarek.

Jagiellonia went with a ‘flat’ 4-5-1, using Kamil Grosicki as a main striker, and former Polonia man Jarosław Lato surprisingly placed nearest to him by 38-year-old tactician Michał Probierz.

But their tactically disciplined opponents rendered the Jagiellonia system futile – doubling and tripling up on them in key areas. Combined with a generally lacklustre performance by the home side, Polonia had it easy. Continue reading

Energie Cottbus 2-1 VfL Bochum

The starting formations.

Energie Cottbus came from behind to inflict a third away defeat of the season on mid-table Bochum, move into the top five in the process.

After a frantic opening few minutes, Cottbus got the ball down and settled into a pattern of starting short and inviting pressure.

Bochum kept their North Korean striker Jong Tae-Se sprinting after whichever defender had the ball, but stationed the rest of the team behind halfway.

With Cottbus insisting on slowly bringing the ball out and assessing which of the eight players in the opponent’s half was the best option, they left themselves open at the back.

Initially, Bochum looked to take advantage here by scooping over the top for Jong to chase, but the former Kawasaki Frontale frontman was isolated, and flopping too readily.

As this gave the visitors no territorial advantage, the home side’s grip on the game strengthened, and the chances were all their’s.

Cottbus formed a melina square involving the central defenders and midfielders, and in response to this, Bochum narrowed accordingly. Continue reading