Wisła Kraków 4-0 Legia Warszawa

Goals scored by Piotr Brożek (41', 60'), Patryk Małecki (50'), & Cezary Wilk (84').

Andrzej Gomołysek believes these two title contenders have many improvements to make if they’re to go on and win the championship…

Wisła and Legia are two sides that encapsulate the unpredictable nature of the Ekstraklasa. So it was no surprise to see such a scoreline when the pair came face-to-face here.

The sides entered the game in very different moods: Legia on cloud nine after five wins in a row, eating up a significant chunk of the ground separating them from Korona Kielce and Jagiellonia Białystok at the top in the process (the pair of whom met at the weekend, sharing a 1-1 draw).

Wisła, meanwhile, had just lost in Poznań, and barely won against Cracovia in the derby. To make matters worse, Dutch coach Robert Maaskant decided to leave former Ajax winger Nourdin Boukhari on the bench for this match.

Instead, Biała Gwiazda lined up with Łukasz Garguła at trequartista, Tomáš Jirsák in centre-midfield, and Radosław Sobolewski mopping up behind them.

Legia coach Maciej Skorża lined his midfield up in a similar centrally-aligned fashion; Maciej Rybus at the heart, Ivica Vrdoljak mopping up behind him, and Miroslav Radović and Sebastian Szałachowski flanking the foremost two attackers.

Wisła hit the ground running, and attacked their guests from the off. Maaskant was using Jirsák as a playmaker, and although the Czech international put in a decent performance, his passing was as frustratingly inconsistent as it has been all year. Likewise, he’s not one to control the flow and tempo of a game either. Continue reading

What to expect from Algeria

Algeria with the ball. They utilise the left flank mainly, with Nadir Belhadj offering width, and Ziani cutting inside

In the second game to be contested in Group C, Slovenia overcame the much-dismissed North Africans by a single goal. The match-deciding strike was late, and came courtesy of a goalkeeping blunder.

The goal was a cruel blow to one man in particular, as although Algerian ‘keeper Faouzi Chaouchi made a meal of holding on to Robert Koren’s tame strike, the 25-year-old stopper had looked distinguishably sturdy during the rest of the game.

The Slovenians went at him from set-pieces from the off – Boštjan Cesar attacked whip-ins with the air of Bruce Lee. One vertical punch aside, Chaouchi’s fisting was decisive from all Slovenia’s deliveries. Likewise, the rest of the Algerian side defended Slovenian set-plays with a steely discipline, and didn’t give their opponents an inch.

England and USA fans should note that Les Fennecs are as content off the ball as they are on it. Their goal kicks tend to be played short, though expect the occasional (central) punt. For the latter scenario, Karim Ziani shifts inside to flick the ball on.

England’s defence should also note that Rafik Djebbour works hard up top despite a paucity of service or numerical support. Continue reading