Another weekend of riveting football action across Europe is in the books. Many prominent Polish footballers saw their fair share of valuable playing time, with some familiar names standing out. Let’s take a closer, league-by-league view.
Robert Lewandowski scored for Bayern Munich this past weekend. Sounds like a broken record, doesn’t it? The only atypical thing about this past weekend’s tilt versus Hoffenheim was the fact that the Bavarian giants trailed the mid-table side 2:0 within 12 minutes of kick-off. “Lewy” to the rescue. The ex-Lech Poznan assassin masterfully deflected a shot from teammate Joshua Kimmich at the 20 minute mark to ignite the Munich resurgence resulting in a 5:2 victory for the Bundesliga’s perennial top dog. (Minutes played: 90, Whoscored.com rating: 8.7)
Meanwhile in Dortmund, Lukasz Piszczek & Rafal Gikiewicz went head-to-head in an entertaining match that resulted in a 2:2 stalemate between Borussia Dortmund and Freiburg. Piszczek was his steady, confident self, making his familiar calculated, overlapping runs down the right side. This is definitely an encouraging sign for the former Hertha Berlin Forward. Gikiewicz is enjoying the best mini-run of his career, playing back-to-back games for the first time in his Bundesliga career. Although Gikiewicz was far from stellar – allowing a questionable neutralizing goal in the last minute of extra time – his newfound playing time in the spotlight can only bode well for his future prospects. Unfortunately, Bartosz Kapustka did not dress for the match as he has just resumed training after battling an illness.
(Piszczek Minutes played: 90, Whoscored.com rating: 7.1) (Gikiewicz Minutes played: 90, Whoscored.com rating: 6.5)
Marcin Kaminski is riding a nice little wave of consistency for VfB Stuttgart. He’s played in 6 straight league games for Die Shwaben spanning back to December 2017. Kaminski had a second consecutive pedestrian outing this past weekend in his club’s 2:0 loss to Schalke 04. (Minutes played: 90, Whoscored.com rating: 6.7)
The Sampdoria triplets all saw the field this past weekend in their 1:0 victory at Roma. Bartosz Bereszynski and Karol Linetty both started and finished the match, with the former picking up a yellow card in the 39th minute. Neither left a distinct imprint on the end result, nor were they a detriment to their team. Dawid Kownacki assumed the familiar role of “super-sub”, coming on in the 62nd minute. Despite not netting a tally for his side, Kownacki is beginning to gain the traction required towards a possible Senior National Team call-up. (Bereszynski Minutes played: 90, Whoscored.com rating: 6.6) (Linetty Minutes played: 90, Whoscored.com rating: 6.5) (Kownacki Minutes played: 38, Whoscored.com rating: 6.7)
Another game, another clean sheet for Wojciech Szczesny. The 27-year-old only had to deal with a mere single shot on goal in Juventus’ 2:0 over A.C. Chievo Verona. Perhaps it comes with the territory when you have the likes of Andrea Barzagli providing ironclad defense in front of you. Szczesny is now firmly beginning to entrench himself as Gianluigi Buffon’s heir apparent. (Minutes played: 90, Whoscored.com rating: 7.0)
Elsewhere in Italy, both Thiago Cionek and Piotr Zielinski both saw action for their respective clubs. Cionek played the full 90 minutes in SPAL 2013 surprising draw 1:1 draw against Inter Milan. The man from Curitiba is settling in nicely and helping his new club’s rise from the doldrums of the Serie A standings. Speaking of standings, Zielinski and his Napoli have a 1 point lead over Szczesny and Juventus atop the Serie A after a 3:1 victory over mid-table side, Bologna. Zielinski was a 66th minute sub for Marek Hamsik, but failed to get on the score sheet. (Cionek Minutes played: 90, Whoscored.com rating: 6.9) (Zielinski Minutes played: 24, Whoscored.com rating: 6.5)
The 4th round of the FA Cup was in full swing this past weekend and there was some Polish involvement. Gregorz Krychowiak continued his impressive run in West Bromwich Albion’s 3:2 upset over Liverpool. The contest was mired in controversy due to Video Assistant Review (VAR) being utilized a whopping 8 times throughout the match. Although Krychowiak did not deliver a spectacular assist like he did last weekend, the Polish Midfielder was a key cog in containing the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to 2 goals in total. Suffice it to say, it is looking more and more like Krychowiak is becoming a staple within the WBA starting 11. (Minutes played: 90, Whoscored.com rating: 7.2)
There was a Kamil Grosicki sighting in Hull this past weekend. “Turbo” saw the pitch for the first time since late December by coming on in the 71st minute to help his Hull City side defeat Nottingham Forest, 2:1, to advance to the 5th round of the FA Cup. “He looked very good considering he had a month off”, the Hull Daily Mail wrote about Grosicki’s brief appearance. Although many fans have been clamoring to have Grosicki leave the English Championship to a better league, it is looking like he will be a Tiger until the end of the season. (Minutes played: 19, Whoscored.com rating: N/A)
Kamil Glik did not enjoy his best performance of the season this past weekend. Glik picked up a yellow card in the 32nd minute and received the lowest rating of Monaco’s starting eleven in their 2:2 draw at Olympique de Marseille. The Polish brute has been a model of consistency for both club and country for quite some time, so let’s not read too much into this lackluster showing. (Minutes played: 90, Whoscored.com rating: 6.2)
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