Van der Hart error hands Legia victory at Poznań


An end to end meeting between Poland’s big boys was settled 1-0 in favour of visiting league leaders Warsaw after the Poznań goalkeeper failed to deal with a simple cross.

Dariusz Żuraw surprisingly started Russian striker Timur Zhamaletdinov instead of top scorer Christian Gytkjaer, but the home side pushed plenty of bodies forward early and had a glorious chance to take the lead after only ten minutes.

Talented homegrown youngster Tymoteusz Puchacz, playing on the wing instead of in his usual right back position, guided a pull-back just over the bar from the penalty spot, with visiting keeper Radoslaw Majecki stranded.

Poznań were quickly made to rue that miss, as Legia were gifted the lead in the 16th minute thanks to an error from Mickey van der Hart.

The Dutch goalkeeper came for a tame cross but punched it down into the back of his centre half Djordje Crnomarkovic; the ball looped up backwards, clipped the crossbar and fell for a gleeful Tomáš Pekhart to chest into the empty net on the line.

But the hosts continued to look much slicker in possession despite falling behind and it was Zhamaletdinov’s turn to miss a great opportunity after 37 minutes.

He could only toe-poke an effort straight at an onrushing Majecki, having been played in behind the Warsaw defence.

At the other end, Legia defender Mateusz Wieteska twice came close to doubling the away side’s advantage from successive corners five minutes before half time.

He first saw a thumping header back across goal tipped around the post by a flying van der Hart, before powerfully sending the second set-piece millimetres past the base of the post.

Sponsors’ banners replaced fans at Stadion Miejski (credit: Legia Warsaw)

Poznań kept up their territorial domination after the break but an equaliser proved elusive.

Puchacz went close from range and Crnomarkovic’s neat finish was marginally ruled out for offside after 56 minutes.

Then 18-year-old substitute Filip Marchwinkski drew a good near post save from Majecki, before the resulting corner was headed onto his own crossbar by a Legia defender.

Warsaw also threatened to kill the game off on the counter throughout the second half, but were also wasteful in front of goal.

Luquinhas struck just over the bar on the hour, Marko Vesovic saw a rasping drive well parried by van der Hart and Domagoj Antolic shot into the side netting after a solo dribble past multiple defenders.

Legia’s Majeski was forced into a couple more late saves and booked for time wasting as Poznań kept pushing for a leveller until the end, with Puchacz again blasting wide in the 94th minute – this time from inside the six yard box.

But the visitors hung on for the three points, to restore their eight-point advantage at the top of the table. Poznań stay fifth, twelve points behind their rivals.


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