Poland 1 Austria 3: Ralf Rangnick’s side show Man Utd what they’re missing to put Poles on verge of elimination

ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI’S Poland look on the brink of a Euros exit – after being sold a dummy by fellow old-timer Marko Arnautovic. 

It was a clever step-over from ex-West Ham striker Arnautovic, 35, that paved the way for Christoph Baumgartner’s crucial strike to put Austria 2-1 up.

AFPAustria cruised to a 3-1 win over Poland[/caption]

That was after Polish forward Krysztof Piatek had chalked off Gernot Trauner’s early opener before half-time.

Arnautovic then killed the game off for good when converting a 78th-minute penalty after ex-Manchester United loanee Marcel Sabitzer had been tripped by Wojciech Szczesny.

Legend Lewandowski, also 35 and fit enough only to be introduced on the hour, watched on as his nation faced up to the likely prospect of a third group-stage exit in four Euros.

Austria chief Ralf Rangnick meanwhile had played a blinder, with two of his three changes from their opening defeat to France scoring the goals.

Trauner was one of two centre-back switches – with Kylian Mbappe nose-breaker dropping out – while Arnautovic was drafted in up top.

It made quite the change from the last time he bossed a team in red, after that horrorshow spell in interim charge of Manchester United.


Here, you could see why Bayern Munich wanted him before they turned their attention to Vincent Kompany.

His opposite number, dapper Michal Probierz, had been dealt a blow with the Lewandowski fitness news.

At least Probierz, sporting a three-piece suit including a beige waistcoat a la Gareth Southgate in 2018, must have felt like he had home advantage in Berlin’s Olympiastadion.

The Poland fans appeared to outnumber their Austrian counterparts three-to-one, and let off several flares during the national anthems.

This ground will host the final on July 14, not that England supporters will expect to be here watching their team then given the sorry state Southgate’s side are in.

Trauner provided the ideal start by heading in Philipp Mwene’s super cross inside nine minutes to send the red army in the stands potty.

David Alaba, Austria’s best player but not in the squad due to injury, high-fived a team-mate on the sidelines in his unusual role of “non-playing captain”.

Poland fluffed a chance to hit straight back when Nicola Zalewski blazed well over, and Probierz was not a happy bunny.

The bald-headed coach was soon on the edge of his technical area going barmy at his players.

On the half hour, he had his response.

A ball cut back across the box found its way to Southampton man Jan Bednarek near the penalty spot.

His initial effort was well blocked by Trauner but the rebound fell to Piatek, who kept his head to tuck into the corner from close range.

Close shots were traded as Sabitzer fired narrowly wide from distance, before Polish skipper Piotr Zielinski had a fine free-kick saved.

It was a case of cometh the hour, cometh the man as Lewandowski was introduced on 60 minutes for his 151st cap.

His appearance meant he joined ex-Arsenal stopper Szczesny as the only Polish players ever to play at six major tournaments.

The Barcelona forward was instantly booked for catching Austrian centre-back Philipp Lienhart with a stray elbow when battling for a high ball.

Szczesny was soon picking his ball out the net again after a clever second from Rangnick’s side.

Arnautovic’s clever dummy freed space for RB Leipzig star Baumgartner to pick his spot, which he duly did, before embracing Rangnick with a meaty hug in celebration. 

Then with 12 minutes to go, the excellent Sabitzer raced in behind the defence and was taken out by Szczesny, who was booked.

Arnautovic confidently fired home the spot-kick – leaving Lewandowski and Co staring down the barrel.


(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *