Football: Lech see off Liege for first Europa League victory

Lech Poznań defeated Standard Liege 3:1 (2:1) in a UEFA Europa League’s Group D match on Thursday, notching up the first victory in the competition.

Both teams previously suffered two losses against Benfica and Glasgow Rangers. It was Lech, however, who were considered favourites for the match, as the Belgians had six players sidelined due to infection with COVID-19.

Lech took the lead in the 14th minute after a header by Michał Skóraś. The Swedish striker Mikael Ishak doubled the lead eight minutes later and it looked like the hosts had the game under control.

Nevertheless, a tap in by Lestienne after a lucky deflection in the 29th minute put the wind in the visitors’ sails, who could have equalised a few seconds later after a horrible mistake by Lech’s goalkeeper Bednarek. However, there were no more goals in the first half and the hosts were leading 2:1 at halftime.

When Ishak bagged his second three minutes into the second half, Lech started to dominate their rivals and had a couple of very presentable chances later on. Standard never regained their composure and it was the Polish side who were closer to scoring, with Ishak being denied by a goal-line clearance and substitute Jakub Kamiński wasted a one-on-one.

In the end, Lech pulled off a deserved win and are still in the running for the two top spots in the group, guaranteeing promotion to the Europa League knock-out stage. The current top two are Benfica and Rangers - their simultaneously played match was full of twists and turns and ended in a 3:3 draw. The Portuguese and the Scottish sides have seven points apiece.

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