Milan Skriniar was the star of the show as Slovakia pulled off a shock 2-1 win over Poland in their opening encounter of the UEFA Euro 2020 Group E on Monday.

Slovakia made a positive start to the game and were rewarded in the 18th minute as Robert Mak produced a jinking run into the box before unleashing a strike which hit the post and went into the net off the back of goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Poland hardly created anything of note in the first 45 minutes and were largely restricted to efforts from distance that failed to trouble their opponents.

However, just 30 seconds after the half-time break they were back on level terms as Karol Linetty turned home Maciej Rybus’ cross. Poland continue to ramp up the pressure but a 62nd-minute sending off of Grzegorz Krychowiak for a second booking thwarted their momentum and allowed Slovakia to grow into the game.

And just seven minutes after the incident, Milan Skriniar produced a stunning finish to put Slovakia back in front. Poland huffed and puffed in search of another equaliser but it wasn’t forthcoming as Jan Bednarek spurned a promising opportunity, meaning Paulo Sousa’s men kicked off the tournament with a defeat while Stefan Tarkovic & co. pulled off an unexpected win.

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Here are our player ratings from what was a fascinating clash at the Gazprom Arena in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Poland

Wojciech Szczesny: 5/10

Beaten off way too easily at his near post but a tad bit unfortunate to see the ball bounce off of him and into the net for the opener. Not much he could do about the winner.

Bartosz Bereszynski: 5/10

Preferred over Tomasz Kedziora, the right-back, playing as the right-sided centre-back in the three-man backline was beaten all ends up by Mak for the opening goal. Offered little in terms of attacking impetus either.

Kamil Glik: 6/10

Won his fair share of headers at the back but there were times when he looked a tad bit unconvincing. Needed to do better with a chance at the other end in the second period.

Jan Bednarek: 6/10

Passed fit to start after there were doubts over his involvement due to injury. Did not do much wrong at the back on the evening. Missed a late chance to save a point for his team.

Kamil Jozwiak: 5/10

Playing as a wing-back did not suit Jozwiak, as he didn’t look comfortable tracking back and was beaten for the opener along with Bereszynski. Did little of note going forward either.

Karol Linetty: 6.5/10

Slow start to the game but improved with time. Got Poland back on level terms early in the second half and played a couple of key passes as well. However, quiet after the sending off of his teammate and was taken off.

Grzegorz Krychowiak: 4/10

One of the most experienced campaigners in the Poland side, the midfielder never really looked comfortable on the evening. Found it hard to match Slovakia’s intensity at times. Sent off in the second half for a second bookable offence after making a needless challenge.

Mateusz Klich: 6/10

One of Poland’s brighter players, the Leeds United midfielder tried to make things happen when he got on the ball. Involved in the build-up for the equaliser, combining with the left wing-back.

Maciej Rybus: 6.5/10

Back from injury and slotted right into the lineup, Rybus provided good energy on the left. Good link-up with Klich before setting Linetty for the goal in the second half. Made two key passes.

Robert Lewandowski: 5/10

Hardly given a sniff at the Slovakian goal and wasn’t helped by the lack of meaningful service from his teammates. His nightmare in major international tournaments continues.

Piotr Zielinksi: 5/10

Deployed in a much advanced role than he usually plays for Napoli, Zielinski didn’t always look at his best. There were a few positive moments on the ball but lacked the creative edge and the incisive nature needed.

SUBSTITUTES

Przemyslaw Frankowski: N/A

On for Linetty with fifteen minutes left. Didn’t do much of note.

Tymoteusz Puchacz: N/A

Replaced Rybus for the final quarter-hour. Created a half-chance.

Jakub Moder: N/A

On for Klich in the 85th minute.

Karol Swiderski: N/A

Sent on in place of Zielinski for the final five minutes.

Slovakia

Martin Dubravka: 6/10

Didn’t have a great deal to do with Poland not offering much of a threat. Will be disappointed not to have secured a clean sheet though.

Peter Pekarik: 6.5/10

Offered good outlet going forward down the right-hand side especially in the first 45 minutes. Played two key passes. Fairly solid at the back, although the goal did come from his flank.

Lubomir Satka: 7/10

Played a key role, along with his defensive partner, in denying Lewandowski any space to work with in and around the box. Strong in the air, solid on the ground, little got past him.

Milan Skriniar: 8/10

The Player in Focus in our match preview, Skriniar came up trumps in the battle against Lewandowski ensuring that the Bayern Munich star had no sight of the Slovakian goal. Made three interceptions and ten clearances. But the clinching moment was his scintillating strike that won it for his team. A finish that any striker would have been proud of.

Tomas Hubocan: 6.5/10

Helped keep things in check at the back, putting in a solid shift. But that also meant that he wasn’t able to get forward as much.

Juraj Kucka: 7/10

An aggressive performance from the veteran who added that bit of bite middle which helped Slovakia stay on top at times. Made a game-high six interceptions, used the ball well and even had one or two decent chances. All in all, a good outing.

Jakub Hromada: 6/10

May not have been as influential as his midfield partner, but the 25-year-old did his bit in keeping Poland at bay on the evening putting in the hard yards off the ball.

Lukas Haraslin: 6/10

Another player who showed great work rate and energy even though he might not have offered much going forward. Did win the corner leading to the winning goal though.

Marek Hamsik: 7/10

The creative outlet for Slovakia going forward, their influential captain looked bright, with most of the team’s attacks going through him. Played two key passes and assisted the match-winner.

Robert Mak: 7/10

Lively down the left flank, the winger did brilliantly to breeze past two Poland defenders to force the opening goal. Continued to pose a threat for most of the contest.

Ondrej Duda: 7/10

Playing in an unfamiliar as a false-nine, the 26-year-old caused quite a lot of problems to the Poland backline with his zippy movement, especially in the first half. Came close to scoring with a couple of efforts as well. Promising.

SUBSTITUTES

Patrik Hrosovsky: N/A

On for Hromada in the 79th minute.

Martin Koscelnik: N/A

Replaced Pekarik in the 79th minute.

Michal Duris: N/A

On for Haraslin with less than five minutes left.

Tomas Suslov: N/A

Late substitute for Mak.

Jan Gregus: N/A

Stoppage-time sub for Duda.

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