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Precise PSV secure pole position

Published: Wednesday 30 November 2011, 23.13CET
Legia Warszawa 0-3 PSV Eindhoven
Fred Rutten's side secured top spot in Group C after Michał Żewłakow's own goal set them on the way to a comfortable win in Warsaw.
Precise PSV secure pole position
Dries Mertens celebrates scoring PSV's second goal in Warsaw ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 30 November 2011, 23.13CET

Precise PSV secure pole position

Legia Warszawa 0-3 PSV Eindhoven
Fred Rutten's side secured top spot in Group C after Michał Żewłakow's own goal set them on the way to a comfortable win in Warsaw.

PSV Eindhoven secured top spot in UEFA Europa League Group C with a comprehensive 3-0 win against ten-man Legia Warszawa in Poland.

The visitors took the lead in the 32nd minute, courtesy of Michał Żewłakow's own goal, and from then on they never looked back. Dries Mertens scored a penalty just before the hour mark before Zakaria Labyad crowned a comfortable win on 68 minutes.

Legia had the first opportunity, as an unchallenged Maciej Rybus headed wide Danijel Ljuboja's clipped cross, but from then on it was all PSV, whose precise passing ensured the hosts were never given a look in. Jeremain Lens and Mertens both fired wide of Dušan Kuciak's left-hand post from promising positions before the opening goal arrived just after the half-hour.

Labyad played in Stanislav Manolev on the right, and the full-back skipped past a sliding Marcin Komorowski and cut into the area, where his pass across the six-yard box struck the lunging Żewłakow and looped into the net.

The remainder of a subdued first half passed by without incident, as PSV’s midfield duo of Kevin Strootman and Orlando Engelaar recycled the ball with consummate ease.

After the break, PSV – and Strootman in particular – continued where they left off, controlling possession and frustrating their opponents.

It was Strootman's hard work that earned PSV's penalty on 56 minutes. The Dutchman chased his own through ball, forcing Kuciak into a point blank save, but the goalkeeper brought him down as he went for the rebound, resulting in a spot-kick and a red card. Mertens coolly tucked the ball past substitute Wojciech Skaba.

It was also Strootman's defence-splitting pass to Labyad that brought PSV's third. The Moroccan collected the pass in space, played in Lens down the right and happily rolled in the return ball to round off an impressive team performance.

Last updated: 02/12/11 0.25CET

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