KKS Lech Poznań's 3-1 win against Manchester City FC prompted a Shakira dance and probably more than one sleepless night as José Maria Bakero made a sensational start to his new job.
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Having replaced Jacek Zieliński as KKS Lech Poznań coach on the eve of their UEFA Europa League meeting with Manchester City FC, José Maria Bakero dedicated his side's shock 3-1 win to his predecessor, and said: "We were better than Manchester City today and that is great."
Late goals from Manuel Arboleda and substitute Mateusz Możdżeń turned the tie in Lech's favour, but 47-year-old former FC Barcelona midfielder Bakero, who coached KSP Polonia Warzsawa up until his dismissal in September, refused to take all the credit. "I dedicate this victory to Jacek Zieliński," he said. "We started too nervously, gave the ball away too many times but we were lucky as Manchester City did not take advantage. The key point was our second goal which gave us much more self-belief. Our fans were fantastic today and I would like to thank them from deep in my heart."
As for how he made a side struggling in the Ekstraklasa into an outfit capable of beating one of the Premier League's top sides, Bakero said: "Before the game I told them that the essential thing is to be united as a team and we were. I would especially like to thank two players: Jacek Kiełb and Mateusz Możdżeń. They started on the bench but helped us a lot when they came on. To sum it up: as a team we were better than Manchester City today and that is great."
Dimitrije Injac put Lech ahead on 31 minutes having also scored a stunning goal in a 4-1 defeat of Wisła Kraków at the weekend. "On Sunday I scored marvellous goal against Wisła," he told UEFA.com. "That goal was good enough to be a contender for the Ekstralasa goal of the season. That one against City wasn't so spectacular but just as important."
Arboleda scored the second by deflecting Dedryck Boyata's clearance into Shay Given's net. He attempted a slightly wobbly approximation of pop star Shakira's dance moves to celebrate, and he admitted to UEFA.com: "It was one of the luckiest goals of my career."
He added: "I have scored goals like that in Colombia and Peru, but this was my first lucky goal in Poland. As always, I promised my daughter, who was watching in the stands, that I would do the Shakira dance for her if I scored. We practice this dance at home. Actually it was my daughter who taught me all the steps. This time I started to dance, but could not finish because of pain in my leg. After scoring I got injured and that is why my dance was not so spectacular this time."
Substitute Możdżeń's added-time effort may not have prompted a dance but was perhaps the best goal of the night. "This is the happiest day of my life," Możdżeń told UEFA.com. "I got the ball, I saw a defender ahead of me and had no choice but to shoot. I hit it perfectly. I am so excited that I will struggle to sleep tonight. The important thing is that this was a well-deserved victory. We were not lucky; we were simply better than City today."