Ralf Rangnick takes all praise as Austria thrash Poland in Euro 2024

Austria’s head coach Ralf Rangnick masterminded a dominant 3-1 win over Poland, leaving Robert Lewandowski’s side on brink of a group-stage exit.

Marko Arnautovic, 35, played a vital role in the win, with his clever step-over assisting Christoph Baumgartner’s crucial goal, putting Austria 2-1 ahead in the encounter.

Gernot Trauner had given Austria an early lead, but Poland’s Krzysztof Piatek equalized before halftime.

Arnautovic sealed the win by converting a 78th-minute penalty, awarded after Wojciech Szczesny fouled Marcel Sabitzer.

Ralf Rangnick takes all praise as Austria thrash Poland in Euro 2024
Rangnick praised for Austria’s win over Poland – Getty image

Lewandowski, fit enough only to be introduced on the hour, watched his team struggle against a strong Austrian side.

Rangnick’s tactical changes were key, with two of his three new starters, Trauner and Arnautovic, scoring the goals.

The win has been adjudged a stark contrast to Rangnick’s turbulent interim spell at Manchester United.

 

Poland’s head coach, Michal Probierz, faced disappointment, particularly with Lewandowski’s fitness issues. Despite the support of a large contingent of Polish fans in Berlin’s Olympiastadion, Poland struggled to respond after falling behind.

Austria took the lead in the ninth minute when Trauner headed in a cross from Philipp Mwene. Poland responded through Piatek, who capitalized on a rebound to level the score. However, Baumgartner’s goal and Arnautovic’s penalty ensured Austria’s dominance.

Lewandowski’s late introduction did little to change Poland’s fortunes. He was booked shortly after coming on, reflecting Poland’s frustrating evening. Szczesny’s foul on Sabitzer resulted in the decisive penalty, confidently dispatched by Arnautovic.

Poland now faces elimination if the Netherlands fail to beat France. Meanwhile, Austria looks forward to the next stage, buoyed by a convincing performance.