90min
UEFA Euro 2020

Euro 2020 player of matchday 3: Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski scored two in Poland's defeat
Lewandowski scored two in Poland's defeat / Anton Vaganov - Pool/Getty Images
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It feels a little unfair that Euro 2020 will continue in the absence of the world's best number nine, especially given his display on matchday three.

Robert Lewandowski dragged Poland close to the knockout phase with his two goals against Sweden, but he could not do quite enough to inspire them into the next round as a 3-2 defeat left them bottom of Group E with one point from three games.

It may prove scant consolation, but the Bayern Munich star's performance did at least see him finish top of the Opta index for the final matchday of the group stage with a rating of 99.55 - the highest score we have yet seen at these finals.

Good company
Good company

Lewandowski's towering header secured a surprise point for Poland against Spain in Seville and gave them a chance of going through until Emil Forsberg's double left Paulo Sousa's side with scarcely any hope.

Still, the man who this year broke Gerd Muller's 49-year old record for Bundesliga goals in a single season (he scored 41 in 34 games, in case you'd had forgotten) was not prepared to give up. Having earlier missed a clear chance with a rebound, he raced onto Piotr Zielinski's pass, cut infield from the left and curled a sublime shot into the far corner. In the process, he became Poland's leading goalscorer at this tournament with four, overtaking the record held by Jakub Blaszczykowski.

With six minutes to go, Lewandowski made it five at the European Championships, gathering Przemyslaw Frankowski's cross and slotting home left-footed to give Poland a chance – at least until Viktor Claesson struck an injury-time winner for Sweden. He finished the group stage as the player to attempt the most shots (12): four of those were blocked and, of the four that hit the target, three went in.

Lewandowski has now scored 69 goals for Poland in all competitions. Remarkably, that is more than twice as many as the rest of their Euro 2020 squad has scored put together (34). In the history of men's football, only four European players have scored more international goals: Miroslav Klose (71), Sandor Kocsis (75), Ferenc Puskas (84) and Cristiano Ronaldo (109).

Lewa's xG stats
Lewa's xG stats

The only player to score at three different European Championships for Poland (2020, 2016 and 2012), Lewandowski also made certain this was the first time they had ever managed more than one goal in a single game at this tournament. This was their 14th attempt.

There is little doubt Poland have too often disappointed at tournaments given some of the talent at their disposal, but Lewandowski, at least, delivered the goods this year. It seems a shame he could not be involved for longer.


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