The opening goal came with almost the first
real attack of the game. Martin Hašek received the ball out wide and launched a
cross deep into the penalty area where it was headed in by Michal Šmíd. That
moment, which sent the Ďolíček into wild celebrations, set the tone for the
Eight minutes later and Plzeň were again scrambling on the back foot. A routine, long-ball forward caught Viktoria’s defence offguard and allowed Benjamin Tetteh with a sight at goal, though the Ghanian dragged his effort wide.
Almost immediately after, Plzeň’s back four were again running towards their own goal, frantically trying to stymie a Bohemians attack. Tomáš Chorý lost possession in a crowded central area and, quick as a flash, Dominik Mašek split the Viktoria defence in two. Rudolf Reiter, on loan from Sparta, raced through and despite being pressured by a chasing Tomáš Hájek, Bohemians’ number 7 made it 2-0.
Then followed a madcap five minutes in which Dominik Mašek scored twice, Milan Kocič put the ball in his own net and Jan Kopic registered his sixth goal of the season to inject some life into the tie.
After falling two goals behind, Plzeň
started to show intent but were caught out again when Tetteh pounced on a loose
ball and squared it to Mašek, who made no mistake from six yards. Seconds after
going 3-0 up, Bohemians conceded. A Chorý flick-on caused havoc amongst the
host’s defence and Milan Kocič, attempting to head the ball back to Tomáš
Fryšták, only managed to nod past the goalkeeper and into an empty net.
With the fans trying to catch their breath after that turn of events, Bohemians atoned for that error by going straight down the other end and restoring the three-goal advantage, In a move remarkably similar to the game’s first goal, a long diagonal ball into the Plzeň penalty area was met by somebody in green and white. But where Šmíd scored, David Bartek headed straight at Aleš Hruška. But Hruška could only palm Bartek’s effort onto the bar and Mašek pounced, to make it 4-1 to Bohemians.
After a few minutes respite, Jan Kopic scored just before halftime to cut Plzeň’s deficit and bring to an end a manic first forty-five.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the tempo of the first half, the second half failed to live up to expectation. The league leaders pushed forwards and threw everybody up front in a bid to get back into the tie, but the match was effectively ended as a contest when Tetteh thundered home a near-post volley with what was, arguably, the goal of the game.
Second-placed Slavia Prague moved to within seven points of Viktoria Plzeň with a 1-0 win over Zbrojovka Brno. The game in Moravia is unlikely to live long in the memory, with the only goal of the tie coming late on when Stanislav Tecl headed in Josef Hušbauer corner with twenty minutes left to play.
As well as inching closer to Plzeň with that victory, Slavia also managed to extend the gap between themselves and the cluster of clubs squabbling over the European places, as Jablonec, Liberec and Sigma Olomouc all dropped points.
Jablonec required an 87th minute equaliser from Martin Dolezal to secure a 1-1 draw against Mladá Boleslav. Sigma Olomouc struggled to the same scoreline, despite facing a Jihlava side that played the majority of the second half with just ten men after Kamso Mara was given his marching orders after picking up two booking. Liberec, meanwhile, lead when going into the final stages of their game with Teplice, only to concede twice in the final ten minutes to end up losing 2-1.
Aside from Slavia Prague, the only other team inside the HET Liga’s top six to win last weekend was Sparta Prague, who did their European chances no harm with a comfortable 3-0 win over city rivals Dukla.
Josef Šural set Sparta on their way when he headed in Srdjan Plavšič’s cross after just three minutes. Plavšič then went from creator to goalscorer to double Sparta’s advantage and Šural rounded off a comfortable performance for the Generali Arena outfit when he netted his second late on.
A month ago, Baník Ostrava were rock bottom and were favourites for relegation. The Silesian giants may still be at the foot of the table, but their recent form suggests that they might not be there for much longer.
Under new coach Bohumil Paník, Baník Ostrava have looked like a club reborn. After picking up a vital win over Jihlava and holding Viktoria Plzeň to a 0-0 draw in the space of four days, Baník travelled west to take on Paník’s former club, Zlín.
As you may recall, defeated Slavia Prague last time out but the defending MOL Cup champions started sluggishly and fell behind inside four minutes when former Internazionale prospect Milan Jirasek fired home from close range.
Zlín had their chances and continued to push forward in search of an equaliser. But the home side ultimately paid the price for their profligacy and attacking game plan when in time added on, one final attack from the hosts broke down, allowing Denis Granečný to sprint the length of the pitch and shoot past Zdenek Zlamal to make to it 2-0 and condemn Zlín to their fifth defeat in six league games.
And finally, Karviná and Slovácko played out a goalless draw that saw both clubs hold position in the league table – ninth and fourteenth respectively. That result saw Karviná make it five draws on the bounce, a record only matched this season by Sparta Prague.