RUSSIA: RFPL Round 6 Review


Eziz Allamov returns to review Round 6 of the Russian Premier League season.

Amkar 2-1 Spartak Moscow

Following a difficult match in the Europa League against St. Gallen, Spartak traveled to Perm in hope of regaining the top spot of the league table.

The Moscow club started the game in a confident manner and already in fifth minute could have opened the score but Yura Movsisyan was unable to reach the ball from from the well-waited Dmitri Kombarov cross.

The response of the home team followed immediately – Georgi Peev’s finish into far corner was almost as good as the team effort in build up to the goal. Amkar came close to doubling their lead five minutes later but Janusz Gol’s rebound hit the woodwork.

In the second half, Spartak showed far more urgency and within first three minutes managed to level the matters. The ball bounced off an Amkar defender onto the path of Movsisyan who flicked it over the goalkeeper for the younger forward Pavel Yakovlev to tap it in the open goal.

But that wasn’t going to last too long as Spartak’s Salvatore Bocchetti-less defence continued its collapse. In the 66th minute, as a result of a mix up in the back-line, Martin Jakubko was left one-on-one against Sergei Pesyakov and volleyed the ball into bottom left corner from the edge of the box. The goal from the Slovakian veteran ensured the first win for his team over Spartak since 1998 and inflicted the first defeat of the new season for Karpin’s side.

Dinamo 1-1 Zenit

The match was largely advertised and anticipated as a battle between Dinamo’s new signing Igor Denisov against his hometown club where he spent 11 years before scandalously departing to Anzhi earlier this summer. Every touch and movement of the Russia national team’s captain was met by whistles, booing and insulting chants from St. Petersburg fans which did not seem to affect him on the pitch. On the contrary, Denisov had a chance to add his name on the score sheet in the 29th minute but his 35-yard shot was safely paried away by Lodigin. Zenit have done very little to even match Dinamo’s efforts and finished the first half without a single shot on target.

The hosts continued dominating and putting pressure on the opposition in the second half and were rewarded with a goal in 64th minute when Balázs Dzsudzsák’s shot from outside of the penalty box was deflected into back of the net.

After that, Dinamo had a couple of moments to extend their lead and secure the win but Zenit were able to rescue a point already in the dying seconds of injury time when Kerzakov – who appears to have lost his place in the starting XI and trust of Spalletti in recent months – headed it home to score his first goal in the Russian league in over nine months, which also equates to 939 minutes of playing time.

Tom 1-2 CSKA Moscow

Before the kick off, very few people could have predicted what had happened in the first half of this match. Taking into account the fact that Tom had lost all of their five games this season, it was largely expected that the trip to Siberia would be a walk in the park for the Army club.

However, the Tomsk-based team took care of the ball for vast majority of the first period trying to test the opposition defence while also being cautious of their counterattacks. In the 30th minute Igor Akinfeev spilled the long shot of Panchenko which allowed Igor Portnyagin to slot the rebound into the open net.

Both teams have exchanged their roles on the pitch in the second part of the match and within quarter of an hour CSKA completed the comeback. First, Georgi Schennikov’s excellent delivery from the left wing found Seydou Doumbia’s header in the six-yard box. A few minutes later, the man of the moment, that is Ahmed Musa, found himself scoring his fourth league goal of the season in an almost identical way to Tom’s first half goal. The 20-year-old Nigerian talent also had another goal rightly ruled out for offside with twenty minutes to go to the final whistle.

Anzhi 1-2 Krasnodar

The first half of this game was most probably the best 45 minutes of football Anzhi have demonstrated so far this season. As early as in the 3rd minute, the Dagestan club had a chance to take the lead but Lacina Traoré failed to convert Burmistrov’s low cross from less than two yards away from the open goal. While, the home team continued wasting their chances, the guests came close to scoring only once – Juri Gazinski’s long shot on target did not put Gabulov under too much pressure.

When both teams appeared to have settled for a scoreless first half, Odil Ahmedov launched an absolute screamer from about 25-yards in the last seconds of injury time which sent the local fans celebrating the first goal since the recent events surrounding the club.

Unfortunately for these fans, a completely different Anzhi side came out of the dressing room for the next half. Krasnodar managed to equalise from the first attempt with Wánderson striking from approximately the same distance as Ahmedov moments earlier but hitting the woodwork only for the Uruguayan Mauricio Pereyra to follow up the rebound in the 49th minute.

The 27-year-old Brazilian had the final say on the match with 15 minutes to go dancing his way though Anzhi’s defence and putting it past Gabulov straight into the far corner.

Things are not looking too bright for the side that was tipped as title contenders in the start of the season and Anzhi now sit second from the bottom with only two points and no wins to their name this term.

Volga 1-0 Terek

Right from the first kick of the ball, it was evident that Volga were in the mood to battle their first home win of the season. Former Lokomotiv and Russia national team’s striker Dmtri Sychev looked most active in the first segment of the match but his efforts kept going over the top of the Terek’s goals.

The first dangerous moment the visiting team created only in the second half but Kovalchik blocked the ball’s way into his team’s back of the net.

Ultimately, the match was decided by one moment of magic. Receiving the ball on the left side of the box, Anton Putilo dribbled past two Terek defenders and goalkeeper – in due course demonstrating sublime close control which would have pleased even Lionel Messi’s eye – and slotted it in the vacant goals.

The Grozny club remain in the relegation battle (level on points with Anzhi) and they are one of the three teams yet to register a win in the Premier-league this season.

Kuban 3-2 Ural

The first half of this match turned out to be the most entertaining half of the weekend in the Russian Premier-league. Already in the 8th minute, the debutant Arsen Hubulov stormed into Ural’s penalty box from the left win, cut onto his right and beatifully curled the ball into far corner.

The visiting team’s responded five minutes later with the full-back Erokhin – who was operating as a centre forward during that match – nodding in Dancev’s cross.

Between 25th and 35th minutes both teams, as though it was planned in advance, exchanged penalties at the both ends which were calmly converted by Djibril Cissé and Acevedo.

Just before the half-time whistle Cissé scored his first brace in the league meeting Kaboré’s low cross within the six-yard box.

The French superstar could have had a hat-trick to his name but the Ural goalkeeper Kot, who came on as a substitute in the second half demonstrated some decent saves.

Rubin 1-1 Krylya Sovetov

It was largely anticipated that Rubin players, encouraged by a win in the Europa League, would make a perfect birthday present for their coach Kurban Berdyev when they were facing the Samara-based club who are still looking for a manager.

The Kazan club started the game well, dominating the possession for vast majority of the first part of the match and in the 10th minute last season’s £10 million signing from Rennes Yann M’vila delivered an accurate ball for Gökdeniz Karadeniz who flicked it over the goalkeeper with his head.

For next twenty, the home team continued bombarding the Samara club with long range strikes from the goalscorer Gökdeniz and Natho, which kept going wide of the post.

Krylya attempted to construct some attacks in the last ten minutes of the half, and in one of such attempts were awarded a penalty but the Rubin goalkeeper Ryzhikov paried away Réginal Goreux shot from the spot. Ryzhikov, however, could not help his team keep the lead moments before the half-time whistle when Ibrahim Callagov’s diving header put both teams level.

The goal changed the way the match was going prior to it, with the guests looking more interested or even inspired. Although, Krylya dominated the possession throughout the second half of the match, neither team could come up with the winning goal, instead limiting themselves only to outside of the box strikes.

Lokomotiv 5-0 Rostov

Arriving to Lokomotiv Stadium in the final encounter of round six, Rostov players already knew that CSKA had overtaken them as league leaders thanks to a victory against Tom Tomsk on Saturday. The players were also sent onto the pitch with the thought that any positive result – a win or a draw – would reinstall them at the top of the tree.

Meanwhile, the Railroaders, who are also undergoing a massive rebuilding process under the guidance of Leonid Kuchuk, took the possession initiative in the first half with Samedov and Caicedo unsuccessfully testing the Rostov goalkeeper from long distance. These two would still have some time and opportunity to rectify their missed opportunities.

Thus, with one minute to go in the first half, Caicedo nodded home an accurate cross from the new £12 million signing from Anzhi Mubarak Boussoufa to give Lokomotiv a well deserved lead.

Things got only worse for Rostov after the break, when Kamil Agalarov was sent off for a foul from the back on Maicon within the penalty box with Samedov firing it in into the top corner from the spot. Four minutes, Maicon, brilliant on that night, also got a goal for his name meeting a cross from Vitaly Denisov on the far post.

In the 63rd minute, a few moments after Rostov were reduced to nine men as Igor Lolo received a red card, another cross from Denisov was headed in, this time by Dmitry Tarasov.

The 26-year-old Uzbekistan international completed a hat-trick of assists, and thus thumping of the visiting, in the 83-rd minute when he laid off the ball for ex-Tottenham Hotspur striker Roman Pavlyuchenko who simply could not miss from eight yards away from the goals.


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