Double Dziuba, a massive brawl and an incredible ending: Zenit beat Krasnodar and strengthened its leadership in the RPL
Zenit beat Krasnodar in the match of the 24th round of the Russian Football Championship and increased the gap from second place to eight points. Victory Petersburgers brought double Artem Dziuba, and the decisive ball striker national team scored in the fifth minute added to the second half. Shortly before the end of the meeting on the field there was a massive brawl.
Utkin in the start and set up commands
After a draw in the match between Lokomotiv and CSKA Moscow, Zenit and Krasnodar came out on the field scored to capacity in the south of Russia. The value of points in this confrontation could not be overestimated, since the fate of the race for the championship was at stake. In case of victory, the Southerners reduced the backlog from Petersburgers to three points. The wards of Sergei Semak had the opportunity to increase the gap from the pursuer to nine points, which actually removed the question about the fate of gold medals from the agenda.
Thus, the owners had to win. However, they only once in history sought victory in a home game with Zenit. In November 2016, in an incredible meeting, Krasnodar snatched three points in the time added by the referee, and Tornike Okriashvili scored a fantastic ball over himself.
Before the reporting game, Murad Musaev faced a serious loss - the main defensive midfielder Charles Kabore could not take part in the match. Instead, the coach decided to throw Daniil Utkin, a 19-year-old student at the club academy, into battle, who for the first time in his career became the basis of the RPL game. He turned out to be among 11 starting footballers and another young talent Ivan Ignatiev. Otherwise, there were no surprises.
The starting lineup of Zenit was quite predictable. Semak released all his main forces, and Artyom Dzyuba and Serdar Azmun were traditionally ahead.
Safonov's salvation and hail of blows
It was expected that the hosts should start the match more actively, but the guests unexpectedly went forward from the first minutes. Krasnodar was literally swept away by the pace of the opponent. Wards Semak quietly passed the center of the field with a 19-year-old Utkin and locked the opponent in his own penalty area.
The team was saved from big problems only by Matvey Safonov, who caught an incredible courage. Already in the third minute, he reflected Artem Dziuba’s most dangerous shot into the near corner, and then pulled the ball out from under the crossbar after an unexpected long-range strike by Igor Smolnikov. Then Safonov did not allow Azmuna to open an account. The fans were delighted with the game of the young goalkeeper.
However, to save the team forever, he could not, and in the 19th minute, the starting pile of “Zenith” still ended with a goal. After the next saves Safonov Emiliano Rigoni picked up the ball from the front and rolled the transfer under the blow Dziube, who could only not miss the empty gate of the gate. The goalkeeper in this situation could not save Krasnodar.
Dziuba scored the first ball in the RPL for six months and interrupted the 12-match “dry” series in the national championship. The last time he scored in the championship on October 7 was just at the gates of Krasnodar.
Having opened the account, the guests quietly retreated to the defense and began to wait for the mistakes of their rivals. However, the hosts finally got the ball, quickly came to their senses and literally five minutes later they won back. After Christian Ramirez was shot through from the left flank and Viktor Klasson hit the ball bounced off to Ignatiev, who from a couple of meters sent a projectile into the net - 1: 1.
Catching courage, the hosts have already locked the opponent at the gate. Especially well played on the left flank Ramirez. As always, brightly acted Mauricio Pereira with Klasson. That Swede had a great time to bring the team forward, but did not realize the output one on one with Lunev.
For Zenit, this episode became akin to a cold soul, and the team became active again. In one of the episodes, the guests could earn a penalty, but the judge Sergey Karasev did not dare to point to the “point”, having decided that Dziuba in the fight for the ball with Alexander Martynovich fell himself, although on repetition it is clear that the Belarusian held on to Artyom for his T-shirt.
Following Azmun in the penalty area easily beat Sergey Petrov and Uros Spach, but shot through to the post. In general, the teams showed a great first half and acted almost without pause. Do not hesitate and they hit the gate. In 45 minutes there were a total of 24 hits.
Rakytskyy ball with a penalty kick and Pereira's miracle goal
The second half turned out to be even more eventful, and the game kept everyone in suspense until the very last seconds. The first minutes after the break were for the owners, who managed to seize the advantage and conducted several dangerous attacks. Semak in these moments with all his strength asked his players not to cling to the gate.
Zenit footballers listened to the coach and immediately responded with their attacks. However, in difficult moments, Safonov was again good, who parried Rigoni’s dangerous blow with a low end. A minute later, the Argentine threw the goalkeeper after the amazing transfer of Amuno, but did not hit the target.
Understanding that the game was leaving the hands of Krasnodar, Musaev threw Magomed-Shapi Suleimanov instead of tired Utkin, and Klasson dropped into the back-up zone.
However, the replacement had the opposite effect - just a few minutes after castling, Zenit scored. Dziuba earned the most dangerous free kick, and Rakitsky, of course, undertook to execute it. And for the third time this season, Yaroslav sent a projectile to the near nine along the ideal trajectory. What happened was an excellent gift for a football player who had a son the day before. The team celebrated this by rocking an imaginary cradle.
“Krasnodar” was not going to surrender and went forward, although the team had not so much strength left. Emotions began to boil more and more. In particular, Pereira rudely played against Ozdoev. On the replay it was clear that Magomed's ankle unnaturally arched, but the midfielder avoided a fracture.
As a result, ten minutes before the end, he became the culprit of the mass brawl. On the corner of the "Krasnodar" Ozdoev fell into the penalty area, showing that he could not continue the game. The behavior of a football player provoked an angry reaction from the hosts, who felt that in this way the opponent was pulling time. Immediately on the field almost started a mass brawl. It was with great difficulty that Dzyuba and Martynovich were taken apart.
After filing a corner and replacing Ozdoev, a brawl with a new force began in the technical area, when Ari, who was sitting on the substitute, began to aggressively express something to Semak. Fortunately, there was no battering, but Karasev had to cool down the heat of the cards.
The incident brought the southerners and gave them strength, especially since the judge had to add as much as seven minutes. And on the first of them an incredible beauty ball in the 150th match in the “Krasnodar” scored Pereira. Uruguayan, getting the ball near the penalty, struck a terrific blow to the near nine with a rebound from the bar.
But this was not the end. The last minutes in the attack spent just the guests, which showed their championship character. During one of the offensive Zenit earned a corner. Christian Noboa undertook to execute it. Ecuadorian performed the perfect diagonal on the goalkeeper's line, and Dziub, pushing Martynovich, sent the ball to the near corner with his head and set the final score
Zenit can already be accurately congratulated on the championship, because the gap between the St. Petersburg team and second place is eight points. “Krasnodar”, despite the defeat, can only praise. The teams have given out one of the best games of the current season, which they will not remember soon.