Surprise from Syomin and rotation from Musaev
The confrontation between Krasnodar and Lokomotiv became the central event in the program of the seventh round and aroused considerable interest among the fans. It became even more intriguing after the unexpected defeat of Zenit in Ufa, because the winner got the opportunity to go first.
However, the owners were faced with a particularly difficult task - to recover from the humiliating defeat of Olympiacos in Greece, both psychologically and physically. Moreover, already on Tuesday the team will have a return match, so Murad Musaev’s wards simply did not have time to swing.
Of course, in such a situation, the coach went to a reshuffle and left several players who played in Greece at once. Firstly, a young pupil of the club Daniil Utkin in the supporting zone replaced Ruslan Kambolov, an unsuccessful meeting with Olympiacos. Secondly, Christian Ramirez gave way to the left flank of the defense to Dmitry Stotsky. Finally, Ivan Ignatiev and Magomed-Shapi Suleymanov appeared ahead.
Loko suddenly did not have Alexei Miranchuk in the starting lineup. Apparently, the midfielder received minor damage, because during the match he still appeared on the field. But in the defense, Yuri Semin unexpectedly decided to return to the long-unused railroad scheme with three central defenders. The company Vedran Chorluka and Benedict Hovedes was made by the newcomer Murilo.
Bad start for Krasnodar and a goal in the end of the half
Lokomotiv started the game very powerfully and quite naturally opened the scoring in the fifth minute. True, the goal turned out to be funny. Grzegorz Krychowiak decided to hit from outside the box, and Matvey Safonov unexpectedly released the ball from his hands right into the net.
But Krasnodar responded adequately and instantly seized the initiative. However, possession of the southerners ball did not bring any special dividends. The hosts wove combinations far from the gate, and the powerful Lokomotiv defensive group did not allow them to get close to them. The railway workers quite consciously gave the opponent a ball and counted on a counterattack.
“Krasnodar”, although it had the advantage, had practically no moments. One can only recall that Ignatieff’s unpleasant shot from the penalty area into the near corner, which Guillerme dealt with. Loko responded with a blow from Smolov from outside the box. In this case, Safonov played much better than in the episode with a goal.
However, shortly before the break, Krasnodar unexpectedly managed to equalize. For the first time in the match, Wonderson on the left flank passed Dmitry Zhivoglyadov and made a pass into the penalty area to connect Dmitry Stotsky. And he, in turn, performed the perfect canopy to the far post on Suleymanov.
The short Magomed-Shapi confidently sent his shell into the near corner with his head, especially since the defenders of the opponent did not have time to stop him. It is surprising that the lowest footballer on the field managed to win the fight on the “second floor”. Midfielder growth is only 171 centimeters.
Host pressure and away counterattack
But in the second half, the spectators did not wait for goals, although Krasnodar continued to take the initiative and put pressure on the opponent’s goal. However, the railway workers defended quite calmly - the hosts lacked the last pass. Mostly Musayev’s wards tried to attack through the flanks, relying on speedy and technical Suleymanov and Vanderson.
Of the dangerous moments, one can only recall the blow that came in to replace Younes Namli in the near corner and the subsequent inaccurate finishing off from Marcus Berg. By the way, the Moroccan Dane entered the game very well and made many useful actions. But this can not be said about the Swede. He left instead of Ignatiev and again did not help Krasnodar much, although he actively fought for the ball in someone else's penalty area and once dangerously went into the tackle on Guillerma.
Loko, as in the first half, responded with counterattacks, which several times could become effective. In particular, in the middle of the second half, Rifat Zhemaletdinov fled to another side at speed, but shot in the near corner inaccurately. And a little earlier Smolov from outside the penalty area fired a dangerous shot and also missed the target.
In the end, the hosts, thanks to successful and timely replacements from Murad Musaev, managed to finally push the opponent to the gate. Southerners have owned the ball for more than 70% of the time, but this did not help them score the winning ball. However, the team cannot but be given its due, because, despite the defeat from Olympiacos, it looked great and even went ahead in the last minutes.
A draw helped opponents catch up in the Zenit standings. And on Sunday, Rostov and Spartak can join the leading group.