Zenit's second defeat in five days
Zenit and Rubin suffered serious personnel losses before the meeting of the 12th round of the Russian Premier League (RPL).
In Kazan, two players of the main team, Oliver Abildgaard and Denis Makarov, missed the match due to the busting of yellow cards.
They received their disqualifications based on the results of the meeting with Krasnodar, after which Rubin filed a protest against the refereeing of Mikhail Vilkov and demanded a replay.
Serdar Azmun was not included in Zenit's bid.
The absence of the Iranian was not announced in advance.
As the mentor of St. Petersburg Sergey Semak explained before the game, the forward felt unwell on Friday and was isolated from the team just in case.
The coaching staff was waiting for the results of his analyzes.
The specialist explained the non-inclusion of Danil Krugovoy in the base by the return of Douglas Santos, who did not play with Club Brugge.
According to Semak, it is the Brazilian who is the main performer in the left-back position.
In addition, his compatriot Malcolm is still recovering from an injury.
Before the start of the match, Semak talked warmly with his Rubin colleague Leonid Slutsky for about ten minutes.
Coaches have had good relationships for many years.
In 2006, after returning to Russia from France, Semak played under Slutsky's leadership in Moscow.
Zenit's mentor is no stranger to Rubin, with whom he twice became the champion of Russia.
Zenit entered the game in a businesslike manner, intending to rehabilitate themselves in front of the fans for the defeat at Club Brugge in the Champions League.
The most prominent figure on the field in the first half was Alexander Erokhin.
In the fall, this midfielder has gained excellent shape.
On the 22nd minute, he won a positional fight in Rubin's penalty area and shot dangerously with his head.
The ball went near the bar.
It was the first scoring chance in the match, but Kazan did not draw conclusions from the alarm call.
Just four minutes later, the situation repeated itself with the difference that now Erokhin kicked the ball into the net after serving from the set.
None of the guests could stop him again, and the goalkeeper Yuri Dyupin did not reach the ball.
So the account was opened.
Erokhin distinguished himself in the third RPL match in a row.
Earlier, Spartak and Sochi suffered from it.
To Rubin's credit, the conceded goal did not unsettle Slutsky's charges.
They could restore parity in the next attack, when Hwang In Byeom shot into the post, although Zenit goalkeeper Mikhail Kerzhakov froze in half-position and did not have time to ward off the threat, sweating the ball on target.
As it turned out, the "injection" from Erokhin made Rubin angry.
Despite the absence of important performers, Kazan tried to build up tension at Kerzhakov's penalty area and carried out dangerous counterattacks.
The goal against Zenit was gradually brewing.
To begin with, the barbell came to the rescue of Kerzhakov again, taking over the blow of Philip Uremovich.
However, in the 43rd minute, the St. Petersburg goalkeeper had no chance to help out his partners.
Soltmurad Bakaev skillfully served from about the corner of the penalty area, and Despotovich, who jumped above all, sent the ball into the far corner with his head.
“Rubin” succeeded in the so-called “locker room goal”, which could have a psychological impact on the missing team.
Naturally, after the break, Zenit made every effort to regain the lead in the long run.
However, the fatigue after the exhausting match with Brugge affected.
On the contrary, the citizens of Kazan continued to go forward on the courage.
On the 51st minute, Artyom Dziuba fell in their penalty area.
This was one of the few episodes of the game when the Zenit captain managed to attract attention.
The tribunes demanded to appoint a penalty, but the judge did not find violations of the rules.
In the middle of the second half, Rubin succeeded in another simple, but effective combination.
Bakaev again acted as an assistant, and Darko Jevtich struck from outside the penalty area exactly to the far bottom corner.
Semak reacted to the missed goal with a triple substitution.
However, the footballers who entered the field, as well as Andrei Mostovoy, who appeared a little later, could not change something globally in the broken mechanism of Zenit.
Meanwhile, the situation on the field was heating up.
When the referee did not notice Deyan Lovren's go-ahead from Khvichi Kvaratskhelia, and then a similar action from Wendel towards Bakaev, a scuffle arose.
In the endgame, Alexander Zueva, who had just come on as a substitute for Rubin, could finally kill the intrigue.
But this time the post played for Zenit as well.
And the winner of the winning goal, Jevtich, was injured.
He was replaced by Dmitry Tarasov.
Zenit lost at home in the Russian championship for the first time in almost two years.
Moreover, in December 2018, Rubin upset the hosts with the same score (2: 1).
Spartak's victory in Krasnodar
The champion's misfire could have been taken advantage of by Spartak, which started the match in Krasnodar 30 minutes after the final whistle in St. Petersburg.
Much news has been coming from the Muscovites in recent days.
After the decision of Rospotrebnadzor to oblige the red and whites to play the match with Rostov in the 14th round without spectators, the management of the Moscow club tried to switch circles with the opponent and play away.
Rostovites did not mind this.
Nevertheless, after receiving a request from Spartak, Rospotrebnazor softened its position and allowed 2,730 spectators to enter the Otkritie Arena stands.
Thus, the Muscovites did not have paired away matches with the Southerners.
For the trip to Krasnodar, Spartak prepared especially carefully.
Team coach Domenico Tedesco gave a rest to a large group of main performers, not taking them to Krasnoyarsk for a little-meaning Russian Cup game with Enisey on Wednesday (0: 1).
True, the striker Ezequiel Ponce went to the Siberian "synthetics" and was injured.
But in three days he managed to recover.
At the same time, Alexander Sobolev was injured in training in Moscow.
His consequences were more serious.
The invoice forward was not included in the application for a meeting with the Yuzhagi and will miss several more weeks.
At the same time, Georgy Dzhikia returned to the squad, having passed a dubious test for COVID-19, Zelimkhan Bakaev and Samuel Zhigo, who suffered rotavirus.
On the contrary, at Krasnodar, Remy Cabella, Viktor Klasson, Wanderson, Sergei Petrov, who was injured in the Champions League match with Renn (1: 1), and several other players of the main clip could not enter the field.
The “bulls” were able to include only three field players in the reserve, including debutant Leon Sabois and two goalkeepers.
The shortage of players forced Krasnodar's mentor Murad Musayev to give 20-year-old Eduard Spertsyan a chance.
Running ahead, he played one half, remembered for a witty but inaccurate heel pass, and was replaced by Daniil Utkin.
Victor Moses made his debut at the base of the red and white.
The guests deliberately gave up the ball, preferring to act as "number two" and wait for the opponents' error.
Krasnodar took possession of the territorial advantage.
But there were problems with creativity in the front line: the lack of leading players affected.
But fears that the southerners will have a hard physical time did not come true.
The hosts were actively moving in the wrong half of the field, penetrating into the penalty area, but did not succeed with the last pass.
On the 13th minute Spartak scored unexpectedly.
In a rare counterattack, Jordan Larsson raced down the flank and passed the ball into the penalty area, where Ponce pushed Yevgeny Chernov in a power duel and sent the ball into the net past Matvey Safonov.
The match in Krasnodar was viewed by many through the prism of rivalry between the two clearly best young goalkeepers in Russia - Safonov and Alexander Maksimenko.
Both traditionally reliably did their work, but they could not do without blots at all.
So, the Spartak goalkeeper twice made his defenders nervous in simple situations.
The moment at the 28th minute seemed especially strange, when, after a simple lumbago from the flank, the ball flew through Maksimenko's hands.
Ayrton, who was called up to the Brazilian Olympic team before the match, did not allow Aleksey Ionov to finish it off at the cost of a painful collision.
Maksimenko coped with the repeated attempt of Krasnodar players in his best style.
The meeting continued.
Magomed-Shapi Suleimanov often took over the game.
The hosts' forward went to the shock position, beat, but did not hit the target.
When Krasnodar pushed Spartak to the goal again, the red-and-white left flank worked again.
Now Ayrton shot, Ponce skillfully covered the ball with his body, and Moses beat the defender and shot past Safonov, marking his first appearance in the “start” with his debut goal.
"Spartak" without apparent effort held back the offensive of "Krasnodar" and, when necessary, carried out exemplary combinations.
There were fears that after the break Musaev's team would physically sit down and come to terms with defeat, keeping in mind the Champions League home match with Chelsea.
But that did not happen.
On the contrary, Krasnodar had the advantage for most of the second half.
Probably, the work of the mentor affected.
The southerners pressed and pressed.
As a result, Spartak's defense began to falter.
One ball just a minute after his debut in the RPL was taken back by 20-year-old Sabua.
In the 66th minute, Cayo Pantalean scored with a header after a free kick.
However, the referee Vladislav Bezborodov canceled the goal because of the previous foul by Alexander Martynovich on Zhigo.
Maksimenko also acted superbly on the last frontier.
It is possible that the decisive moment of the meeting was his save after Chernov's excellent shot.
When the smell of fried began, Tedesco began to shoot down the attacking game of Krasnodar with substitutions.
In the last 25 minutes, the coach of Spartak brought five fresh players onto the pitch.
The rush of "Krasnodar" slept, and the fresh Alexander Kokorin was actively involved in the work at the forefront.
It was he who made a competent pass before Larsson sent the third goal against Safonov.
The Swede did it in a brilliant style: he turned around on his axis and, already falling, hit the upper corner.
The teams ended the meeting without their captains.
Jikia got injured at Spartak.
For Krasnodar, Martynovich was sent off for the second warning, having foully fouled on Ayrton.
The red-and-white defeated the bulls for the first time since August 2018 and single-handedly topped the standings, three points ahead of Zenit.