The match between Spartak and Dynamo was rightly considered the central one in the 15th round of the RPL.
At least for the reason that the Otkritie Arena hosted the teams that occupy the third and fourth lines of the championship table and claim to be the main contenders for the trophy this season.
In addition, this confrontation was of particular interest, since both teams are led by talented German specialists.
Domenico Tedesco has long since established himself as one of the league's brightest coaches, and although Sandro Schwartz has been at the club for just over a month, he has already managed to prove himself quite well.
On the eve of the meeting, there was every reason to believe that Tedesco would decide to move away from the scheme used in the previous match (3-4-3).
This was not supported by the most convincing performance in the confrontation with the Ural, as well as the absence of Alexander Sobolev.
The forward returned from the location of the Russian national team with an injury, because of which he risks missing for about two months.
In this regard, it could be assumed that the German would decide to switch to a game of two clean forwards in the person of Jordan Larsson and Esekiel Ponce, and Zelimkhan Bakayev would be sent to play the role of an attacking midfielder.
However, the specialist acted differently and limited himself to a substitution by position.
Instead of the striker who found himself in the infirmary, Alexander Kokorin came out.
Schwartz, on the other hand, had a serious rotation, and in comparison with the match with Lokomotiv, six new players appeared on the field at once.
A couple of changes were forced - instead of the disqualified Sergei Parshivlyuk and Sebastian Shimanski, Guillermo Varela and Nikola Moro appeared.
An important event was the return to the base of goalkeeper Anton Shunin, defender Ivan Ordets, defensive player Roman Neustadter and forward Nikolai Komlichenko.
Speaking about the opponent, Tedesco especially noted Dynamo's ability to quickly carry out counterattacks and expressed the opinion that Spartak would be more comfortable with possession of the ball in the derby.
Given the fact that the red-whites love to act on a collision course, such plans were questionable, however, the red-whites really tried to act as the first number and play combinations at the opponent's penalty area, while the blue-and-white relied on high pressure and quick lunges ...
It was this that almost brought success to Schwartz's charges already in the opening.
In the 18th minute, Daniil Fomin made a selection in another's half of the field and delivered a long-range strike from 25 meters.
However, Alexander Maksimenko coped with both him and the finishing move performed by Clinton N'Zhi.
In general, the first half turned out to be quite spectacular, and the teams demonstrated modern and dynamic football.
Nevertheless, Dynamo left a more coherent impression and seemed more prepared for the derby.
Schwartz perfectly studied his opponent and gave the task of delivering the ball to the penalty area through the flanks as quickly as possible, where, according to tradition, Ayrton and Moses, who were aimed at attacking, acted not very reliably.
This plan worked.
Lesovoy and N'Zhi regularly punished the enemy for being overly addicted to the attack, and the Cameroonian looked especially bright.
So, in the first 45 minutes, he struck two blows and was very active.
“Spartak” could hardly have taken the first half into an asset.
The hosts' counterattacks did not look as sharp as usual, but in a positional attack they still experienced difficulties.
The attacking trio did not look very bright either.
Ponce, Kokorin and Larsson chalked up a total of only two hits towards the goal, both of which fell on the Argentine.
The most dangerous moment at the Shunin's goal arose after Zobnin's long-range "shot".
Roman received a pass from Pavel Maslov and struck great, but the goalkeeper turned the ball into the post.
True, just a couple of minutes later, Moreau returned the favor and shook the crossbar.
After the break, Dynamo suddenly calmed down and began to act with an eye to defense.
Schwartz refused high pressure and urged the players to withdraw to their half of the field, and after that he completely surprised by replacing N'Zhi with Vyacheslav Grulev.
As a result, the guests spent the first 15 minutes mostly without the ball (35.9% - 64.1%) and did not create a single dangerous moment at Maksimenko's goal.
The hosts responded with long-range strikes by Zobnin and Ayrton, but they still could not pass the massive enemy defense.
It is not surprising that the most acute episodes in the first half of the half arose as a result of counterattacks.
First, Lesovoy and Skopintsev organized an attack on the left flank, which ended with Dmitry's blow, and then Zobnin had another chance to excel.
Roman burst into the penalty area, got a cool pass on the move, but Shunin helped out.
However, Dynamo's next quick counter-attack led to the first goal of the match, and substitute Konstantin Tyukavin was one of its main creators.
In the 72nd minute, the young forward replaced Komlichenko, and already seven minutes later he organized an attack on the opponent's goal.
The 18-year-old player made an interception, addressed the pass to Varela, and the ex-Manchester United defender made a 40-meter spurt and made a pass to Skopintsev.
He found himself without custody in front of the goal, irresistibly shot into the far top corner and became the author of the first goal of the blue and white derby since August 2018.
But already six minutes later Spartak regained parity.
Throughout the meeting, Zobnin was one of the most active players, and in the end he did not slow down.
Roman decided on a brave passage, beat three defenders along the way and upset Shunin on the second attempt.
In the end, guests were closer to victory, almost taking advantage of the hosts' connivance in defense.
The Spartak footballers were noticeably tired and allowed their opponents to deliver dangerous shots from outside the penalty area, but Maksimenko was great.
The goalkeeper became one of the main heroes of the match, making eight saves.
The meeting ended with a 1: 1 score, which allowed the teams to retain their place in the top 4 RPLs.