Spartak's unexpected misfire

On the eve of the final part of the season, many expected that Spartak would try to compete with Zenit in the fight for the championship. The red and white confidently won the pre-season tournament, and then knocked Lokomotiv out of the National Cup. And the calendar in the national championship was quite comfortable. However, in the matches against Ural, Fakel and Orenburg, they scored four points out of nine possible with great difficulty and actually opened the way for st. Petersburg to another title.

The away meeting with the team of Marcel Lichka turned out to be a failure. Already in the 17th minute, the hosts opened the scoring. Brian Mansilla turned the picking of the ball from Anton Zinkovsky in the other half into a pass to Dmitry Vorobyov. And he, slightly advancing forward, made an excellent pass between the two defenders on the move to Yuri Kovalev. The Belarusian went one-on-one and, having endured a pause, rolled the ball between the legs of Alexander Selikhov.

Having conceded, the Muscovites were forced to open up, and the hosts were able to carry out their favorite quick counterattacks. Another team in their place would have closed in defense, but not Orenburg. Midway through the half, they scored again. This time Mansilla ran down the flank from Daniil Denisov. The Russian tried to butt his opponent with his shoulder, but he lost his balance. And the Argentine's cross with his heel was closed by Vorobyov. In the future, both Orenburg could bring the matter to a defeat, and Spartak could revive the intrigue. What is worth at least Selikhov's save with his foot after Mansilla's shot at point-blank range and two misses by Samar Nicholson from killer positions.

Guillermo Abascal's players took the initiative only at the end, when it was frankly too late, and in the end they had just one shot on target. In addition, they lost George Djikia to an injury to the back of his thigh. Along the way, the visitors broke two series in the RPL at once: a win-win of ten meetings and an effective one of 13. And the opponent not only continued to fight for a place in the top 5, but also came in second place in the number of points scored at home - 25. Only Zenit is ahead of the team - 27.

Another goal by Tyukavin

Another, no less noticeable series was interrupted in the reporting round. Ural did not know defeats in all competitions for 16 meetings (since September 17), but lost at home to Dynamo. So the white and blue managed to knock Zenit out of the National Cup in just four days and score the most important three points in the national championship. Success in Yekaterinburg is especially valuable for the reason that the Muscovites deserved a draw at best. In the first half, they were forced to act defensively. But in several episodes, Igor Leshchuk helped out his teammates, who felt confident in himself after a penalty shootout in St. Petersburg. Following her, he recorded a "cracker" in the championship.

Closer to the final whistle, the advantage was already taken by the visitors. Denis Makarov even scored, but the goal was cancelled out due to offside after watching the replay. And in the 90th minute, Konstantin Tyukavin reminded of himself. The young striker was completely invisible and did not make a single shot, but Slavisa Jokanovic left him on the field and did not lose. The striker converted his only chance. A great contribution to the capture of the goal was made by Yaroslav Gladyshev, who pushed Emmerson into the box and performed a discount on his partner. He removed his opponent on a swing, and with the second touch he shot into the bottom.

Thus, Tyukavin scored in five of the last six meetings and brought the Muscovites a victory over Krylia Sovetov and Ural. Moreover, in the team race of scorers, he caught up with Fyodor Smolov. Both scored nine goals in all competitions, but Konstantin has a significantly higher efficiency. Not only did he play 423 fewer minutes, but he also excelled exceptionally from the game. The same cannot be said about his partner, who converted a penalty three times.

Sochi's second rout

On the misfire of Spartak in Orenburg, the sensations in the reporting round did not end. No less surprising was sochi's big defeat in Voronezh — 0:3. Even if the southerners had lost to Orenburg a week earlier without a chance, it seemed like an accident, because the opponent showed amazing realization. However, the match with Fakel turned out to be even more unsuccessful for Kurban Berdiev's charges. And it's not even about the failures in defense, which are not characteristic of the teams of this specialist, but the lack of chances ahead. With just one shot on goal (and even then in the 90th minute), they almost set an absolute anti-record for the RPL.

The visitors also made gross mistakes in their own penalty area. In the first half, Ibrahim Tsallagov, trying to interrupt a cross from the flank, touched the ball with his hand. And referee Artem Lyubimov watched the replay and pointed to the point. Denis Adamov guessed the direction of Georgy Gongadze's strike, but could not save. And the forward scored his sixth goal in the current edition of the national championship and upset another top team. He previously scored against CSKA, Dynamo, Zenit and Rostov.

Closer to the final whistle, the underdog finished off the defending silver medalist with the full connivance of the defenders. Dmitry Pyatibratov's substitutions worked great. First, Ruslan Magal in the box removed his opponent and shot into the far. And then Matvey Ivakhnov rolled the ball into the net after a partner's discount. The 19-year-old forward's goal is particularly remarkable, as he had no experience even in League One before joining the Torch last summer. And many football fans are known for playing for one of the strongest teams of the Media League - 2DROTS. However, in Voronezh, they believed in the Dynamo pupil, and he repaid for it.

Thus, the hosts won the first victory in the RPL since September 11 and broke a ten-match unbeaten streak. And taking into account the Cup of the country, it had 15 meetings. Sochi suffered two defeats in a row with an aggregate score of 0:7. Only for the second time in Berdiev's career were his charges defeated twice in a row.

Rostov's uncertain victory

Spartak's misfire was fully exploited by Valery Karpin's charges. They, although not without difficulty, but still broke the resistance of Khimki and bypassed the red and white in the standings. Thanks to this victory, Rostov scored 41 points in 20 rounds of the championship, which it has never managed to do in its history. The previous achievement dates back to the 2015/16 season, when the team under the leadership of Kurban Berdiev stopped at 40.

At the same time, the guests can hardly be completely satisfied with their performance. Although their advantage was overwhelming, as illustrated by the statistics of both shots on goal (16: 4) and expected goals (1.81 - 0.4), they managed to score only once. And even then from the 11-meter mark. Brian Idowu hit Nikolai Komlichenko on the leg and helped Rostov to repeat the RPL record for the number of penalties executed. In addition to him, only the players of Krylia Sovetov (13) and Krasnodar (2004/2021) approached the point 22 times during the season.

Maxim Osipenko scored already in the 18th minute, and after another 11 the position of Khimki became critical. A red card for a flagrant foul was received by Janiu Bickel. Moreover, the chief referee Vladimir Moskalev first presented him with a yellow, but after a hint, VAR changed his decision. Rostov had only to squeeze the depleted opponent, but while Daniil Utkin and the same Komlichenko continued to waste chances, the opponents almost restored parity. Cristian Gonzalez responded to Oleksandr Rudenko's cross from the flank, but Sergei Pesyakov bailed out. And prevented the hosts from breaking a winless streak of six meetings in all competitions. The last time they defeated Orenburg was in the 16th round of the Premier League.

Mikhailov's case

The match between "Paris NN" and "Torpedo" turned out not to be the richest in events. The hosts expectedly looked noticeably stronger and more than three times higher than their opponents in xG (1.98 - 0.63), but at the same time could not take three points. The visitors responded to Kirill Gotsuk's precise strike after drawing a corner with a goal by Jordi Reina, who took advantage of the confusion in the Nizhny Novgorod defense. But the main character of the meeting was Egor Baburin, who made several incredible saves at the end.

However, all this faded into the background when rumors appeared in the media that Artem Gorlov's charges could be awarded a technical defeat. The reason for this is the appearance on the field of Yaroslav Mikhailov, according to the regulations, who did not have the opportunity to take part in the game due to suspension. In the previous round, the Zenit trainee received the fourth yellow card in the season (he earned two in the RPL, the same number in the PFL) and should have missed the match with Torpedo, but the team missed this fact.

Paris NN has already announced its intention to conduct an internal investigation and find the perpetrators. RPL President Alexander Alaev did not stand aside. He did not absolve the club of blame, but noted that the league itself was also responsible for the incident. According to him, the Premier League could not "ensure the functioning" of the electronic competition management system, which is why controversial situations arose with Mikhailov and Dmitry Barinov. However, it is too late to talk about it now. Torpedo has already announced its intention to file a protest against the result of the meeting and apply to the KDK RFU.