The reigning champions of Russia continue to chase Krasnodar. After two disappointing defeats at the end of September, Serhiy Semak's wards won three victories in a row and reduced the gap from the leader to two points. Last weekend, they coped with Akhmat, whom they could not beat twice in a row in the RPL. In November 2022, Grozny sensationally prevailed away (2-1), and before that they did not allow the opponent to hit their goal at home once, even if they did not distinguish themselves (0-0).
And this time it all started for Akhmat in the best possible way. Already in the 24th minute, Mohamed Konate created a real masterpiece - he ran through half of the field and shot irresistibly, at the same time leaving out not only defenders Nurala, Alip and Rodriguez, who made gross mistakes, but also Denis Adamov, who left the target. The goalkeeper rushed to the ball, but also won back, unable to interfere with the unstoppable striker.
The guests failed to build on their success. It took Zenit only five minutes to upset Giorgi Shelia twice and score in the 20th game in a row, thereby repeating the club record. And Mateo Cassierra did not hold back his emotions - the Colombian reached the mark of ten goals and remained the leader of the scorers' race.
In the second half, the St. Petersburg team could have strengthened the advantage, but somewhere the implementation let them down, and somewhere they lacked luck. The same Cassierra could have scored a double, but hit the post. However, the reason for the upset was not this, but Claudinho's injury. He was injured in a collision with Bernard Berisha and left the Gazprom Arena field in tears.
Draw in the Samara fog
Krylia also reduced the gap by one point to Krasnodar, which suffered its first defeat of the season. Although in the match with Orenburg, which occupied the penultimate, 15th line, they clearly expected more. However, these expectations were based more on the position of the teams in the table than on the game. The guests were in no way inferior to the hosts, and even surpassed them in a number of key aspects. So, David Deogracia's wards hit more often (16:15) and created, albeit slightly, more expected goals (1.23 – 1.22).
It is all the more surprising that the mood of the opponents was not affected by difficult weather conditions. The field of the Samara Arena was shrouded in fog, as a result of which the meeting itself resembled the events of the well-known cartoon. It is all the more curious that this did not affect the combination game at all. In the first half, after a spectacular multi-move, Krylia's top scorer Benjamin Garre scored, and after the break, another Argentine, Matias Perez, responded to him. The Orenburg defender, who found himself in the opponent's penalty area, responded to a cross from the flank and caught Bogdan Ovsyannikov by surprise.
In the second half, the visitors looked noticeably brighter and could well tip the scales in their favor. Including a shot from 11 meters, the right to execute which could have been obtained in the 80th minute. But after reviewing the video replay, the referee Rafael Shafeev refused to point to the spot, instead showing a yellow card for simulation to Vladimir Obukhov, who collapsed on the turf. In his opinion, there were no reasons for the fall.
In fact, the weather in many ways helped to take place the main sensation of the 13th round of the national championship. An hour before the start of the match between Fakel and Spartak in Voronezh, there was a heavy downpour, which caused the stadium lawn to be flooded with water. And although the stadium staff tried to remove it with shovels, they failed to radically affect the condition of the field, which caused extreme dissatisfaction of the ten-time champions of Russia. In such conditions, both teams could not demonstrate their best qualities. But if the hosts were still somehow able to adapt, then the guests were not.
As a result, Spartak had their worst game of the season in terms of creating xG (0.51) and were beaten by Fakel for the first time in the RPL. And also repeated the club anti-record for the duration of an unsuccessful streak on the road. To date, the Red-and-Whites have only lost four consecutive away games, under Nevio Scala in 2004. Even Oleksandr Sobolev, who returned to the base, did not help to avoid this fiasco. He had only one shot on goal and failed to upset the opponent for the sixth match in a row in all competitions.
The goals of Evgeny Markov and Maksim Maksimov in the end brought the hosts a sensational victory, and the former converted an 11-meter shot. During the fight in the penalty area, Srdjan Babic hit his opponent in the face and received a second yellow card. Thus, in the next round, Spartak will not be able to count on two central defenders at once. In addition to the Serbian, the derby with Lokomotiv will be missed by Georgi Dzhikiya, who broke a rib in training.
However, another expected event has not yet taken place. After such a failure, many expected the resignation of Guillermo Abascal, but the management of the Muscovites spoke out in defense of the mentor. The club's general director Oleg Malyshev said that the specialist would not be fired and called on the team to "work harder."
Sochi's problems with penalties
The team from Nizhny Novgorod took advantage of Spartak's misfire, breaking the resistance of the main outsider of the league at home. In the last round, Sochi won the first victory in seven meetings, but could not repeat the success. Although his players made three times more shots (18:6) and twice approached the spot. After the break, referee Serhiy Tsyganok awarded two penalties against Pari NN – at the end of the hour of the game, the reason for this was a foul on Kirill Zaik, and already in injury time Dmytro Stotskiy played with his hand in his own penalty area. However, Vanja Drkusic's shot was parried away by Artur Nigmatullin, and Christian Noboa "charged" over the crossbar.
At the same time, the execution of the first 11-meter penalty was noticeably delayed. First, Nikolai Kalinsky pushed with Martin Kramaric and forced him to demonstrate his acting skills, and the second time the behavior of Juan Bosella almost became the reason for a mass brawl. In an attempt to knock down Drkušić's mood (as it turned out, successfully), he approached the spot, but in a harsh manner was expelled from there by the Slovenian's partners.
It is noteworthy that it was Bosely and Kalinsky who organized the only goal against Sochi. The Argentine rolled the ball to the Russian, who was running down the flank, and he put the ball right into the far corner. However, none of this could have happened if not for the foresight of Zé Turbo. He could have become the recipient of the pass, but missed it to his teammate, realizing that he was offside.
Dynamo's long-awaited success
But if Pari NN beat Spartak only in terms of additional indicators, then Dynamo - in points. At the VTB Arena, Marcel Lička's men prevailed over Ural and not only broke a five-match winless streak, but also climbed to fourth place in the RPL table. At the same time, the author of the first goal against Ilya Pomazun was Konstantin Tyukavin, who has not lit up his name on the scoreboard since August 6. Then he scored a brace in the confrontation with Zenit, after which he was "silent" for nine meetings - and this is only in the championship.
The second half was remembered for two masterpieces at once, and for both players the balls were their debut in the RPL. First, Bitello scored, gradually turning into one of the leaders of Dynamo. The Brazilian swung Emmerson with two spectacular feints, after which he "shot" almost under the crossbar - Pomazun reached out, but could not save. But the real miracle was created by Ilya Ishkov. The 18-year-old Ural midfielder came on as a substitute in the 75th minute, and in injury time he made not only his own, but also other fans applaud him. His phenomenal shot into the top corner from the left was preceded by a gorgeous run from the sideline in the style of Lionel Messi, during which he dealt with two defenders at once.
However, this only slightly sweetened the pill for the fans of Ural, which is in a deep crisis. Viktor Goncharenko's men have not been able to achieve success for eight rounds in a row and are already five points away from the relegation zone. Although not so long ago we were in fifth place and were only one point behind Dynamo.