Before the start of the season, few could have imagined that after 13 RPL rounds, Krasnodar and Krylia Sovetov would be in the top 3 of the table together. And if the leadership of the southerners did not become a sensation, then the powerful step of the Samara team, who were fighting for survival in the spring, was a pleasant surprise.

However, before the head-to-head match, both teams fell into a slight dive. Vladimir Ivic's wards parted ways with Baltika and lost to CSKA and allowed the closest pursuer Zenit to reduce the gap to two points. And on the eve of the trip to St. Petersburg next week, they could not let the opponent into first place.

Igor Osinkin's team, after defeating Spartak in the championship, took only one point in the national championship and at the same time flew out of the Russian Cup. But despite this, he still had a good chance of finishing the first part of the season in the top three. And a victory over a direct competitor would only contribute to this.

Fortunately, the coaches approached the game with almost no losses. The hosts could count on all the strongest, and the coach made a rotation after the meeting with Spartak in the Cup, updating the squad in seven positions. The guests were left without the long-injured Denis Yakuba, Serhiy Babkin and Dmytro Tsypchenko. But Fernando Costanza and Dmytro Ivanisenia, who took places in the holding area, recovered.

It seemed that Krasnodar, with the support of their home stands, would immediately go forward. However, the southerners, on the contrary, deliberately refused the ball. They understood how strong Krylia Sovetov were in fast attacks and tried not to leave them free space in their half. The back four were assisted by Oleksandr Chernikov and Mykyta Kryvtsov. As expected, Samara tried to shake the saturated defensive line of their vis-à-vis through the flanks. On the left, the fast Nikita Saltykov operated, and on the right, the technical Benjamin Garre. Plus, Glenn Bale and Yuri Gorshkov regularly joined in. One of the three midfielders, Roman Yezhov, also shifted to the right.

But in the first half, they did almost nothing. The hosts reliably blocked all approaches to the penalty area and did not allow them to penetrate it. They themselves, in the trademark manner of their opponents, sought to organize counterattacks at a convenient opportunity. Already in the 14th minute, Ivic's charges created a chance when Eduard Spertsyan completed a three-move with a long-range shot, but Bogdan Osvyannikov made a save.

And soon the southerners did open the account. Their tactics worked perfectly. After an excellent shot by Ilzat Akhmetov, John Cordoba found himself one-on-one against Roman Evgeniev on the left wing. The Russian played surprisingly passive in this episode. He allowed the striker to get away from him into the penalty area. He jumped out to rendezvous with the goalkeeper, but failed to break through it at the first attempt. However, then the ball bounced to the Colombian, and he calmly rolled it on target and scored his seventh goal in the current RPL season. Evgeniev, who was trying to save the situation, also tripped over Ovsyannikov.

Now Krylia needed to go forward and open up, but they only rolled the ball under pressure in their own half. Saltykov and Garre, not getting space, disappeared on the field. The nominal attacking midfielder Amar Rakhmanovich, who operates on the edge, almost did not meet the ball, losing most of the challenges to Junior Alonso. It is also necessary to note Chernikov and Kryvtsov, who did a huge amount of work and did not allow the opponents to break through the center.

If the guests did something, it was only after rare quick attacks. So, the most dangerous moment was missed by Saltykov, who shifted from the left flank to the center and narrowly missed the target. A little later, Garre fired from 25 meters straight into the hands of Matvey Safonov.

The second half turned out to be much more open and rich in approaches than the first. In many ways, this was facilitated by a timely replacement from Ivic. He removed Akhmetov, who was hanging on a yellow card, and instead fielded Olakunle Olusegun on the right flag of the attack. The fast winger was happy to burst into free zones and literally tormented Gorshkov. Moreover, Saltykov did not always help his comrade in destruction.

Krasnodar finally began to create chances. First, Chernikov made a dangerous left-footed shot under the crossbar, but Bogdan Ovsyannikov was alert. Then, after a corner, the ball bounced off Ivaniseni, but the goalkeeper showed miracles of reaction and pulled it off the line. And it was Olusegun who had the most obvious chance. Opening up on the right edge of the penalty area and receiving a pass from Batchie, he hit the near post. Then the ball bounced to Córdoba, but he was not ready for it.

Osinkin also tried to save the game with substitutions and fielded Nikolai Rasskazov, Vladimir Khubulov and Vladislav Shitov. At first, it really helped. The visitors took control of the ball and increased the pressure on the opponent's goal. But the hosts still defended in an exemplary manner and did not allow Matvey Safonov to be disturbed. And all the high serves were "removed" by Alonso and Vitor Tormena. The only thing that comes to mind is Bale's long-range shot from a set piece and the ball hitting Olase's pinned hand on a corner.

And in the 73rd minute, when Olusegun doubled the advantage of the southerners, it seemed that the intrigue died completely. The Nigerian made his trademark high-speed run down the flank and headed in a good cross from Batchie. Fresh Rasskazov, who was in charge of the opponent, simply did not see his connection and did not even jump out.

However, in the end, the Samara team unexpectedly reduced the gap. For Osinkin, as well as for Ivic, one of the castlings worked. Moreover, Volodymyr Pisarskyi, who had never scored for Krylia in the league before, scored. As soon as he appeared on the field, he competently pushed the defender back with his body and sent the projectile on target from close range. There was an impression that Safonov inadvertently moved forward in this episode.

The guests had enough time to escape, but they could not create any more real chances. Thus, Krasnodar returned to the winning path and climbed to the first line in the table. The opponents suffered their third defeat in the last four rounds of the RPL.