Circus: Volga 1 – 3 Zenit

Russian League, Round 4
August 3, 2013
Volga 1 – 3 Zenit
Goals: Karyaka 21 – Danny 19, 80, 89
Nizhny Novgorod, Lokomotiv Stadium
Att: 13500

Volga: Nigmatullin – Leandro, Bulgaru, Polchak, Kolodin – Karyaka, Ropotan (83 Danilenko), Shulenin, Putsilo – Shelton (70 Dvornekovich), Sychev
Zenit: Lodygin – Anyukov, Neto, Lombaerts, Khodzhaniyazov – Tymoshchuk (65 Zyryanov), Witsel, Shirokov (71 Fayzulin) – Hulk (27 sent off), Kerzhakov (57 Bystrov), Danny

The day before this game Zenit fans enjoyed a good laugh: less than a month after signing for a new team former Zenit player Igor Denisov had a conflict with some of the Anzhi players and now the Anzhi president wants him out of his club! Denisov is supposed to go look for a new club now. (Update: he has now signed for Dynamo Moscow. As for Anzhi, they are pushing other players out of the club as well because of the club’s financial problems, probably signifying the end of the ambitious Dagestani footballing project). Circus.

There was a heavy rain in Nizhny Novgorod just before the game, so it was played in wet conditions, players slipping often on the wet pitch. Zenit had a new signing on the bench: Ivan Solovyev has just joined the team on a free transfer from Dynamo Moscow, he’s a quick left winger who can also play as left back.

Zenit formation for the Volga game:

         Danny - Kerzhakov - Hulk
            Witsel - Tymoshchuk
Khodzhaniyazov - Lombaerts - Neto - Anyukov

(Dzhamaldin Khodzhaniyazov’s last name is way too long, I need to figure how to shorten it and call him either Khodzha or possibly Dzhamal)

Hosts put some pressure on Zenit defence early on, and it was a decent watchable football game with Volga looking good enough against the strong opposition. After 19 minuntes Hulk on the right combined well with Shirokov who sent a low diagonal cross into the six yard box and with the defender ballwatching Danny connected and placed the ball into far corner. Just a couple of minutes later, Tymoshchuk got dispossessed in own half, a quick counter attack followed and Karyaka left Lodygin no chance. Hulk was awarded with a yellow card for protesting bullshit refereeing. A few minutes later the ref awarded a free kick near Volga area. Hulk took the ball into his hands, the ref warned him to take the free kick only after the whistle, the ref turned away, Hulk put the ball down, then Shirokov quickly took the free kick. The ref didn’t see who was taking the kick but he stopped the play and erroneously showed Hulk the second yellow, idiot!. Zenit players protested furiously, the game was delayed for about seven minutes, at one point during the confrontation Hulk attempted to headbutt the ref, all in vain. Finally walking away from the pitch Hulk was making gestures letting know that he’s fed up with the terrible level of refereeing in the Russian league. Circus.

Spalletti also got dismissed by the ref for protesting after the end of the first half. Semak was directing the game from the bench in the second half. Semak had been offered a job at the club after he quit playing, he’s such a smart person and a great football professional.

In the second half, 10 minutes from time after a good attack substitute Bystrov crossed for Danny to tap in his second goal of the match, Bystrov was a few meters offside when he received the ball during the buildup. A minute from time after good work by Fayzulin on the left side of the Volga area Danny completed his hat trick by curling a beautiful shot into the far top corner, in off the crossbar.

Shirokov was fantastic, he returned after injury and added much needed creativity to Zenit attack and was the man of match in my view, despite Danny bagging a hat trick. Lodygin made a few great saves and had a very good game as well.

Russian League Standings:
Spartak 10
Rostov 10
Loko 7
Zenit 7
Dynamo 7
Kuban 6
Rubin 6
Amkar 5
Volga 4
Krasnodar 4
Ural 4
Anzhi 2
Krylya Sovetov 2
Terek 2
Tom 0

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