Zenit 3 – 2 Dynamo

Russian League, Round 7
September 13, 2014
Zenit 3 – 2 Dynamo Moscow
Goals: Douglas 28 og, Arshavin 40, Smolnikov 89 – Valbuena 18, Christopher Samba 82
St.Petersburg, Petrovsky Stadium
Att: 14000

Zenit: Lodygin – Smolnikov, Garay, Lombaerts, Criscito – Javi Garcia, Fayzulin (72 Shatov), Witsel (46 Mogilevets) – Danny (c), Arshavin (60 Rondon), Hulk
Dynamo Moscow: Berezovskiy – Manolev (77 Dzsudzsak), Douglas, Christopher Samba, Granat – Vainqueur (75 Noboa), Denisov (86 Zobnin), Ionov, Valbuena, Aleksandr Kokorin, Kuranyi

Villas-Boas rested Shatov and Rondon in view of the Champions League game in Lisbon the following Tuesday. Zenit’s strarting lineup looked a little bit unusual with Arshavin playing center forward. AVB explained in the post-match interview that he intentionally played small and fast Arshavin against Dynamo’s giant central defenders to make their life more difficult.

       Danny - Arshavin - Hulk
          Witsel - Fayzulin
             Javi Garcia
Criscito - Lombaerts - Garay - Smolnikov
               Lodygin

Surprisingly, Dynamo were a slightly better side in the first half. The best Dynamo player Valbuena opened the scoring about 20 minutes into the game: from the edge of the area he chipped the ball and it went right into the far upper corner, fantastic goal even though Lodygin probably could have done better in this case. About 10 minutes later came a freak equalizer: Criscito on the left side dribbled past two defenders of his way to the Dynamo area, Berezovskiy parried his weak shot straight into the butt of his own defender and the ball bounced into the net. The hosts went ahead 5 minutes before the break when Hulk dispossessed former Zenit player Denisov in the center circle, moved forward, and released Arshavin with a well weighted pass, and Andrey beat Berezovskiy with a firm shot into the far corner.

In the second half Dynamo again looked a bit better than the hosts. Looking for the equalizer, the visitors came close to scoring twice, forcing Lodygin to make a couple of magnificent saves. Finally, about 10 minutes before the end Samba headed the ball in from a Valbuena free kick; the Dynamo player was marginally offside so the goal shouldn’t have stood. However, a minute before the end of regular time Smolnikov played a one-two with Danny, entered the area from the right and sent the ball into the far corner, sparking wild celebrations by the Zenit supporters.

Smolnikov

Scorer of the winning goal Smolnikov, depicted here in one of the earlier games this season

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