Torpedo Moscow 1 – 1 Zenit

Russian League, Round 19
March 15, 2015
Torpedo 1 – 1 Zenit
Goals: Smarason 90+1 – Hulk 35
Ramenskoe, Saturn Stadium
Att: 6350

Torpedo: Zhevnov – Kirill Kombarov, Kokoszka, Mikuckis, Katsalapov – Steklov (80 Bilyaletdinov), Stevanovic, Putsilo, Zenjov (46 Mirzov), Salugin (61 Smarason), Hugo Vieira
Zenit: Lodygin – Smolnikov, Neto, Garay, Criscito (c) – Javi Garcia, Witsel, Ryazantsev – Hulk (88 Lombaerts), Rondon (72 Tymoshchuk), Shatov (60 Sheydaev)

In the days leading to the match there were doubts as to where it was going to be played because of the horrible condition of the pitch at the Ramenskoe stadium (almost no grass). Eventually the match was allowed to go ahead there despite the pitch was hardly playable and I think it eventually affected the outcome. As usual, Villas-Boas had to field at least 4 Russian players because of the league’s limit on foreigners, so Danny was given some rest:

     Shatov - Rondon - Hulk
       Witsel - Ryazantsev
           Javi Garcia
Criscito - Garay - Neto - Smolnikov
             Lodygin

Terrible football on a terrible pitch. Hulk opened the scoring from a free kick from some 30 meters, the shot didn’t look unstoppable but former Zenit reserve goalkeeper Zhevnov didn’t bother to try to make a save, possibly he was blinded by the sun. Torpedo equalized in the injury time of the second half after the visitors failed to clear a corner, there was a blocked shot and the ball took a couple of deflections before Smarason smashed it in from within the area. A very disappointing result for Zenit who saw their advantage over CSKA in the standings cut to 5 points, with 11 matches to go.

Russian League Standings:
Zenit 45
CSKA 40
Dynamo 35*
Krasnodar 35
Loko 33
Rubin 33
Spartak 32
Kuban 27
Terek 25

(*) game in hand

Next Match: Thu Mar 19, 11:00pm Torino – Zenit (Europa League)

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