Zenit 3 – 0 Ural

Russian League, Round 18
March 7, 2015
Zenit 3 – 0 Ural
Goals: Rondon 45, 70, 78
St.Petersburg, Petrovsky Stadium
Att: 17600

Zenit: Lodygin – Smolnikov, Neto, Garay, Criscito – Javi Garcia, Witsel, Ryazantsev – Shatov (79 Mogilevets), Rondon (86 Sheydaev), Danny (c) (83 Hulk)
Ural: Zabolotniy – Khozin (90 Fomin), Belozerov, Novikov, Markov – Emelyanov, Podberezkin (61 Gerson Acevedo), Manucharyan (85 Serchenkov), Chisamba Lungu, Erokhin, Smolov

Hulk had been sick and had not participated in training in the days preceding the game so AVB left him on the bench, fielding the following 11 players:

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

Every time I saw Ural play they looked a very organized team. Three previous matches between Zenit and Ural all ended with the same score 2-1 to Zenit, with the Petersburgers eventually prevailing only in the last 20 minutes of each game. Today Ural also held on for almost 45 minutes. On the stroke of half time Rondon headed in the opener after a good move on the right by Ryazantsev and Smolnikov, with the latter providing a precise cross. Zenit should have scored at least two times more in the first half but Rondon and Shatov wasted good chances.

Rondon’s second goal was a magnificent shot from angle after Ryazantsev providied him with the ball. The in-form Venezuelan missed an absolute sitter a few minutes before that. He completed his hat-trick about 10 minutes from time by sidefooting into the net from close range, again Ryazantsev was the assistant.

Great game by Ryazantsev and obviously by Rondon. Zenit plays much better football when Hulk is not on the pitch.

Russian League Standings:
Zenit 44
CSKA 37
Dynamo 32**
Krasnodar 31*
Loko 30*
Spartak 29*
Rubin 27*
Kuban 26*
Terek 25

(*) game in hand
(**) two games in hand

Next Match: Thu Mar 12, 8:00pm Zenit – Torino (Europa League)

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