Zenit 1 – 1 Rubin

Russian League, Round 23
April 12, 2015
Zenit 1 – 1 Rubin
Goals: Hulk 48 pen – Nabiullin 4
St.Petersburg, Petrovsky Stadium
Att: 17600

Zenit: Lodygin – Smolnikov (77 Shatov), Neto, Lombaerts, Anyukov – Javi Garcia, Criscito (59 sent off), Danny (c) (88 Kerzhakov) – Hulk, Rondon (71 Garay), Ryazantsev
Rubin: Ryzhikov – Oleg Kuzmin, Kvirkvelia, Cotugno, Nabiullin – Navas, Kislyak (74 Akhmetov), Blagoy Georgiev, Dyadyun, Carlos Eduardo, Portnyagin

            Rondon - Hulk
          Danny - Ryazantsev
        Criscito - Javi Garcia
Anyukov - Lombaerts - Neto - Smolnikov
               Lodygin

The visitors opened the scoring early on: Nabiullin was put through on goal and converted the one-on-one with Lodygin. The goal stood despite a clear offside. Towards the end of the first half Hulk wasted a one-on-one with Ryzhikov. How come a young Rubin defender is better at converting chances than a Brazilian international?!

A couple of minutes into the second half Smolnikov went down in the box earning Zenit a penalty. Smolnikov is indeed a diver but this one looked legit. Hulk converted the spot kick to take his goal tally to 12 goals in the league this term. On the hour mark Criscito got his second yellow card of the afternoon for recklessly kicking an opponent. In this game the Italian left back played as defensive midfielder alongside Javi Garcia but lasted for only an hour in the new role. Hulk and Danny wasted a promising 3-on-3 counter attack. Danny then botched a one-on-one with the goalkeeper after substitute Shatov put him through on goal. Danny has zero composure and it looks like all his decisions on the pitch are instinctive and he can never keep a cool head. I can’t remember the last time when he was able to convert a one-on-one; this is ridiculous for a player of his level. Shatov, on the other hand, is excellent this season. Kerzhakov came on as a sub two minutes from time, his first appearence after a 5-month layoff caused by a conflict with the coach. He hit the bar with an excellent shot in the injury time.

CSKA lost again in this round, so the title race looks completely over now as nobody really counts Krasnodar as a real contender.

Russian League Standings:
Zenit 55
Krasnodar 47
CSKA 43
Dynamo 42*
Rubin 40
Loko 38
Spartak 36
Kuban 31
Terek 29

(*) game in hand

Next Match: Thu Apr 16, 10:05pm Sevilla – Zenit

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