Russian Premier League: Matchday 7 Round-Up

Con Stamocostas summarises another week of action in the RPL...
Matchday 7 saw the big city derby take place as Dynamo upset in-form Spartak Moscow at home. Zenit were beaten by the giant killers Rostov –Na-Donu and FC Moscow won their fourth league game in a row after accounting for Amkar Perm away.


Tom Tomsk 2 -1 Terek Grozny

The first game of the round kicked off with tenth-placed Tom Tomsk taking on ninth-placed Terek Grozny at the Trud Stadium.

Sergey Kornilenko
opened the scoring for the home side, the Belarus international putting the hosts in front after 27 minutes by finishing off a nice move that split the Terek defence in two.

The Chechen side came back and after some concerted attacking Terek equalised just before half-time, Romanian striker Daniel Panku slotting the ball home on 43 minutes.

Tom Tomsk brushed aside the agony of two consecutive losses to FC Moscow and it was their first effort on goal in the second half by Goran Maznov that put them ahead again; the Macedonian’s header on 62 minutes was enough for the home side to grab the victory and send the majority of the 12,000 home fans happy.

Form Guide

Tom Tomsk - LWLDWLW  
Points: 7 Position: 9th

Terek Grozny - WDWLLDL  
Points: 8 Position: 11th

Spartak Moscow 0 – 2 Dynamo Moscow

The biggest game of the year, between the two biggest Moscow rivals, took place on Saturday.

The setting for this occasion was the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and a healthy crowd of 30,000 were there to see the big derby take place between Spartak and Dynamo Moscow.

There is some fresh history between these two teams as they recently met in the quarter-finals of the Russian Cup. The game ended with Spartak getting thrashed by Dynamo 3-0, which led to the premature end of the Michael Laudrup era, and Dynamo ending a 20-year winless streak against Spartak at their home ground.

First Half

Spartak took control of the game early but could not convert any of their opportunities into goals.

Dynamo scored with their first shot in the 28th minute. The goalscorer for the Blue and Whites was Argentine defender Leandro Fernandez; he smashed a half volley first time that flew into the back of the net. The corner by midfielder Dmitry Kombarov floated invitingly for the Argentine and he had plenty of time to compose himself and line up his close range shot. Spartak keeper Soslan Dzanaev had no chance as the ball smashed into the roof of the net.

Spartak came back and in the 33rd minute their two Brazilians combined well. Welliton ran down the left and made room for a pass that fed the advancing Alex, who lined up a left-footed shot from just outside the box. A lovely first touch gave him the room he needed to take the shot; however, the 27-year-old hit the ball with too much power and it just flew over the bar.

A few moments later some lovely inter-passing down the left again saw Russian international Ivan Saenko in some space for Spartak. He turned to leave his defender in his wake but his cutback from the byline was well defended by Dynamo midfielder Dmitri Kombarov, who belted it away to safety.

Spartak ended the first half attacking but still could not penetrate the resolute Dynamo defence.

Second Half

The sun was shining brightly as the teams ran out for the second half. The stadium was bathed in half sunshine and half shadow.

There were ten minutes gone in the second half before the first chance came. Australian international Luke Wilkshire played a beautiful 40-metre diagonal pass that found half-time substitute Aleksandr Kokorin lurking outside the Spartak box. He dribbled forward and then laid off the ball to team-mate Alexander Kerzhakov who shot on target. The strike did not really trouble Dzanaev, Sparak’s 22-year-old Russian keeper.

The home side finally managed their first shot on target through Alex on 60 minutes, Dinamo keeper Vladimir Gabulov moving well to save low to his left.

Spartak thought they had scored only a minute later as teenager Yevgeni Makeev’s long bomb from outside the box went in the goal. The officials ruled that because Welliton was in front of the Dinamo keeper Vladimir Gabulov as the shot went in, the goal then was to be disallowed for offside.

Replays suggested it was the correct decision.

Dynamo then ran down the pitch and almost scored straight after the disallowed Spartak goal. Alexander Kerzhakov motored into the box and then cut the ball back into the feet of team-mate Dmitri Kombarov, who blazed the ball over the bar from six yards out; the 22-year-old Dynamo midfielder really should have done a lot better with that chance.

The game was midway through the second half when Dynamo were on the attack. An audacious turn, which would not have been out of place at a performance of a Russian ballet at the Moscow opera house, by Kerzakhaov gave him room to run down the left wing. The Spartak defence could only stop the 26-year-old by cynical means as the Dynamo striker was stopped just outside the box.

Meanwhile Spartak, who had 60 per cent of possession, had to settle for shooting form distance as Alex found space for a shot in the 77th minute. It simply wasn’t inventive enough to trouble the Dynamo keeper, who saved it easily.

With 10 minutes left to go and Spartak looking for the equaliser, Welliton ran into the box and shot at the near post. The ball went out for a corner after Vladimir Gabulov parried the shot away to safety.

Spartak attacked for the last 10 minutes as they tried to find an equaliser but could not find a break in Dynamo’s defence.

Then, right on 90 minutes, a brilliant dummy by Zerkazhov, who showed off his repertoire of skills and tricks in this game, allowed Dmitri Kombarov to cruise into space down the left. He in turn teed up 18-year-old Aleksandr Kokorin to expertly guide the ball into the goal from around the penalty spot.

The Dynamo fans screamed and shouted with joy as Dynamo secured their first league win in three games while Spartak boss Valery Karpin suffered his first loss as caretaker coach.

Form Guide

Spartak Moscow – DLWLWWL
Points: 10 Position: 8th

Dynamo Moscow – WWLWLLW

Points: 12 Position: 5th

Amkar Perm 0–1 FC Moscow

FC Moscow secured their fourth RPL win in a row in disposing of Amkar Perm in front of 10,000 fans at the Zvezda Stadium.

The solitary goal was scored by Slovakian striker Martin Jakubko, the 1.9 metre international grabbing the vital goal in the 20th minute.

FC Moscow climb from 6th to equal top after this victory, they share the lead with Rubin Kazan.

Form Guide

Amkar Perm–DLDDWLL
Points: 6 Position: 13th

Points: 14 Position: 2nd

Saturn Moscow 0 –5 Rubin Kazan

Current champions Rubin Kazan got back on to the winners' list and went top of the league after thrashing the Aliens of Saturn in front of 8,000 space men and women at the Saturn Stadium.

Argentinean Alejandro Damian Dominguez beamed himself up the top scorers list as the skilful number 10 grabbed a hat-trick; the goals arriving in the 27th, 43rd and 48th minutes.

The other goals were scored by South African international Macbeth Sibaya, the 31-year-old getting the fourth goal in the 52nd minute followed by Cristian Noboa 85th minute effort.

The Aliens are drifting towards a black hole after being without a win in four games.

Form Guide

The Aliens – LLWDLDL
Points: 5 Position: 15th

Rubin Kazan -WDDWWLW
Points: 14 Position: 1st


Kryliya Sovetov (Samara) 1–3 CSKA Moscow

The 18,000 at the Metallurg Stadium created a loud and noisy atmosphere for the visit of CSKA Moscow.

Kryliya Soveto Samara, who were top of the league before the game, came into this home match against CSKA having only lost once this season and only conceded one goal.

CSKA were already 10 points off the lead before this game after they lost at home to unfancied Rostov –Na-Donu 2-1 in their last outing.

The army men were happy to see Brazilian international striker Vagner Love return to the starting line up after he missed last week’s loss. He was partnered up front by exciting young Nigerian striker Masul.

For some reason the coach of Samara, Leonid Viktorovich Slutsky, is sometimes known as the Russian Jose Mourinho.

The first half

The first 15 minutes saw both teams eyed each other up without making any penetrating moves.

Then a few moments later the first chance of the game arrived with a  free-kick to Krylia Sovetov. The ball was swung in from the right and the CSKA Moscow keeper Igor Akinfeev had to react quickly so he dived and acrobatically punched the ball away to safety. Punching by keepers is the fashion for the gloved ones these days.

The chances started to come and a noisy home support was helping inspire the home team against CSKA; a raid down the left hand side saw the Krylia Sovetov crowd get to their feet as 27-year-old left-back Silva Leilton found some space in the box, however the Brazilian shot straight at the CSKA keeper Akinfeev.

A raid of its own down the right by CSKA on 20 minutes tested Kryliya Sovetov's defensive organisation but the team from Samara held strong.

Half-way thought the opening half the home team looked likely to score first, but against the run of play CSKA had a break and it was their two strikers who almost engineered the opening goal.

Nigerian striker Masu had acres of space down the right and he took advantage of it and as he got closer to the goal he looked and up and inside was Vagner Love running into the box; not far behind were his blue dreads blowing in the wind.

Masu crossed the ball and the Brazilian could only contrive to fluff the shot with a miskick, but the misfired shot almost troubled Eduardo Lobos, the Samara goalkeeper, luckily for the home team the ball just flew safely over the bar.

The quick pace of the game finally delivered a goal in the 36th minute when a long clearance by the home keeper Eduardo Lobos found its way into the CSKA box, the army men’s defenders hesitated and Evgeni Savin pounced for Krylia Sovetov, his weak connection still had enough as the ball as the ball went past the keeper's right hand. The Samara crowd cheered loudly as the home team were first to open the scoring.

CSKA manager Zico was keeping the interpreter busy on the bench as he replaced Nigerian defender Chidi Odiah with Lithuanian international Deividas Semberas a few moments later.

The first half finished with Kryliya Sovetov making another inroad on CSKA’s goal as the away sides defence was in tatters, the score  remained 1-0 as the teams went to the break reaching for the oranges.

Second half

Five minutes in and plumes of black smoke started emanating from the stands as a flare was let off, the culprit perhaps choosing the black variety as a way to mark the occasion for CSKA.

The 59th minute saw veteran giant Czech Striker Jan Koller make a nuisance of himself as he almost took out the CSKA goalkeeper, the beanpole attacker competing for a loose ball in the box; but nothing came of it, and the ref wave played on as CSKA were able to keep possession.

Then in the 63rd minute CSKA equalised; an Alan Dzagoev corner found Russian national team defender Vasili Berezutsky running on to the ball, the 24-year-old heading the ball forcefully into the goal for the equaliser.

The goal definitely coming against the run of play.

CSKA now had the momentum and only a couple of minutes later Vagner Love and his long blue dreads gave the army men the lead; CSKA took possession off the home team with an intercept in their own half. The army men ran the ball 30 to 40 metres straight up the field before the Brazilian was given a pass near the top of the box.

The Kryliya Sovetov defence stood off the dreaded one, who took the invitation and made some room in the box as he beat a defender, before slotting the ball coolly past Los Lobos the keeper.

So Kryliya Sovetov tried to get back in the game and started leaving holes open, then in the 78th minute CSKA went through one of them and Vagner Love should have scored on the break only for his tame shot to go straight at Los Lobos.

Some late drama ensued as CSKA had a man sent off in the 81st minute. Georgi Shchennikov stupidly pulled the shirt off a Kryliya Sovetov player, the whistle was then blown for the foul and the CSKA defender petulantly kicked the ball away. Referee Vladimir Pettay had no option but to give the CSKA defender two yellow cards for that mad act.

The army boys then sealed the win with a late strike to Moussa Maazou, the Nigerian taping in after latching onto a rebound,  after Vagner Love’s initial shot came back off the keeper.

The final score 3-1 in favour of CSKA Moscow.

CSKA Moscow climb to 3rd place, only one point off the leaders Rubin Kazan and FC Moscow. Kryliya Sovetov (Samara) go down to fourth place following this loss.

Form Guide

Kryliya Sovetov (Samara) - WWLWDWL
Points: 13 Position: 4th

Points: 13 Position: 3rd

Rostov –Na-Donu 2–1 Zenit St Petersburg

Rostov –Na-Donu claimed their second big scalp in a row following last week’s defeat of the of CSKA Moscow, as this time around they also took care of Zenit St Petersburg.

Dmitri Akimov put the home side up in the 55th minute. An action-packed last 10 minutes saw Zenit equalise with a penalty. The referee blew his whistle for a handball in Rostov's box, and with seven minutes of normal time remaining, substitute Pavel Pogrebnyak levelled for Zenit St Petersburg from the spot.

It’s the second week in succession the Russian international has scored after coming on as a substitute.

It was then left to Moldovan international striker Alexandru Gatcan to steal the points for home side, the 25 year old scoring in the 86th minute after being let in by Dmitri Akimov to send the 15,000 home fans at the SKA SKVO Stadium delirious.

This defeat was Zenit’s first loss of the season and it sees them drop down to 6th after being second last week. FC Rostov-Na –Donu climb up three places to 7th spot.

Form Guide

FC Rostov-Na -Donu: DDWLDWW
Points: 12, Position: 7th 
Zenit St Petersburg - DWWDDWL
Points: 12 Position: 6th

Lokomotiv Moscow 1– 0 Spartak Nalchik

The railway men of Lokomotiv Moscow got their first win in four games to finally give the almost 12,000 home fans at the Lokomotiv Stadium some joy.

Midfielder Tomislav Dujmovic scored on 65 minutes to present new caretaker coach Vladimir Maminov with a home victory in his first game in charge; newly sacked head coach Rashid Rakhimov still did not have time to move his possessions out of his old office.

The win sees the railway men move up three places to 10th position.

Form Guide

Spartak Nalchik – LDLDLWL
Points: 5 Position: 14th

Lokomotiv Moscow – DDWLDLW
Points: 9 Position: 10th

FC Khimki 2 –2 Kuban Krasnodar

The Rodina Stadium was the venue for this high scoring affair. The 6,000 home fans would have been relieved their team got a point as second half substitute Serhiy Pilipchuk rescued a draw for the last placed team in the 90th minute.

Striker Aleksandr Antipenko opened the scoring for the home side putting Khimki 1-0 up in the 11th minute.

No more goals were scored until late in the second half; Maksim Zhavnerchik equalised for the Kubansty eight minutes after he came on as a substitute, the goal arriving in the 71st minute.

Defender Alan Kasaev thought he scored the winner for the Canaries in the 79th minute only for Khimki to equalise at the death, the final score 2-2.

It was Khimki’s first point since match day one.

Form Guide

Points: 2 Position: 16th

FC Kuban Krasnodar - LWLDLWD
Points: 8, Position: 12th

The Leaders:

Rubin Kazan, FC Moscow 14 points, CSKA Moscow points Kryliya Sovetov (Samara) 13 points,

Alejandro Damian Dominguez is top scorer with 5 goals followed by eight others on three goals.

Con Stamocostas,