Russian Premier League Update: Matchday 12

The RPL is back with upsets galore, new leaders and weird nicknames, as Con Stamocostas brings you up to speed with an action-packed matchday 12.

The Citizens FC Moscow climbed to the top of the Russian Premier League with an excellent 2-0 win over a lacklustre CSKA in a round that was dominated by upsets. Former leaders and current champions Rubin Kazan lost at home to giant killers Rostov while Spartak Moscow jumped from seventh to third with a home win against FC Khimki.

Top & Bottom

European Places

(Top two qualify for Champions League group, third qualifies for the Champions League second qualifying round, the fourth- and fifth-place teams qualify for the newly named UEFA Europa League.)

FC Moscow 23pts, Rubin Kazan 21pts, Spartak Moscow 20pts, Kryliya Sovetov (Samara) 20pts, Dinamo Moscow 20pts, CSKA Moscow 19pts, Zenit St. Petersburg 19pts.

Relegation Places

(The bottom two teams are relegated to the First Division.)

Spartak Nalchick 8pts, FC Khimki 4pts.

Top Scorers

Wellington (Spartak Moscow) 7 goals; A. Kerzakhov (Dinamo), Sergey Kornilenko (Tom Tomsk) 6 goals; Alex (Spartak Moscow), Dominguez (Rubin Kazan), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Zenit), Pancu (FC Moscow) 5 goals.

Saturday, June 12

Rubin Kazan 0-2 Rostov-Na-Donu

The majority of fans of the 15,000 fans at the Tsentralnyi Stadium saw Rubin lose the game and top spot on the RPL ladder, although they still have a game in hand.

It seems Rostov only like beating the big teams; the giant killers of the RPL this season last won five games ago, and that was against Zenit. They also upset CSKA Moscow during matchday six.

The visitors grabbed a surprise opening goal on 32 minutes, when Aleksandr Cherkes whipped in a superb cross to the feet of striker and 2007 RPL top-scorer Dmitri Akimov.

Right before half-time, Rubin Kazan were left with 10 men when Rostov’s Serbian striker, Branimir Petrovic, sent a great pass to Akimov, which resulted in a penalty and a red card for Evgeny Balyaykin. However, Akimov's penalty was saved by Sergey Ryzhikov.

Ten minutes into the second half, Rostov sealed the win when another Serbian, Dushan Angelkovic, went on a forceful run before setting up Akimov, who made no mistake and scored his second of the match.

Form Guide - Last Five Games

Rubin Kazan - WWDWL
Points: 21 Position: 2nd

Rostov-Na -Donu - DDLDW
Points: 18 Position: 8th

Spartak Moscow 1-0 FC Khimki 

Depleted Spartak jumped from seventh to third after playing without four of their top players, outclassing lowly Khimki in front of 9,000 at the Luzniki stadium.

Spartak converted their first chance after 30 minutes through German left-back Malik Fathi.

Khimki are still without a win in the league this season.

Form Guide - Last Five Games:

Spartak Moscow – WDWLW
Points: 20 Position: 3rd

FC Khimki - DDDLL
Points: 4 Position: 16th

Dinamo Moscow 1-1 Kuban Krasnodar

A small crowd of 6,223 at the Noviye Khimki stadium saw Kuban open the scoring through Ghanaian international Haminu Draman, the 23-year-old stunning the home crowd by scoring in the first minute of play.

Alexander Kerzhakov continued his good form for both club and country, with a penalty in the 34th minute.

Dinamo missed out on a great chance to go top of the RPL after only drawing.

Form Guide - Last Five Games:

Dynamo Moscow – LDWWD
Points: 20 Position: 5th

FC Kuban Krasnodar - DLWLD
Points: 13, Position: 11th

Terek Grozny 3-2 Kryliya Sovetov (Samara)

A great result for Chechen side Terek, beating a Kryliya Sovetov outfit that were looking to go top.

Romanian Daniel Pancu gave the home team a 2-0 lead, the 31-year-old scoring in the eighth and 38th minutes.

Krylia Sovetov striker Evgeni Savin then repeated the feat by getting his own double in the 47th and 51st minutes of play to tie the game.

The hero for Terek was Russian defender Sergeiy Bendz, who won the game with a goal in the 85th minute.

Form Guide - Last Five Games:

Terek Grozny - DLWDW
Points: 16 Position: 10th

Kryliya Sovetov (Samara) - LWWDL
Points: 20 Position: 4th

Sunday, June 14 2009

Tom Tomsk 1-2 Amkar Perm

Tom Tomsk's last victory was against Terek Grozny during matchday seven.

They got off to a good start againt Amkar with in-form Belarus striker Sergey Kornilenko opening the scoring in the 20th minute.

Before the game, Amkar head coach Dimitar Dimitrov said, "I have never come across with the absence of eight players from the starting eleven in my coaching career. So we have nothing to do but to cap our youngsters from the reserve team."

The home side would have been peeved when Bulgarian Georgi Peev equalised on 55 minutes, and ten minutes later the majority of the 10,000 at the Trud stadium would have felt sick when Serbian forward Predrag Sikimic put the visitors in front with what turned out to be the winning goal.

Form Guide - Last Five Games:

Tom Tomsk - LDDLL
Points: 12 Position: 13th

Amkar Perm – DDlLW
Points: 11 Position: 14th

FC Moscow 2-0 CSKA Moscow

The game of the round saw the Citizens of the capital go top! FC Moscow have not lost a game since the opening round of the RPL, and that was against Dinamo away.

CSKA fall from second to sixth.

Alexander Samedov got the first goal in fourth minute, some horrible defending gifting the 24-year-old the opener.

Five minutes into the second half, Bosnia and Herzegovina star Branislav Krunic latched onto a poor pass and netted with a curling effort.

An off day for CSKA, the army men have lost their last two games; but smiles all round for the Citizens as most of the 12,000 fans at the Eduard Streltsov Stadium sang we are top of the league.

Form Guide - Last Five Games:

FC Moscow – DDWDW
Points: 23 Position: 1st

Points: 19 Position: 2nd

Saturn Moscow 2-0 Lokomotiv Moscow

The Aliens of Saturn Moscow are now undefeated in last their five games. Their form has turned for the better following a change of coach, and since shipping nine goals in two games, the Aliens have finally found their inner footballer.

The 9,000 Aliens at Saturn Stadium Moscow saw them beat Lokomotiv 2-0 with goals in each half.

Brazilian defender Zelau and former Loko icon and captain Dmitri Loskov got onto the score sheet.

The Railway Boys must be making their fans dizzy winning one week losing or drawing the other.

Form Guide - Last Five Games

Saturn Moscow – DDDWW
Points: 13 Position: 12th

Lokomotiv Moscow – DWLWL
Points: 16 Position: 8th

Spartak Nalchik 2-2 Zenit St. Petersburg

Spartak Nalchik have not won a game since matchday six, so holding Zenit to a draw is a good result for them.

Igor Semshov opened the scoring for the visitors in the 32nd minute of play.

Kazbek Geteriev then gave Spartak Nalchick the lead with goals before and after half-time; however, Russian international Aleksandr Anyukov levelled the game on 61 minutes.

Form Guide - Last Five Games:

Spartak Nalchik – LDDLD
Points: 8 Position: 15th

Zenit St Petersburg - WLLWD
Points: 19 Position 7th

RPL Top Performer:

Top performer of matchday 12 is Dmitri Akimov. The FC Rostov striker got a double against Rubin Kazan and could have got a hat-trick but missed a penalty.

RPL Odd Spot:

Amkar Perm had eight first-team players out due to injury and suspension and still managed to beat Tom Tomsk away from home.

RPL Hot Spot:

FC Moscow are leading the RPL table for the first time this season. The Citizens have not lost since the opening round. Formed in 1997 and now owned by the Moscow city government, FC Moscow’s nickname translates to the same as Manchester City’s: the Citizens.

In 2007, Man City established partnerships with a number of top clubs from around the world, and FC Moscow was one of them.

They were initially called Torpedo-ZIL. The club was sold and renamed Torpedo-Metallurg before being transferred over to the city government and renamed once more as FC Moscow in 2004.