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And what would happen in St. Petersburg?! “Zenith” has achieved a landslide victory in Ulyanovsk

Date: March 21, 2023 Time: 16:13:22


Before the season resumed, we already received a series called: “Will Zenit play in Ulyanovsk?” The Petersburgers themselves made life difficult when they could not get into the RPL Path from the group with Spartak and Krylya Sovetov, because of which they found themselves in a difficult situation, because their Brazilian coaches go to a low-quality field in winter it is not the best opportunity to shoot in official matches.

In early February, they said that the grass at the Lev Yashin Labor stadium did not meet the standards of the RFU, and the blue, white and blue even suggested moving the match to the Gazprom Arena in St. Petersburg (with payment for flights and accommodation), which outraged Zarema Salikhov, not only the wife of the former owner of the club, but also a native of Ulyanovsk. But the local leadership rejected all the proposals, since they wanted to give the city a holiday. The best Russian clubs come here once every ten years. The stadium began to be prepared immediately after the draw, in January they put up the grass and finally got permission from the RFU.

And not in vain. At the match “Zenith” in the stands was a full house. And this despite the fact that ticket prices for this game were greatly inflated – up to a thousand rubles at a normal cost of about 200 rubles. At noon Moscow time, residents of St. Petersburg posted a post saying that the temperature in the city was -6 °, which “feels like -15 °.” The game started in just a couple of hours.

However, the home fans were unable to see all of Zenit’s star players, as Wilmar Barrios, Rodrigao and Malcom received a six-match disqualification after the match with Spartak, and Claudinho stayed in St. Petersburg with them for company. So the starting lineup for the champions didn’t look very familiar. So, there were only two Brazilians: Douglas Santos and Wendel, Nuraly Alip came out in the center of defense, and Zelimkhan Bakaev and Alexander Erokhin came out in midfield.


It is worth starting with the fact that the grass by the end of February and the not so rich experience in such an early preparation of the field seemed quite worthy. Not without blurry spots, but quite green and almost uniform. I am sure that the Russians from Zenit in their youth played on much deader fields. So they quickly adapted to the conditions, although at first their lead wasn’t as big as one might expect.

Zenit did not allow the opponent to create anything in his own goal, but he himself immediately rushed into the opponent’s defense, for which he quickly switched to the game on horseback. The most active was the left flank, where Andrey Mostovoy and Douglas Santos performed (he tried on the captain’s armband after the departure of Dejan Lovren). They made several promising tackles in the penalty area, but either lacked precision, or their teammates lacked reaction and insight. This style of play, by the way, explains why Semak preferred the nervous Mateo Cassierra in attack, and not Ivan Sergeyev, who is more useful on the counterattack.

At the moment, the hosts were not inferior in the fight and held on with dignity, but in the 32nd minute they still could not resist. Wendel fired twice in the course of an attack: in the middle of the field, he quickly turned around, lobbed the ball to Mostovoy and, after a missed serve by Douglas Santos, recovered and hit the ball off Bakaev’s head. . For the former Spartak player, this is only the second goal for Zenit. The first was scored back in the July game against Lokomotiv, which ended in the mythical 5-0.


At the beginning of the second half, the landscape changed and Zenit should be ashamed of it. Of course, the field stopped resisting, and the ball began to crush almost all the passes. However, the champions are not honored that after the break they have given up the initiative. And the absence of a group of Brazilians cannot be considered an extenuating circumstance, because the team is full of current and former players of the Russian national team.

At the same time, with all the desire, it is very difficult to praise the Volga players. In each episode in the opposite field, it became clear that he lacked skill, technique, vision of the field, speed of decision, quality in medium and long passes, and shot. Very often they played naively, tried to play the game, and generally parted with the ball late. However, his passion was enough to transfer the game to someone else’s half of the field.

Obviously, Semak had the counterattacks, but either the grass was not suitable, or the players did not have enough speed in understanding, but the guests did not achieve good quick starts from defense. In the end, the mentor, through substitutions, generally salvaged the 3-5-2 arrangement with Arsen Adamov as third central defender and Sergeyev as Cassierra’s partner. Reliable, but somehow painfully cautious.

In the class, the St. Petersburg team scored two more goals. First, already in the 78th minute, Cassierra jumped for a corner and sent the ball to the corner in a high arc. For him, this goal was the fourth of the season. And already in stoppage time, the Colombian threw the ball to the center of Sergeyev, who only had to get into the far corner. Then Zenit in the class easily caught up with the Volga and went to the semifinals of the Path of Regions.

Russian Cup. Region route. Quarter finals

Volga Ulyanovsk – Zenit – 0:3 (0:1)

Goals: Z. Bakaev, 32 – 0:1. Casierra, 78 – 0:2. Sergeev, 90+2 – 0:3.

Volga Street: Klimovich, Dashaev, Magomadov, Danilkin, Abazov (Kubyshkin, 64), Den. Rakhmanov, Dm. Rakhmanov, Kamlashev (Paskin, 75), Kirsanov (Makhmudov, 64), Morozov (Andrade, 83), Bilalov (Momo Toure, 75).

Zenit: Kerzhakov, Karavaev (Adamov, 73), Alip, Chistyakov, Douglas Santos (Circular, 90+1), Kuzyaev (Sutormin, 64), Erokhin, Wendel (Kozlov, 90+1), Z. Bakaev, Mostovoy (Sergeev , 73), Casierra.

Warnings: Lair. Rakhmanov, 59. Kuzyaev, 63.

Referee: Dry (Lyubertsy).

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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