Kerzhakov is the hero of the match with Fenerbahce. But before the Super Cup for Zenit, he is alarming
Dmitry Zimin July 9, 2023, 22:10 Moscow time
The blue and white probably lost Claudinho.
For Zenit, the Pari Premier Cup international tournament ended before anyone else. The match with Fenerbahce was the third, while the Turks had just arrived in St. Petersburg the day before. Ahead of them are waiting for meetings with Red Star and Neftchi. The results will be summed up only on July 15, the day of the last game.
On the same day, Sergei Semak’s team will have the first official match, for the Russian Super Cup in Kazan with CSKA. So Fenerbahce is the last high-profile rival before the start of the season. Yes, SBG will play a closed tovarnyak with the local Dynamo, but, probably, players deprived of game practice will take part in the meeting.
Therefore, it is the composition with Fenerbahce that should be considered as a basic prototype for a meeting with CSKA. But Semak wasn’t particularly surprised. Du Queiroz in the position of Vendel, Mantouan, instead of Mostovoy. Plus Vasyutin at the gate – that’s all the key changes. At the same time, there is clearly no clear certainty regarding the goalkeeper; after all, Kerzhakov came out for the second half. So the first issue of the season will be decided later.
Zenit now has too many goalkeepers. And all four are in contention for a place on the base.
Fenerbahce, on the other hand, had the most non-main lineup. Many leaders did not even go into the application, although they flew to St. Petersburg. One of the headlines on the field was perhaps the defensive midfielder Willian Arao. Edin Dzeko, who arrived from Inter, started the game on the bench. Like Attila Salai.
It is logical that Zenit’s potential base looked more solid than that of the rival, who played the first game after the holidays. That was what happened in the first half. Already in the ninth minute, Mateo Cassierra could have finished off from a good position, but instead he rolled through the Mantua gate. The defender of the Turks intercepted the cross. Soon the Colombian had another moment, but he shifted to his feet too long under the impact. The result is blocking.
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The most unpleasant episode for Zenit occurred in the 13th minute, when Claudinho received a blow to the knee and collapsed on the pitch. It quickly became clear that everything was serious. He came back for a few minutes, but then couldn’t continue the game. He was replaced by a young Dmitry Vasiliev. Probably, in Kazan, Semak will not be able to count on the Brazilian. And since there are no Vendel and Kuzyaev in midfield anyway, we can expect a very experimental option.
Claudinho is injured
Photo: RIA Novosti
In the second part of the debut half, Fenerbahce got used to it. And he began to play better. However, in the end, Peter still had a moment: Du Queiroz struck from behind the penalty area, and the goalkeeper did not set the ball. Mantua was the first to finish off, but the goalkeeper corrected the mistake. Immediately after that, Vasyutin flared up for the first time. He famously reacted to a heel kick from Sardar Dursun, in fact the only moment for the Turks in the half.
It seemed that after the break, Zenit would turn on additional aggressiveness. And this will help, given the weak preparation of the opponent. But things did not go as planned. The Fenerbahce players unexpectedly took the ball and began to attack more. Yes, almost without moments, but with nasty bumps. The Russian team agreed to this, but the game as the second number did not work out very well either. In the 64th minute, Semak refreshed the attacking line by releasing Zelimkhan Bakaev and Andrey Mostovoy.
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But globally, nothing has changed. The only potentially dangerous moment for the “Zenith” half created only in the 88th minute. Malcom, who at that time was already playing as a center forward, threw Mostovoy into the gap. But the Russian in the penalty area was blocked by Salai.
According to the regulations, in the event of a tie, the teams went to a penalty shootout: and already there Kerzhakov dragged the fourth strike and the fifth strike (a decent bet for the starting eleven in the Cup) and brought victory to Zenit. Even Bakaev’s miss on the fifth strike did not interfere.
Zenit won, but still doesn’t look perfectly prepared for the Super Bowl. However, like CSKA.
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