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Semak is not a fan of the Russian Cup. But Sergei is close to his first treble at Zenit

Date: July 13, 2024 Time: 18:33:06

Zenit, under Sergei Semak, won the championship six times, the Super Cup four times and the Russian Cup only once. This happened in 2020, when the tournament was played in the old format and the hegemon certainly did not have the heaviest field. Since then, nothing. In St. Petersburg they were used to it: the team was often eliminated long before the final, and this was considered the norm.

How the blue and white team reached the Cup Superfinal:

What did Zabolotny do?! Zenit launched the penalty shootout and advanced to the Cup superfinal!

And this is not surprising. Semak has long defined the tasks assigned by management. He confirmed this once again after the second leg of the RPL Path final against CSKA, when he stated that the RPL is always a priority. Precisely for this reason he explained that he put little enthusiasm into the cup meeting. The main actors were preparing to leave for Grozny. At that time, the St. Petersburg team could not yet win the championship and some thought that the emphasis would be on the second trophy. No. The main thing for Zenit during Semak’s work was the Russian Championship. In fact, they won it.

In 2023, Semak, in an interview with the Championship, explained in detail why the Russian Cup is less important. And he honestly called it a minor tournament. Although this already happened after the international ban, when Russia was excluded from all tournaments.

Coronation, but be careful:

Zenit is champion, but cannot avoid perestroika

– How many times do you think Real reached the final of the National Cup? – Semak answered the question why Zenit has only one trophy.

– I do not remember. It seems that the higher stages are reached frequently. – It seems to you. In fact, once in the last 10 years. Real Madrid rarely reaches the decisive phases. For any big club, the championship always comes first. And the Cup, for various reasons, always remains in the background. Especially when you play in European competitions, you have to do a lot of rotation. Furthermore, playing in the Russian Cup is a great opportunity for our rivals. Beat us and the season can be considered a success. Therefore, the level of motivation and resistance is incredible. The base probability of losing a given match is always higher. It is impossible to win 10 games in a row in the Championship, much less in the Cup. The randomness factor is much greater.

Everything is obvious. At that time there was still hope of returning to European competitions and the rival factor was at play, because over the years the draw has taken the blue and white team everywhere.

In 2018, when Semak first arrived, Peter first went to Astrakhan, where, thanks to the efforts of Alexander Anyukov, Anton Zabolotny, Robert Mak and Alexander Kokorin, they threw four at the opponent. But in the next round the team lost to Rostov. That season Zenit also played in the Europa League, so the Cup automatically became the third most important tournament.

Anton Zabolotny and Alexander Kokorin

Photo: fc-zenit.ru

But the next season – victory. But here again we can refer to a really simple grid. “Enisey” is away, “Tom” is home, then a trip to Grozny, where Yuri Zhirkov scored in extra time. And then there is a pause for Covid. Resumption in July, when they beat Spartak on their field, the only big club that surpassed the tournament classification. And in the final, Khimki. Here it was harder not to win.

Zenit is the winner of the 2020 Russian Cup

Photo: fc-zenit.ru

In the 2020/2021 season, the European Cup teams only entered the competition in the spring. In reality, Zenit finished its run in the Champions League in the fall, and at the beginning of the next year, in the first match, it crashed against Tula Arsenal. Next year, the scenario is similar, but we go one step further: first they defeated KAMAZ and then lost to Alania.

And in the first draw of the new format of the Kyrgyz Republic, Semak’s team first took third place in the group, then overtook Ulyanovsk Volga on the Route of Regions, but then there was a defeat to Dynamo. After which Semak repeated: “It is clear that the Cup is the second most important tournament.” Actually, where is he wrong?

How the CSKA goalkeeper fell in love in the Cup:

CSKA’s third goalkeeper lit up in the interview and in the match against Zenit. How Shaikhutdinov fell in love with himself

According to the coach, the tournament organizers are most likely wrong. After all, Sergei Bogdanovich has repeatedly criticized the format of the event. Even before the final with Baltika.

Sergey Semak

Zenit coach

“There is a desire to fill the tournament with more matches. In the group stage, it is clear that the teams are struggling. But when there is a relegation stage and teams are eliminated and then given a second chance, this is not exactly a sporting principle. Also, when CSKA itself flies out, but no longer has a chance, it is also quite strange. The entire tournament takes place without Fan ID, the final – with Fan ID. Also a question. “If you start a tournament with the same rules, it is probably more correct to end it with the same rules, because during this whole journey the fans and fans supported, but in the final they will not be able to support.”

And the coach added once again: “If we have to choose between the championship and the Cup, of course, we will always choose in favor of the championship.”

There is no choice now. The championship is already won. Thus, achieving the first treble in the history of Semakov’s Zenit is not a bad motivation.

It will work?

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

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