Zakharyan experienced two great moments in the Spanish Championship. And he finished the game with a reverse substitution.
Anatoly Romanov December 3, 2023, 01:13 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
On this First Division tour, the Russian played much more than expected.
Arsen Zakharyan played another match in Spain. On matchday 15 of Primera Real Sociedad, he tied with the Russian away from Osasuna.
Zakharyan, who played a full Champions League match for Red Bull Salzburg in midweek, was not included in the starting XI for the Pamplona match. However, he sat on the bench…only 15 minutes. Before the Russian midfielder appeared on the field, the hosts scored an early goal, their first shot on goal in this match. Osasuna launched an attack down the right wing and then striker Budimir played brilliantly. The Croatian opened up well and was able to receive the ball in the area, after which he found Gómez with a subtle pass. He shot from a lethal position, with no chance for goalkeeper Remiro.
At the end of the quarter hour, Zakharyan’s opponent, left midfielder Barrenechea, was injured. Therefore, Arsen had to urgently change his clothes and enter the game. The former Dinamo player occupied Barrenechea’s position on the left wing and Real Sociedad, together with the Russian legionnaire, continued to shake Osasuna’s defense. But it was not easy to open the Pamplona team. The hosts defended in a very organized and tight manner using a 5-3-2 formation. Real Sociedad had no spaces or scoring chances.
Before the break, Zakharyan played well in several plays, but did not create anything dangerous. The almost two-meter center forward Sadiq helped Imanol Alguacil’s team. At the end of the first half, the Nigerian took the ball on the verge of offside far from the goal, moved away from the defender, dragged the ball into the Osasuna area and shot into the far corner. I have it perfect! Individual actions at the highest level. This is only Sadiq’s second goal this season, and his first goal was on the final day in the match against Sevilla.
How Zakharyan played a full match in the Champions League:
Zakharyan played a full match for Sociedad for the first time. This is what he did in 90 minutes in the Champions League
In the second half, Real Sociedad had great play and a territorial advantage. Alguacil’s team pressed and recovered the ball well. Zakharyan was trusted to take corners from the left flank. One day, the Russian passed to a free teammate directly to the goalkeeper, but he failed to receive the ball correctly. Then there was an episode with a crazy double save by Osasuna goalkeeper Herrera, after which Arsen took advantage of the goalkeeper’s rebound and made a pass to Tierney, who was in a lethal position: the left back’s shot was blocked.
Osasuna had a rare chance after the break when our legionnaire made a mistake. Zakharyan made a cross-field pass coming out of defense, but the ball was intercepted by Gómez. Fortunately for Arsene and Real Sociedad, the rival’s shot was slightly inaccurate from outside the area. And in the 73rd minute Zakharyan himself could have scored! The Russian opened very well just to the right of the semicircle and received a pass from Kubo. The position was good for an accurate shot, but Arsen hit the defender who was blocking the goal. No luck with the rebound either. If the ball had bounced better, Real Sociedad could have scored a goal from this episode.
In the 80th minute, Zakharyan had a second chance to score. The Russian received the ball from Kubo again, being on the left half-wing 22-23 meters from the goal, and shot without much hesitation. It was dangerous, but here too the shot was blocked: Real Sociedad only deserved a corner. Arsen did not play until the final whistle. In the 88th minute he was replaced by André Silva. Of course, the Russian’s reverse substitution was not some kind of punishment for a bad game. The thing is that our young legionnaire was tired after two almost complete games in a few days and it was necessary to renew the attack.
Zakharyan’s final statistics: 57 touches of the ball (one in another’s area), two successes, 75% accurate passes, three key passes, one dribble, three duels won out of four, one self-inflicted foul and 17 possession losses.
Real Sociedad never gave the finishing touch to Osasuna, although they played enough to win. In shots, Alguacil’s team far surpassed the locals 17:9 (on goal 5:3, from the area 9:6).