Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spartak 2-0 Amkar: Spartak fail to impress in home victory over Amkar

Spartak Moscow pulled off a 2-0 victory over Amkar Perm, but failed to properly impose their will in what was expected to be a romping of the relegation candidates.

football formationsSpartak were forced to field a substantially below-strength side as the continued absences of Zhano Ananidze, Welliton, Sergei Pesjakov, Sergei Parshivlyuk and Romulo removed a substantial portion of the host's starting XI. Rafael Carioca and Ognen Vukojevic started together in the double pivot, while Ari came central to accommodate the return of Aiden McGeady. The match started with a series of early chances, with Yura Movsisyan putting a shot close over the bar before McGeady had a shot pull wide just before the quarter hour mark. It took until the 20th minute for Spartak to take their lead when a Dmitri Kombarov corner bounced around the box for Pavel Yakovlev to put away his first goal of the season from point-blank range. Minutes later, shots from Ari and Movsisyan came close, but Gerus was equal to the efforts of the Spartak players. From that point on, Spartak seemed content to sit deep and attack on the counter, however Vukojevic made a multitude of mistakes that came close to giving Amkar an equaliser, but the half finished without major incident.

No major changes occurred at the half and the match continued in much the same way as it had in the first period. The majority of Amkar's chances came via their left flank, as Maksim Kannunikov cut inside away from Evgenny Makeev to terrorise Vukojevic and further exploit his weaknesses. Movsisyan missed a near chance in the 48th minute from a McGeady cross that he really should have converted, whilst Peev came close from a half-volley six minutes later at the other end of the pitch. Movsiyan missed his fourth chance of the game less than a minute later after a Makeev cross, but managed to convert at the next time of asking as he tapped a long cross from Kombarov around Gerus to double Spartak's lead. For the most part, the match finished without another noteworthy moment, but Kannunikov continued to torture Vukojevic through the middle of the pitch until the 90th minute.

Man of the Match: Maksim Kannunikov
Kannunikov showed great intelligence in moving away from the effective Makeev and exploiting Vukojevic, the weak link in Spartak's midfield. Whilst the new transfer from Zenit was unable to affect the scoreline, he looked the most likely Amkar player to have a scoring impact and his movement drew players out of position, creating holes for other players across the pitch.

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