Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rubin 2-1 Zenit: Rondon stuns visitors with last minute winner

Rubin took a back and forth game with a late Salomon Rondon winner, downing Zenit by a goal when the result really could have gone either way.

football formationsZenit started promisingly by converting the first chance of the match. Bukharov tapped an Anyukov cross over Sergei Ryzhikov and Danny was there to slot the ball away and give Zenit the lead in only the 6th minute. Rubin however, were the controlling side for most of the first half, having greater possession and a number of close chances. Yann M'Vila had a long shot fumbled by Lodygin in the 19th, but the keeper was able to recover the ball before and Rubin players could follow it up. Despite having less possession, Zenit managed a number of chances on counter attacks, with Aleksandr Bukharov coming close twice after Danny fired across the face of goal. Salomon Rondon came close up the other end, but could not have any impact on the score before half time. Rubin went into the interval undeservedly trailing to Zenit, having been the better side.

Zenit were the only side to make a change at the break, replacing the error-prone Nicolas Lombaerts with Anatoliy Tymoschuk, and immediately looked better for it. The visitors looked more comfortable in possession and physically dominant, but suffered just 6 minutes in when Gokdenis Karadeniz knocked away the equaliser. Karadeniz attempted to score with a bicycle kick from a Prudnikov cross, but missed the ball, coolly slotting away after it fell to his feet in the following scramble. Conceding spurred Zenit into action, and Bukharov was soon replaced by Hulk, who was largely ineffective in a central role in his time on the pitch. With the match drawing to a close, Hulk had his only major chance of the game when he fired straight at Ryzhikov from inside the 6-yard box and failed to get a shot off from the rebound. With the game running deep into stoppage time, Salomon Rondon got his head to an Oleg Kuzmin cross, nodding it goalwards and Lodygin was unable to reach it, giving Rubin a 2-1 win.

Man of the Match: Yann M'Vila
M'Vila was tidy on the ball, completing 93% of his passes, and dominant in defence. He had two shots from range, both on target, and made all of Zenit's midfield look invisible for large stretches of the first half.

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