Tuesday, March 18, 2014

2013-14 Matchweek 21 Recap: Draws galore

Half of this week's Russian Premier League matches ended up without winners as draws abounded, the most notable of which were Amkar's goalless draw with Loko and the fascinating 2-2 matchup between Spartak and Anzhi. Also, Arseni Logashov, Alexandru Epureanu and Alan Dzagoev make their second consecutive appearances in my team of the week.

Ural 2-1 Terek
football formationsTerek suffered an early red to Fyodor Kudryashov and looked to be on the back foot for most of the game, but Ural failed to take their chances. With the game closing down, it was substitute Edgar Manucharyan who put Ural up, but the hosts got overconfident and allowed Mauricio to equalise in stoppage time. With Terek looking like they had secured a point, Manucharyan scored his second to steal a win for Ural.

Krylia 0-2 Rostov
Krylia were surprisingly aggressive against the superior Rostov, but were hit twice against the run of play by Guelor Kanga Kaku and Vitali Djakov. The two goal Rostov victory really doesn't show how even this game was, and Krylia came close many times but were wasteful with their chances.

CSKA 1-0 Zenit
The managerless Zenit were completely dominant for most of the match, but were held off by the excellent CSKA defence, particularly Igor Akinfeev, who appears to have gotten over his blip against Dynamo last week. A goal by the oft-forgotten Georgi Milanov in the 32nd minute was enough to take the win and keep Leonid Slutskiy's job safe for now.

Kuban 1-1 Dynamo
Dynamo opened the scoring through Kevin Kuranyi just before half time and, given their recent form, probably expected to go on to win from there, but the fantastic Ivelin Popov equalised with 15 minutes to go and Kuban were able to keep the ball away from Dynamo for the remainder of the match to hold onto the win.

Amkar 0-0 Lokomotiv

Two of the league's best defences went head to head and neither side could get the advantage. Overall, a predictable goalless draw that featured some excellent defending.

Rubin 3-1 Volga
This match was very very even, but Rubin came out victorious due to their much better shooting, while Volga was wasteful with almost all of their chances. It took them until the 81st minute (when Rubin were already three goals up) to get their first shot on target, leading to an Artur Sarkisov consolation goal, but it was a case of too little too late as they suffered an expected defeat.

Tomsk 1-1 Krasnodar
Tomsk were absolutely dominated all over the pitch but were kept in the match by the excellent keeping of Petr Vasek. Krasnodar were ultimately hit on the counter by Kirill Panchenko and threw everything forward, salvaging a point in the final minutes thanks to a Wanderson goal.

Spartak 2-2 Anzhi
Spartak lined up a bit unusually but it appeared to pay off, giving the hosts a two goal lead after just 23 minutes. However, Anzhi experienced a late resurgence while Spartak collapsed, as Alexandru Epureanu pulled one back just after the break and substitute Serder Serderov equalised in stoppage time to secure a draw, a result which ultimately cost Valery Karpin his job at Spartak.

1 - Lokomotiv
2 - Zenit
3 - Spartak
4 - Dynamo
5 - CSKA
6 - Amkar
7 - Krasnodar
8 - Rostov
9 - Rubin
10 - Kuban
11 - Krylia
12 - Ural
13 - Volga
14 - Tomsk
15 - Terek
16 - Anzhi

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