Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2013-14 Matchweek 23 Recap: Nervy matches all around for title contenders

Many of the top clubs in the RPL, including Zenit and Dynamo, saw serious scares against inferior opposition by conceding early and then having to fight back to win. Regardless, there were no major upsets in any of the matches.

Ural 2-1 Anzhi
Ural were by far the better side and went ahead through Spartak Gogniev and Aleksandr Erokhin, yet they let Alexandru Epureanu score a late consolation goal and had to endure a nervy finish.

Amkar 1-2 Zenit
Amkar scored first thanks to ex-Zenit forward Maksim Kannunikov before the visitors lost Oleg Shatov to injury. Zenit came out of the break swinging, equalising through Domenico Criscito almost instantly before Aleksandr Kerzhakov scored the winner just six minutes later.

football formationsLokomotiv 0-0 Spartak
Lokomotiv and Spartak played out a relatively eventless Moscow derby as neither side really threatened the goal of the other at any point in the match.

Tomsk 1-3 Dynamo
Like Zenit, Dynamo suffered a scare when their opponents scored first, but Vladimir Rykov's goal was instantly cancelled out by Aleksandr Kokorin's. Kevin Kuranyi handed Dynamo the lead thirteen minutes later before Aleksei Ionov finished the game off minutes from full time.

Rubin 1-2 Rostov

Sardar Azmoun put Rubin in front after just three minutes thanks to some questionable Rostov defending, but Timofei Kalachev equalised on the break about half an hour later. It was Zhano Ananidze that got the winner for Rostov just before half time, with a deflected shot and all hopes of a Rubin equaliser were ended when the hosts had Sergei Ryzhikov sent off in stoppage time.

Kuban 1-3 Krasnodar
Surprisingly, it was Kuban who scored first in this edition of the Krasnodar derby, but the visitors recovered from Lorenzo Melgarejo's early strike to equalise through Roman Shirokov with the first half winding down. Ari gave Krasnodar the lead just after the break before Shirokov killed the game off with ten minutes to play by scoring his second goal of the match.

CSKA 3-0 Volga
Zoran Tosic and Alan Dzagoev both scored for CSKA in the opening seven minutes, however Dzagoev got himself sent off for a stamp half an hour later. Volga were unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage and ultimately Pontus Wernbloom was able to shut the game down by scoring with twenty minutes left.

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

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