Rus­sian lead­ers CSKA aim to end los­ing streak

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

MOSCOW: Rus­sian Premier League lead­ers CSKA Moscow have to bounce back from three straight de­feats to get their sea­son back on track. Af­ter two straight do­mes­tic de­feats and a 2-0 loss to Wolfs­burg of Ger­many in the Cham­pi­ons League this week, the Red Army side face bot­tom-placed Anzhi Makhachkala on Sun­day with their ti­tle lead over Ros­tov cut to five points from nine at the start of the month. CSKA man­ager Leonid Slut­sky was up­set with a de­feat that dashed CSKA’s chances of qual­i­fy­ing for the Cham­pi­ons League knock­out stage. “It’s a very dis­ap­point­ing de­feat as we had the ini­tia­tive and cre­ated scor­ing chances,” Slut­sky said. “We need to con­cen­trate on two Premier League matches re­main­ing be­fore the win­ter break. I hope we will win both of them to main­tain our lead.”

Reign­ing cham­pi­ons Zenit St Peters­burg, who beat Va­len­cia 2-0 to en­sure they top Cham­pi­ons League Group H, turn their fo­cus back to do­mes­tic ac­tion when they meet Terek Grozny on Sun­day. “We were very happy to record five wins in as many Cham­pi­ons League matches,” Zenit Brazil­ian star Hulk said. “It’s a new mile­stone in the club’s history. But now we need to fo­cus on the Rus­sian league matches. “We’ve lost too many points this sea­son but we still have chances to re­tain the ti­tle as the lead­ers dropped points in their re­cent games.”

Sec­ond-placed Ros­tov, held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Ufa in their pre­vi­ous league en­counter, will have to pass a tough test when they visit FC Krasnodar on Mon­day. Ros­tov head coach Kur­ban Berdyev, who guided Ru­bin Kazan to their back-to-back Rus­sian ti­tles in 2008-09, said that the se­ri­ous per­son­nel prob­lems pre­vented his team from show­ing their best foot­ball. “In the last matches we lacked mo­bil­ity and had no re­serves for boost­ing our per­for­mance be­cause of in­juries. Hope­fully the things will sort them­selves out for our next match,” Berdyev said. Moscow club Loko­mo­tiv, who sit third one point be­hind Ros­tov, tackle city ri­vals Dy­namo also on Mon­day af­ter a 4-2 de­feat in Europa League clash with Sport­ing Lis­bon. —AFP

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