Zenit slip to de­feat as CSKA top Rus­sian ta­ble

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Reign­ing cham­pion Zenit St. Peters­burg suf­fered its first home loss in the Rus­sian Premier League in nine months Satur­day, al­low­ing its old ri­val CSKA Moscow to open up a lead at the top of the ta­ble.

Zenit lost 2- 0 to FC Krasnodar, whose Colom­bian winger Ri­cardo Laborde scored one goal and set up the other. On Fri­day, CSKA had gone top with a 2- 1 derby win over Spar­tak Moscow.

Laborde swung in a free kick for Ice­landic de­fender Rag­nar Sig­urds­son to open the scor­ing for Krasnodar on 26 min­utes de­spite ap­peals for off­side. Laborde made it 2- 0 on 50 min­utes with a low, pow­er­ful 25- yard strike that left Zenit goal­keeper Yuri Lody­gin stranded.

“We suf­fered with con­trol­ling Krasnodar’s coun­ter­at­tacks. To­day I think ev­ery­thing went bad for us,” Zenit coach An­dre Vil­las- Boas said. “We couldn’t cre­ate enough sit­u­a­tions to come back into the game.”

The loss leaves Zenit sec­ond, three points be­hind CSKA, which has a per­fect record of five wins from five games.

All the goals in CSKA’s win came in a six- minute spell, start­ing with Sergei Ig­na­she­vich’s 31st- minute opener, the vet­eran de­fender first to the re­bound af­ter Vasily Berezut­sky hit the bar at a cor­ner.

CSKA’s sec­ond goal came four min­utes later when the Spar­tak de­fense failed to re­act to a de­flected pass and Nige­rian for­ward Ahmed Musa was al­lowed to go one- on- one with goal­keeper Ar­tyom Re­brov, fin­ish­ing off with a placed shot. Al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter the kick­off, CSKA’s Bi­bras Natkho gave away a penalty for trip­ping Ivelin Popov on the edge of the box, and Dmitry Kom­barov scored for Spar­tak.

CSKA goal­keeper Igor Ak­in­feev then made some good saves in the sec­ond half as his team held on for the win. The match saw Ivo­rian striker Sey­dou Doumbia make his first ap­pear­ance since re­turn­ing to CSKA on loan from Roma when he came on as a sec­ond- half sub­sti­tute.

Else­where, Ru­bin Kazan ended a run of four straight defeats with a 1- 0 win over Kuban Krasnodar on Satur­day, though Ru­bin coach Ri­nat Bilyalet­di­nov re­mains un­der pres­sure, while Fri­day saw Anzhi Makhachkala pick up its first point since re­turn­ing to the Premier League this sea­son, draw­ing 1- 1 with Amkar Perm.

Third- placed Loko­mo­tiv Moscow can over­take Zenit for sec­ond place with a win at home to Chechen club Terek Grozny on Sun­day, while un­der­per­form­ing Dy­namo Moscow, in eighth, will hope for three points against un­fan­cied Ural Yeka­ter­in­burg.

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