Sunday, April 12, 2009

Army-Men dominate Lokomotiv

At the young age of twenty-five Yuri Zhirkov has established himself as the premier Russian player today. An extraordinary gifted player who can change the match in the briefest of moments, the young attacker seems on the verge of a major breakthrough on the world stage. For those who frequent Moskva's Luzhniki Stadium that single mention of the name "Yuri" through the public address system is a prompt to join-in with a rousing reponse "Zhirkov."

That chant was echoing through the stadium Sunday as Yuri along with teenage sensation Alan Dzagoev led CSKA Moskva to a overwhelming 4-1 victory over Lokomotiv Moskva. The victory gets the previous favourite Army-Men back on winning form after early season stumbles. The Zico led CSKA had to do without Russian international Aleksei Berezutskiy and goal scorer extraordinaire Vágner Love. However in a brilliant decision, CSKA brought in seventeen year-old Georgi Shchennikov to the back-line along with former Slavia Praha striker Tomáš Necid.

After an early Miloš Krasić cross was headed wide by Alan Dzagoev the young Russia provided the Army-Men the 1-0 lead as he struck a perfect dipping free-kick over the wall and into the upper left corner of Lokomotiv's 'keepers Marek Čech goal. Ten minutes after the break Luzhniki roared as CSKA made it 2-0 as Evgeni Aldonin surging down the right flank cut the ball back to Yuri Zhirkov for a perfect finish from twelve metres. With eighteen minutes remaining Miloš Krasić made it look easy as he sent a high floating cross to the top of the six-yard box that Alan Dzagoev nodded in for the second of his day. Lokomotiv managed to get one past premier 'keeper Igor Akinfeev seven minutes later as Montenegrin international Marko Baša flicked on a well placed free-kick. Moussa Maazou, who had come on for Tomáš Necid earlier made it 4-1 with three minutes left as he turned in Yuri Zhirkov's provision from the left after a long run by Miloš Krasić. Upon scoring the promising young Nigerian star showed a level of maturity far beyond his age and quickly made his way towards Zico to celebrate.

CSKA return to play next Sunday against Khimki while Lokomotiv welcome Zenit Saint Petersburg.