Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spartak Moskva keeps winning

While being called "temporary" it is abundantly clear that with Valery Karpin in-charge, Spartak Moskva is an entirely different squad. Along with a deepened respect for the youth development Mr Karpin as instilled a sense of pride of wearing the crest that he knows so well. Although a more permanent move is in the offing, with Oleg Romantsev mentioned by many, the return of Spartak as a power looks promising.

Following last 2-0 victory Terek Grozny, Spartak management were pleased but media pundits expected the красно-белые to come out of Saturdays match-up against Rubin Kazan black and blue. Flying high in the early season, the defending champions have been fearless and yet to register a loss. As extra motivation Rubin players were expected to take a piece of Spartak's hide for last years 3-0 destruction in Kazan, effectively providing them opportunity for retribution.

All that changed today as Rubin's expectations turned sour as once again the красно-белые flew brilliantly with a 2-0 victory in Kazan. Once again the manager handed the goalkeeping duties to Russian U-21 keeper Soslan Dzhanayev along with teenager Yevgeni Makeyev and rewarded Denis Boyarintsev youthful play of late with a spot in the starting eleven against his old squad. After a scoreless opening half in which the stormy sides of Kazan painted an ominous backdrop for the match, the красно-белых had the lead early after the break. With bursting flares from traveling fans leading the way to the Rubin goal, Austria's Martin Stranzl found the mark four minutes after the restart as he out-fought at least four Rubin defenders to rise high and nod in Alex's corner to the far right post. Confidence billowed from the celebratory fans, fists in the air and their was no stopping the Valery Karpin-led side. Challenges were crisp as Spartak was not going to give up any ground uncontested as very quickly it was apparent this battle was theirs to be won. Just past the hour Spartak capitalized on a over-committed Rubin side and slit their hopes as Welliton was played a perfect though ball down the right channel and as the Rubin 'keeper Sergey Ryzhikov went out to meet him, the Brazilian deftly chipped the ball over him to bring the match to a 2-0 conclusion.