Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday recap in week 7 of Rosgosstrakh Championship of Russia

Week seven of the Rosgosstrakh Championship of Russia got underway Saturday with CSKA, Dinamo and Lokomotiv lodging important victories.

Sibir Novosibirsk 1 CSKA Moskva 4
CSKA Moskva finally living up to its vast promise with a 4-1 devastation of host Sibir Novosibirsk. With the result, the Army-Men jump to the top of the table, whilst the Siberian rest at the polar opposite with a scant point to show for their efforts.

In the opening weeks of the campaign, CSKA have lacked the cutting edge and many have begun to question if all their off-season signings had spoiled the careful balance. Though they had plenty of attacking options, it was obvious they had yet to gel and talented playmaker Alan Dzagoev has played out of position. Concerned with his sides lack of output, manager Leonid Slutsky adjusted his line-up with strikers Tomáš Necid and Guilherme paired up top in a 5-3-2 formation to start. Mark González and Miloš Krasić started the day on the bench with Alan Dzagoev taking a centralist role, flanked by Keisuke Honda and young gun Pavel Mamayev.

Sibir, coming off a remarkable Russian Cup victory over Alaniya Vladikavkaz this Wednesday, were clearly motivated to lock down the Army-Men’s early advances. However, at the eleventh minute CSKA went in front 1-0 as Sergey Ignashevich capitalized on a defending flaw and slipped under his mark at the near post to head in Alan Dzagoev’s corner from the left. Sibir showed good spirit after the goal and did not back down. However, in the final strike of added-time before the break Guilherme accepted Keisuke Honda’s provision from the left and fired his third goal in two weeks to the far right corner of the net to get CSKA the 2-0 lead at the break.

At the restart, Igor Kriushenko’s side was greeted with rousing cheers as their supporters were appreciated of their sturdy efforts. Down by two, the Siberian tactician summoned Ivan Nagibin in for Aleksandr Antipenko to shore up his midfield. Nine minutes after the break, CSKA increased its lead as Aleksei Berezutski (Алексей Березуцкий) surged down the right channel before sending a cross from the by-line that Tomáš Necid turned in from five metres. Shifting into high-gear, the Army-Men were in front 4-0 with seventeen minutes remaining as Alan Dzagoev accepted the ball from Tomáš Necid as he surged through the right channel and scored from ten metres out. A minute later, Sibir gave their highly appreciative fans to celebrate as Tomáš Čížek fired a shot, albeit with a fortuitous deflection off Sergey Ignashevich into the net. While CSKA continued to pressure, the match ended without further mark and the Army-Men claimed the 4-1 victory.

Dinamo Moskva 1 Saturn Moskovskaya Oblast 0
Dinamo Moskva brought its five match winless run to an end with a 1-0 victory over Saturn Moskovskaya Oblast at Arena Khimki.

The start of the campaign has been a perplexing mix for the White-Blues as they have shown flashes of brilliance but had problems with finishing and only able to muster a single win heading into today's contest. However, the flourishing attack of Alexandr Samedov, Andriy Voronin and emerging star Aleksandr Kokorin has shown extraordinary promise and it was only time before they found the winning column.

From the opening whistle, it was clear Andrei Gordeev’s side were going to play a tough physical style as evidenced by Ruslan Nakhushev's take down of Aleksandr Kokorin at the second minute that caught match day referee Igor Yegorov in a forgiving mood. The early stages saw the White-Blues show quality pace and vision, with Edgaras Česnauskis and Andriy Voronin posing a series of menacing advances. Dinamo squandered a chance to take the lead when Aleksandr Kokorin accepted the ball from Andriy Voronin in the box with the youngster sliding it to the direction of Alexandr Samedov but it seemed to catch the former FC Moskva fan flat footed and he could not get a touch on it. The hosts continued to flourish however with each turn Saturn was up to the task and the match went to the break without a score.

At the restart, with their supporters in full song cheering "Dinamo", the White-Blues came out with a fire burning in their bellies. Prodding for the go-ahead goal Andriy Voronin got on the end of Vladimir Gabulov 's long ball but the Ukrainian international booming drive from just inside the area was stopped. At the seventy-third minute, Dinamo got the goal they were looking for as a corner from the right was headed on by Leandro Fernández, to which Alexandru Epureanu lashed it in from close range. The only dark spot of the affair for Dinamo was a disciplinary break down by Andriy Voronin where he received two yellow-cards in the final minutes, the last for a horrendous challenge of Pyotr Nemov. After two minutes of added time, the match concluded with Dinamo claiming the full three points with a 1-0 victory.

Lokomotiv Moskva 2 Tom Tomsk 1
In the final match of the day, Lokomotiv Moskva continued their dominating run at home with a 2-1 victory over Tom Tomsk.

In an exciting contest where both sides had opportunities to go out in front, the Railwayman were fortunate not to fall behind after bestowing an early marker upon Valeriy Klimov. The veteran was in alone on Lokomotiv 'keeper Guilherme but after a poor touch, Renat Yanbayev cleared the ball to safety and the deadlock maintained. Aleksandr Kharitonov later tested the Lokomotiv 'keeper before the hosts went out in front three minutes past the half-hour mark. Denis Glushakov, latching on to a loose ball drove towards the centre of the pitch and few metres outside the box sent the ball to the right inside post to give Lokomotiv a 1-0 lead. Just before the break, Oleksandr Aliyev surged from the right side of the box before cutting diagonally and firing his sixth goal of the campaign to the near post to give Lomotiv the 2-0 lead.

After the break, Lokomotiv tightened down the proceedings and rarely offered Tomsk the slightest space to operate. However, finishing was again the Railwaymen's issue as quality chances were unfulfilled. Tomsk's best chance came early when young gun Artyom Dzyuba was left unchecked at the back post on a corner from the left but his volley soared high. Two minutes past the hour, Tomsk manager Valeriy Nepomnyaschy summoned Alexander Prudnikov into the fray as he searched for the needed touch. Chances continued to be rare until the eighty-third minute when Belarusian international Sergey Kornilenko poached on a loose ball following a collision and fired it in from just outside the area. That would be as close as the match would get as Lokomotiv culled the visitors remaining advances and claimed the 2-1 victory.

Prepared by J. Davies
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