The army team turned out to be stronger than the leader - Newspaper Kommersant No. 46 (7491) of 03/20/2023

The army team turned out to be stronger than the leader - Newspaper Kommersant No. 46 (7491) of 03/20/2023

In the central match of the 20th round, CSKA beat Zenit 1-0 at home, playing very tight and tough against them and waiting for good luck in the second half, when the rebound helped Fyodor Chalov score. The position of the St. Petersburg club, despite the defeat, still remains strong. He is ahead of Rostov, which has become his closest pursuer, by seven points.

The main match of the tour, on the one hand, did not indulge in an abundance of such events, from which entertaining videos are then cut, and on the other hand, it gave reasons for various comparisons and generalizations. Well, let's say he reminded that the previous week was surprisingly difficult for Zenit by his standards. First, the St. Petersburgers somehow defeated Khimki in the championship, then flew out of Fonbet of the Russian Cup, having been defeated in a penalty shootout by Dynamo. And the nature of Zenit's problems in these meetings was basically the same.

The foundation of Zenit's game, like the game of any European giant, is confident possession of the ball - not for the sake of percentage, but for the sake of moving forward, loosening the defense. The opponents - both Khimki, and especially Dynamo at the end of the cup match - adapted correctly and in time to cover the Zenit team in the middle of the field. Hence the opportunities they have.

CSKA in the starting half an hour in this sense played even better than Dynamo. It still looked closely at Zenit for a long time, showed a certain timidity. The army team was constantly tearing at the joints, taking advantage of the fact that judge Sergei Karasev that evening was not in the mood to whistle at any fall. He gave the fight, and the fight often resulted in army interceptions, after which Jesus Medina, as if scalded, rushed to the gates of others, hoping that the partners would respond properly to the breakthrough. Medina actually used to get good passes, but for some reason it still didn’t stick together with the moments. And only this nuance prevented us from recognizing the success of CSKA in overclocking as unconditional. It did not hurt him to add sharpness to density, tenacity and integrity.

As a result, "Zenith", having suffered, seems to have understood how to bypass all these traps placed on the way. And, most likely, a new injury to CSKA central defender Igor Diveev, who had just recovered from a serious fracture, and in this match asked for a replacement a quarter of an hour before the break, was hardly the main reason for the stylistic transformations that took place on the field. Even under Diveev, Zenit became much prettier.

And immediately after the departure of the defender, the Petersburgers almost scored. It was just such a combination, which, in theory, Zenit should give out in a conveyor way - with thin passes in a touch-two, with runs and movements. In this, Mateo Cassierra was destined to be on the cutting edge, whom Daler Kuzyaev left, in fact, in front of Igor Akinfeev. Cassierra struck a little clumsy, or something, and the army goalkeeper resisted.

CSKA tried to answer this attack with its own. Fyodor Chalov's breakthrough from the side looked almost as dangerous as Cassierra's blow. However, Zenit goalkeeper Mikhail Kerzhakov also showed that everything was in order with his concentration.

The break brought to army football that pinch of firmness, which he seemed to have lost after the guests perked up before the rest. It is rare to see Zenit as toothless as it appeared at the beginning of the second half. CSKA's game in defense - multi-layered, with a spiked redoubt of strong guys like Willian Roshi lined up in front of the penalty area - was almost exemplary. It was just the case when even a mouse would not slip through such constructions.

Another thing is that the hosts did not hint that they were going to score. It was that classic case when the scythe found its stone. Such, at least, there was a feeling: the match is filled to the top with all sorts of tactical and strategic nuances, but it seems that it is doomed to taxi to a goalless draw.

Nothing like this. However, the goal was ripe when Fedor Chalov risked shooting, being in two dozen gates, a little at an angle to them. Risked, as it turned out, not in vain. The ball hit Douglas Santos on the way, slightly ricocheted off him and thus turned Mikhail Kerzhakov into a useless jump.

Zenit, which had already chosen monotony as its motto, and, it seems, no longer objected to a peaceful outcome, got angry and attacked CSKA hard and passionately. And almost leveled the score after a corner. Mateo Cassierra was again impeccable in everything related to the preparation for the strike. He jumped out just in time. He famously hovered in the air, leaving Victor Mendez in the cold. But again, Cassierra did not succeed with a blow. The ball hit the post.

And already in stoppage time, Aleksey Sutormin falsified. Malcolm, previously tightly closed, provided him with the opportunity to shoot the gate with little or no interference - you just need to properly adjust to the ball given on top. Sutormin launched it over the crossbar.

Zenit suffered a second defeat in the championship, but it did not fundamentally affect its position. The gap between Zenit and the closest pursuer is still great - seven points.

Meanwhile, their closest pursuer is no longer Spartak, which on Saturday lost - 0:2 - to Orenburg, but Rostov, which did not allow a misfire in the tour. In his away match against the slowly sinking Khimki, everything was decided by two violations of the rules by the hosts in the first half. One is a foul by Brian Idova, who hit Nikolai Komlichenko on the leg from behind and forced the referee Vladimir Moskalev to appoint a penalty: it was converted by Maxim Osipenko. The second one was a karate move, which ten minutes later, at the end of the starting half-hour of the game, Janiou Bikel cut down Kirill Shchetinin. Moskalev showed Bikel a red card, and in the minority, Khimki, of course, was much more difficult to attack than in equal compositions. However, at the end of the match, they still somehow managed to create a couple of chances, but the score was never equalized due to the attentiveness of the Rostov goalkeeper Sergei Pesyakov and the unluckyness of their striker Marcos Guilherme.

As for CSKA, it caught up with Dynamo in terms of points scored. This tandem is located right behind the top three. Five points separate him from Spartak.

20th round

Orenburg-Spartak 2:0

Kovalev, 17; Vorobyov, 23.

Ural-Dynamo 0:1

Tyukavin, 90.

Fakel-Sochi 3:0

Gongadze, 34 (pen.); Magal, 73; Ivakhnov, 79. Removal: Melkadze ("Sochi"), 81 (2 Zh. K.).

Lokomotiv — Krasnodar 3:2

Barinov, 47; Glushenkov, 51; Dziuba, 65 - Alonso, 29; Cordoba, 39. Missed penalty: Dziuba, 45. Removal: Smolnikov, 72 (2 f. c.) - Ramirez, 63 (2 f. c.).

Khimki-Rostov 0:1

Osipenko, 18 (pen.). Removal: Bikel (Khimki), 29.

Wings of the Soviets - Akhmat 0:1

Timofeev, 46.

Pari Nizhny Novgorod - Torpedo 1:1

Gotsuk, 34 - Reina, 58

CSKA-Zenit 1:0

Chalov, 72.



1. Zenit 15 3 2 53:10 48

2. Rostov 12 5 3 36:27 41

3. Spartak 12 4 4 45:24 40

4. Dynamo 10 5 5 36:24 35

5. CSKA 10 5 5 35:20 35

6. Akhmat 10 2 8 31:29 32

7. Orenburg 10 1 9 40:40 31

8. Krasnodar 8 5 7 38:35 29

9. Sochi 8 4 8 29:39 28

10. Ural 7 4 9 24:31 25

11. Lokomotiv 6 4 10 27:37 22

12. Wings of the Soviets 5 5 10 20:31 20

13. Nizhny Novgorod 5 5 10 24:35 20

14. Fakel 2 11 7 27:37 17

15. Khimki 3 4 13 19:41 13

16. Torpedo 1 5 14 10:34 8

Alexey Dospekhov

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