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Home News Malcom’s poker, Dzyuba and Oblyakov’s doubles, Safonov’s mistake: What was memorable about the 25th round of RPL
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Malcom’s poker, Dzyuba and Oblyakov’s doubles, Safonov’s mistake: What was memorable about the 25th round of RPL

Photo by Vadim Bogulov on Unsplash

On Matchday 25 of the Russian Football Premier League, Zenit took another step toward their fifth consecutive title when they defeated Krylia Sovetov 5-1 on the road. The game unexpectedly started with a goal by Sergey Babkin. The young midfielder on loan from Lokomotiv Samara took first a tackle in the middle of the pitch and a few seconds later converted a Roman Ezhov cross from the flank. It is noteworthy that it was his debut goal in the Russian league.

However, Krylia’s fans had no other reason to celebrate. The visitors not only regained the balance before the break, but also took the lead. First, Malcom converted the penalty awarded by Mikhail Ivanov after reviewing the replay for Glenn Bale’s foul on Daler Kuzyaev, and then Ivan Lomaev put Claudinho’s small shot between the hands from the penalty line. To make matters worse, Bale received his second caution in the dying stages of the half – for disrupting an attacking move.

In the second half, it was Malcolm’s time. Sergei Semak’s charges openly played with gusto on the powerplay and looked as if they wanted their forward to hit the ball. As a result, he scored three times in 20 minutes and scored the first poker of his career. Interestingly, in the previous two four times in the RPL Zenit players also scored: Artyom Dzyuba in 2021 and Alexander Erokhin in 2018.

In the current national championship, Malcom is unmatched. He’s leading in the scorers’ race (22), as well as in goals assists (29). Moreover, at this rate he is able to set a new record in number of goals scored per season in the Russian championship. Seydou Doumbia scored more (28), but it happened in the transitional 2011/12 season, which lasted more than a year.

CSKA earned a victory over Akhmat thanks to the inspired play of its leader. In the spring Ivan Oblyakov with his transfer to the offensive line has been making results in almost every game. In Grozny he scored the first double of his career in RPL. And in both scoring chances the midfielder proved to be a real striker: first he shot the ball into the net from close range, and then he opened in somebody’s penalty area and after receiving a pass from Konstantin Kuchaev he delivered an accurate shot into the far corner. He now has nine points (5 + 4) in seven RPL games after the season resumption. Not surprisingly, the Army team is almost unmatched in this stretch: After their loss to Sochi, they won six games and drew one more.

However, just as in the previous contest, there was no shortage of nerves. On 80 minutes, on 80 minutes substitute Mohamed Konate reduced the deficit to a minimum, scoring his eighth goal in the current season. However, Sergey Tashuev’s squad failed to escape, and in extra time the referee allowed Maksim Mukhin to score his debut goal for CSKA and put the game to bed.

Thus, Grozny once again showed that it was a comfortable opponent for the Army team. They suffered their 25th loss in 33 faceoffs, with only five wins and three draws.

Meanwhile, Krasnodar and Ural, on the eve of the important matches in the Russian Cup drew 1-1 in the domestic championship. The draw rather benefited the visitors. First, they broke their streak of five defeats in the league. Second, Viktor Goncharenko was probably glad to trip up his former team, which he had left at the beginning of last year, although his performance couldn’t be called a failure.

Finally, Ural showed their character as on the 13th minute the southerners opened the scoring after a corner-kick. Kevin Lenini got on the scoresheet with a debut goal. However, not long before the break Aleksandr Yushin seized on a cross by Eric Bikfalvi and unleashed a powerful shot from the penalty line.

Unfortunately, Matvey Safonov had to parry the shot but missed it under his arms. The Russian goalkeeper regularly saved his teammates, but at the same time often allowed himself a goal scoring error. Moreover, the resulting mistake in the game with Ural was his third of the season, and in terms of this indicator he is the leader along with Artur Nigmatullin, although the latter defends the colors of Nizhny Novgorod.

Nizhny Novgorod, in turn, failed to get any points away from Orenburg in Week 25. Although the visitors needed a win, for the majority of the encounter they played second-string and only counterattacked occasionally.

The game could have taken a different turn if the referee allowed a goal by Artem Sokolov on 13 minutes. However, Evgeniy Turbin, even after consulting with his colleagues, refused to call off the decision of the linesman, who had booked a controversial offside position. In the beginning of the second half, on the contrary, having watched the replay, the referee did not register Lucas Masaero’s last-ditch foul and made do with a yellow card.

However, in the end the outsider conceded a goal and Marcel Liczka made a sub. He fielded Stepan Hovhannesyan, and after just three minutes he headed in Lucas Vera’s cross from the flank and scored his first goal in the Russian Premier League. After such a successful game club president Vasily Yeremekin even promised to buy the player from Spartak at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, this change in Nijnii Novgorod hasn’t helped much. Under Sergey Yuran’s guidance, Nizhny Novgorod scored only one win – over Krylia Sovetov, while the team lost to Dynamo, Krasnodar and Orenburg. The fans were clearly expecting more. On the other hand, almost all our opponents were of a high level.

In another team fighting for survival, Torpedo, the change of coach resulted in some tough personnel decisions. A few days before the game with Sochi, Josepp Klotet suspended Ilya Kutepov, Ravil Netfullin and Yuriy Zhuravlyov. According to media reports, the Spaniard was unhappy with the level of discipline on the team, and he allegedly removed the latter for smiling at training sessions.

Anyway, in the next match of the national championship it did not help the Muscovites. They failed in the game and scored only one shot on goal, which turned out to be a goal. The southerners gladly took advantage of their opponent’s problems and interrupted the three-match losing streak in the RPL, and also took the lead for the first time since Kurban Berdyev was replaced by Dmitri Khokhlov.

The fate of the encounter was decided by experienced players. Joaozinho opened the scoring on seven minutes and shortly before the break he converted a corner pass to Kirill Kravtsov. It helped him break the bar of 100 points in RPL (40 goals + 61 assists). Artur Yusupov converted two assists in one Premier League match for the first time in his career. Finally, Kirill Zaika, who came on as a substitute, cleared all questions about the winner with a beautiful strike. Another reserve player, Mikhail Kaymakov, scored the consolation goal for the black-and-whites.

Khimki was another tournament underdog, losing by five to Lokomotiv. Despite the final score Andriy Talalaev’s charges looked decent for most of the game. In the first half they only missed a penalty kick by Anton Miranchuk, but they did not take advantage of a number of chances. Ilya Lantratov acted above all praise in the confrontation with his former partners. However, in the 60th minute he was punctured by Alexander Rudenko.

Of course, Artyom Dzyuba was not without goals. The forward failed to put CSKA on the board in the previous matchday, but a week later he made a double. It is important that he scored both goals at the right moments. First, he doubled the lead of the railroaders after a corner, and then he realized one-on-one and again increased the gap in the score. The same number of points (12) after the resumption of the season in the national championship scored only Malcom.

At the end of the match, the Red and Black were forced to go forward and open up, which was taken advantage of by the opponents’ fresh forwards. Ivan Ignatiev, who recently did not rule out leaving the club due to lack of practice, scored for the first time since last October. And Wilson Izidor, who recovered from injury, scored a goal for the second straight game after coming off the bench.

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