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Home News Selyava’s shot from beyond the box, Sobolev’s header and Karpin’s suspension: Spartak clinched a draw against Rostov
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Selyava’s shot from beyond the box, Sobolev’s header and Karpin’s suspension: Spartak clinched a draw against Rostov

Photo by Jon Moore on Unsplash

The encounter between Rostov and Spartak was crucial in the fight for the silver medal. The southerners had an opportunity to increase their lead over their nearest pursuers by up to four points and significantly improve their chances of winning medals, taking into account the fact that the Red and White would face Zenit on the road in the next round. They, in turn, could return to second place ahead of the derby.

However, if we believe the statistics, it was difficult for the Muscovites to count on success, because the yellow and blue with the arrival of Valery Karpin has become for them an uncomfortable opponent. The last two matches in Rostov-on-Don were played against them. And at home in the Russian Premier League, the Metropolitan team have not won at all for five years, having suffered a series of three straight defeats.

The home team should have benefited from the return of another leader. Victor Moses prepared for the meeting on a par with everyone else. Thus, Guillermo Abascal could count on more than just Nail Umyarov and Daniel Khlusevich. It seemed that after the meeting with Krasnodar the Spaniard would not opt for the scheme with three central defenders, but he did just that. George Dzhikiya, Ruslan Litvinov and Alexis Duarte formed a trio near his goal. However, the Paraguayan was shifted to the right flank when attacking. Quincy Promes also returned to the bench with Aleksandr Sobolev in front. Moses remained on the bench.

The visitors’ losses were even more substantial: injured Evgeniy Chernov and Dmitry Poloz were joined by the disqualified Khoren Bayramyan. In his absence Karpin was not afraid to entrust the place at the right flank to Ivan Komarov, who had been useful as a substitute this season, but never got into the starting lineup.

The first half turned out very similar to the one in the previous game for Spartak, except they didn’t score any goals. It was extremely difficult for the home team to transition from defense to attack. To make the play they lacked an extra man in the defensive zone, which could be Litvinov. As a result, the hosts had only one shot on goal before the break.

Problems for them began on their own half, when they encountered a high opponent’s pressure. At times, Alexander Selikhov got lost under it and gave a couple of inaccurate passes. It was already a difficult task for the Red-Whites to overcome the pressure in the center of the field. If they managed to do so, it was usually followed by passes to the flanks. However, Denisov and Promes almost never stepped into the game. On the flanks Mikhail Ignatov and Roman Zobnin were completely invisible. And Aleksandr Sobolev had to be carried off for the ball, almost into the center circle. As a result, he even earned a yellow card for disrupting another`s attack. It was only in extra time that the Muscovites came to their senses and seized the initiative.

“Rostov looked more interesting and took more shots but also rarely penetrated into the opponents’ penalty area. As a rule, all shots were from long range. And the powerful Nikolay Komlichenko found it difficult to cling to the ball, as did Sobolev, and he was almost invisible when the opponents’ defense was full.

In addition, Karpin lost his key midfielder Kirill Shchetinin in the opening stages. The most frustrating thing was that he got an injury when he ran into his teammate. Komarov ran into him at full speed while struggling for the ball. It was immediately clear that the injured player most likely suffered a concussion. He was also bleeding. The player tried to return to the field, but soon lay on the lawn and asked for a replacement. Instead he had to be replaced by the newly recovered Daniil Utkin.

“Spartak also had its share of losses. At halftime Abaskal had to replace his key defender Dzhikia with Pavel Maslov. However, he did not deviate from his scheme. They had the initiative and tried to stretch the opponent’s full defense down the flanks. To do this, Karpin dismissed the tired Roman Tugarev and sent Stepan Melnikov, a player trained by the Red-Whites, to the left flank.

The hosts still had nothing going for them. The defenders desperately kicked the ball forward to Sobolev, who gave a running ball to Promes. It worked a couple of times, but the Dutchman, who has not yet found his best form, lacked both strength and speed. Abaskal began to make substitutions to simplify the game only in the 76th minute, when he released on the left flank Anton Zinkovskiy, who had equalized the score in the match with Krasnodar.

Accompanying him on the field came Alexander Selyava. And it was the Belarusian nearly became the hero of the game. Having just entered the game, he scored a great goal. It all started with Selikhov’s unassisted tackle on someone else’s defender. Immediately afterwards, there was a cross towards the penalty area, where Komlichenko, having won the fight on the second floor, made an excellent pass. And the midfielder left-footed the ball into the far corner. Selikhov could have saved his teammates, but he appeared to be in the wrong position.

Only after that did the Moscovets staff went all-in and threw in Shamar Nicholson and Balde Keita. With the emergence of fresh forwards, the partners were bolder in throwing the ball forward. This immediately paid off. Pereira had an excellent chance to restore balance before Pesjakov miraculously seized on his shot. And then, incredibly, the Jamaican missed Danil Prutsev’s shot on the far post.

In the final period, the Bilo-Syni switched to a three-man lineup and almost made it happen. In added time, they even pushed the game away from their own goal. However, Spartak took a number of corners, one of which finished in a goal. It is noteworthy that again Alexander Sobolev saved the team. The forward gained terrific form in April and scored five goals in the last three games. And this time he distinguished himself with a header in the 94th minute, even though the referee compensated for three.

Karpin immediately after the final whistle complained to Kirill Levnikov, for which he received a direct red card.

“What exactly was unhappy with the referees? What was the difference? I’m not interested in talking about it. Everyone talks about them, what else is there to talk about? Only wasting time”, – quotes the specialist Match TV.

The Red and Whites have once again demonstrated their unyielding nature as they scored 17 points in this season’s Russian Premier League in games in which they were underdogs. But on the whole, the draw benefited CSKA Moscow, which had earlier beaten Akhmat. The Army team narrowed to one point behind Spartak and to two points behind Rostov.

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