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Zenit Shamed in Moscow Loss

Published: March 19, 2014 (Issue # 1802)



  • Although Zenit outshot their opponents, they were unable to find a way past CSKAs goalkeeper and Russia national team member Igor Akinfeev.
    Photo: fc-zenit.ru

A difficult week for FC Zenit St. Petersburg was capped off by a 1-0 loss to reigning champions and bitter rivals CSKA Moscow on Mar. 15 as the clubs chances of retaking the Russian Premier League title took yet another blow.

Bulgarian midfielder Georgi Milanovs stunning 32nd-minute strike was the difference in Zenits first game under interim manager Sergei Semak after Zenits Italian manager Luciano Spalletti was fired at the beginning of last week following a disappointing 0-0 home draw with relegation-threatened Tom Tomsk on Mar. 9.

Related: Midfielder Roman Shirokov Leaves Zenit for Krasnodar

Although Zenit outshot their opponents, they were unable to find a way past CSKAs goalkeeper and Russia national team member Igor Akinfeev.

Zenits loss meant Lokomotiv Moscow expanded their lead at the top of the table to three points after drawing 0-0 with FK Amkar Perm on Sunday.

Obviously the match didnt put us in a good mood, Semak told Zenits English-language website after the game. We did alright at the beginning of the match, and were active on offense and reliable in defense, but the goal we allowed changed the course of the game.

Related: St. Petersburg Football Team Zenit Fires Coach

Zenit now faces a difficult trip to Dortmund for the second-leg of their UEFA Champions League tie tonight against Borussia Dortmund, last years runners-up in the competition, in hope of overturning a two-goal deficit after losing 4-2 at home to the Germans in February.

Spallettis firing comes after Zenits seven-point lead at the top of the league disappeared due to a string of poor performances. Poor league form was the catalyst for the removal of Spalletti, who won the league twice with the St. Petersburg club.

Nicolas Lombaerts, the clubs Belgian defender, was quick to shift the blame for Spallettis firing away from the club. If the coach is fired, the players should take a look at themselves, he said following the loss to CSKA. In the end, if he was fired, then were one of the main causes.

On Tuesday, Zenit announced it had agreed to terms with Portuguese manager Andre Villas-Boas to replace Spalletti on a two-year contract. He will be officially introduced as Zenits new manager Thursday.

In other action from around the league, Rostov-on-Don won 2-0 in Samara against Kryliya Sovetov while Kuban Krasnodar dented Dinamo Moscows title hopes in a 1-1 draw on Mar. 15. On Sunday, asides from Lokomotivs 0-0 draw in Perm, Rubin Kazan won 3-1 at home over Volga Nizhny Novgorod. Both Monday games ended in draws as Tom Tomsk drew 1-1 with Krasnodar and Spartak Moscow drew 2-2 with Anzhi Makhachkala.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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