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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

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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