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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, Dec. 26


Celebrate Boxing Day by playing various tabletop games during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening tonight at 5 p.m. Spread the Christmas cheer and goodwill by making other people regret their decision to come and try to match their intellectual prowess against yours.



Saturday, Dec. 27


Indulge cultural and material needs simultaneously during the free classical music concert at the Galeria shopping mall in the heart of the city. Starting at 7 p.m., shoppers and mallwalkers will be able to hear the sounds of Tchaikovsky and Strauss softly lilt over the constant buzz of people bustling from store to store, trying to get their shopping done before New Year.



Sunday, Dec. 28


Prepare for the holidays at the Russian Winter New Years Fair on Moskovskaya Ploshchad, which concludes today after starting on Dec. 22. Games and attractions as well as numerous performances will be on offer for those looking to get into the spirit while numerous vendors will help make sure you have something for everyone on your list.



Monday, Dec. 29


Learn how the Swedes observe Christmas, or Jul, in their land of ice and snow, during aSwedish Christmas celebration at the Lermontov Childrens Library this afternoon at 4 p.m. Activities explaining and demonstrating Swedens cultural traditions will be accompanied by traditional dishes and sweets.



Tuesday, Dec. 30


Today is the final day of the Christmas Market at the Europolis shopping center on Polyustrovsky prospekt. Indulge your holiday sweet tooth by tucking into some gingerbread men, or attend one of the master classes that will teach you about how to make beautiful, festive decorations for your tree using only your hands.



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