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No Fans, No Problem: Zenit Wins Big

Published: August 13, 2014 (Issue # 1824)



  • Midfielders Danny and Oleg Shatov celebrate one of Zenits eight goals on Aug. 9.
    Photo: Anna Volkova

Zenit St. Petersburgs strong start to the Russian Premier League season continued this past weekend as they demolished league newcomers Torpedo Moscow 8-1 at an empty Petrovsky Stadium on Aug. 9, tying the clubs record for largest win ever in a league game.

Still serving an attendance ban after Zenits ultras rushed the field in the waning moments of the final home game of the 2013-14 season, a 4-2 loss to rivals Dinamo Moscow that was later changed to a 3-0 forfeit in favor of the Muscovites, the St. Petersburg club ripped apart the visitors without the usual cacophony of rabid noise.

For the second league game in a row, Zenit was up 3-0 by halftime, this time thanks to goals from Russian right-back Igor Smolnikov, Brazilian forward Hulk and Venezuelan forward Salomon Rondon, who scored for the third game in a row.

Zenits lead was boosted in the second half by another goal from Rondon, who has now scored 12 times in the 16 games hes played for Zenit since joining midway through last season from Rubin Kazan. Russian midfielder Oleg Shatov added a goal after Hulk scored from the penalty spot and Russian striker Alexander Kerzhakov finished the rout with two more goals, including one from the penalty spot. Torpedo bagged a consolation in the 86th minute after Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel brought down Torpedo substitute Alexander Salugin in the penalty box.

The clubs win on Aug. 9 capped off an impressive week for the club that saw them take firm control of the top of the league table after two games with a whopping goal differential of plus 11 as well as rescue their UEFA Champions League campaign with a 3-0 victory over Cypriot club AEL Limassol on Aug. 6.

Zenit needed to overturn a one-goal deficit after losing in Cyprus on July 30. Zenits task was made easier after AELs Danielzinho got his second yellow card after only 26 minutes played.

The St. Petersburg club finally made the breakthrough at the beginning of the second half when Rondon headed them into the lead. Portuguese midfielder Dannys tap-in in the 88th minute gave Zenit the aggregate lead before Kerzhakov scored a penalty in the 91st minute to round out the win.

Zenit still has one more qualifying hurdle before they can take part in the group stage of the Champions League. Their next opponent is Belgian club Standard Liege, which defeated Greek runner-ups Panathinaikos 2-1 in Athens to advance. They will play two games, one home and one away, to determine who goes through.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



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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