“ZENIT” WITHOUT DZYUBA
It is a bit unusual that a pre-season friendly tournament with the participation of Russian teams does without Spartak, but this summer the red-and-whites have other plans. But the sign of the first round of “Zenith” – “Pari NN” was not without interest.
The teams met for the second time in the last month – Nizhny Novgorod won a home victory in the final round of the RPL, but it is worth considering that by that time the Russian champions were mentally on vacation, and the Latin American legion officially went on vacation. With the exception of Wilmar Barrios. He asked for a delay on his return, so he did not play in this meeting.
Sergei Semak does not need to speed up the preparation of the team, so the starting lineup turned out to be mixed – along with the Brazilians Douglas Santos, Claudinho and Malcolm, Arsen Adamov, Danil Krugovoy and Kirill Kravtsov came out from the first minutes, that is, the players who will face a serious struggle for playing practice this season. For the first time in many years, Zenit is preparing for the season without Artem Dziuba, but another Spartak pupil appeared – Zelimkhan Bakaev started the meeting on the bench and after the break went onto the field.
MALCOM’S NEW FOCUS
Interest is also growing in the Nizhny Novgorod team, which is undergoing global changes in the offseason. At first, it survived the name change thanks to a sponsorship with a bookmaker, which in itself is a historic event for Russian football. Great job in a market economy. And then Alexander Kerzhakov, who kept the club in the RPL, was replaced on the coaching bridge by Mikhail Galaktionov, well-known to the fans from the Russian youth team.
It was extremely interesting to see how the coach, known for his progressive view of football, will change the style of play of the wards right before our eyes. Last year, the Nizhny Novgorod team acted strictly based on the capabilities of the players, so they focused on counterattacks, and in this meeting, Galaktionov’s desire to play more aggressively is already visible – to put high pressure on opponents and go into the tackle immediately after losing the ball.
It is clear that the difference in class did not allow guests to actively control the ball. Zenit controlled the course of the game and quite actively loaded goalkeeper Artur Nigmatullin (13-2 in shots) with work. He made several high-quality saves, until the most active in the St. Petersburg team, Malcolm, fired from outside the penalty area exactly into the far corner (the ball flew into the net from the post). The goal is cool, but along with other points, we note that in the support zone is a growth zone for Galaktionov’s wards.
The result on the scoreboard in such a game is not so significant, nevertheless, after a missed ball, the guests managed to catch the ball and organize a couple of decent approaches, one of which ended in a corner. It was Kirill Gotsuk who equalized the score, famously outhanging Ivan Sergeyev in the center of the penalty area. We also note the technical serve of Nikolai Kalinsky.
BAKAEV AS MALCOM?
During the break, Semak made a triple substitution, which confirmed that at the moment there are not many strong players at his disposal. Only Mikhail Kerzhakov, who extended the contract, Bakaev (it is ironic that he made his debut for St. Petersburg on the field of the Zenit club academy) and Daler Kuzyaev entered the second half. The rest of the players on the bench are from the unfired youth category.
It is curious that Bakaev entered the field instead of Malcolm, and not to the position of the right lateral, where Alexei Sutormin acted. In Spartak, Zelimkhan had a chance to act in this role, so it would be logical to see him on the very edge (and he feels better there). Moreover, it is almost impossible to oust the Brazilian from the composition. Nevertheless, Semak surprised – instead of playing Malcolm and Bakaev together, he released them one by one.
THREE GOALKEEPERS SEMAK
Friendly masts are not to be taken seriously. Footballers are just getting into the rhythm of the game after the holidays and train a lot, coaches experiment, and in the case of Galaktionov, they look at the players and implement their ideas. And if we take into account that in the second half a lot of substitutions are also made (for example, juniors Alexander Sandrachuk and Kirill Stolbov came out for the St. Petersburg team), then they can only be informative for coaches.
So here it makes sense to look at individual performances. So, it was interesting to enter the game Bakaev, with the advent of which the St. Petersburg attacks ceased to tilt so accentuated to the left, and Vyacheslav Krotov. The latter opened great on the same line with the defenders, hooked on a long pass and skillfully shot into the far corner from the summer, but missed a bit.
In such a clearly youthful line-up, the St. Petersburg team lost the advantage and ended the main time of the match in a draw, which they have no reason to complain about. The ending took place under the dictation of the Nizhny Novgorod team, almost all of which ended up in the opponent’s half of the field. So the game ended with a penalty shoot-out, under which Semak released the third (!) goalkeeper – David Byazrov. The young goalkeeper did not disappoint – he took the first blow from Krotov. He became decisive.
PARIS PREMIER CUP
Zenit – Nizhny Novgorod – 1:1 (1:1; 5:3 on pen.)
Goals: Malcom, 32 – 1:0. Gotsuk, 39 – 1:1.
Penalty shootout: Adamov – 1:0. Krotov – Krotov – 1:0 (goalkeeper). Kuzyaev – 2:0. Gotsuk – 2:1. Kravtsov – 3:1. Milson – 3:2. Bakaev – 4:2. Mashukov – 4:3. Stolbov – 5:3.
“Zenith”: Odoevsky (Kerzhakov, 46; Byazrov, 90+1), Adamov, Chistyakov (Skrobotov, 76), Douglas Santos (Sandrachuk, 65), Krugovoi (Kozlov, 88), Sutormin (Koledin, 76), Kravtsov, Claudinho (Z. Bakaev, 46), Malcolm (Kuzyaev, 46), Mostovoy (Stolbov, 65), I. Sergeev (Mikhailov, 76).
“Nizhny Novgorod”: Nigmatullin (Anisimov, 46), Masoero (Agapov, 81), Kakkoev (Aleksandrov, 64), Gotsuk, Penchikov, Stotsky (Voropaev, 42), Rybchinsky (Krotov, 46), Sharipov (Gorbunov, 64), Kalinsky (Yugaldin, 86), Berkovsky (Milson, 73), T. Suleimanov (Mashukov, 64).
Warning: Chistyakov, 70.