Medina's goal, Maradishvili's missed chance and Ushakov's two yellow cards in the end: how CSKA beat Lokomotiv in the RPL

CSKA defeated Lokomotiv away in the 15th round of the Russian Football Championship. During most of the meeting, the railroad workers had a territorial advantage and struck 17 shots at Igor Akinfeev’s goal, but did not take advantage of their chances. Jesús Medina scored the only goal. At the same time, Vladimir Fedotov’s wards could win more confidently, but Yegor Ushakov’s goal in the end was canceled, and the player himself received two yellow cards and was removed from the field.

The abundance of personnel problems

In the central match of the 15th round of the Russian Football Championship, teams that were not in the best condition competed with each other. But if CSKA looked unimportant only in the last three meetings, in none of which he managed to succeed, then Lokomotiv is going through one of the worst stages in recent years. On the eve of the derby, the railwaymen were in 14th place in the standings and were only three points ahead of Khimki, who were in the relegation zone.

Nevertheless, the opponents’ chances were slightly equalized by the army’s serious personnel problems. Due to injuries, Vladimir Fedotov lost two central defenders – Igor Diveev and Kirill Nababkin, even if the first of them got into the application. As a result, Matvey Lukin, a pupil of the red and blue, received the opportunity to make his debut for the main team in the RPL. The 18-year-old athlete has already entered the field in the derby with Torpedo in the Cup, but after that he settled in the reserve. Also, due to muscle problems, the attacking midfielder Konstantin Kuchaev did not go to the RZD Arena, and Sasha Zdelar and Moizes missed the match due to disqualification.

Lokomotiv also could not count on several performers, but everyone had already gotten used to the absence of Rifat Zhemaletdinov and Lukas Fasson. Due to severe damage, the first did not have a single meeting this season, and the second played only 135 minutes. Also, Ivan Ignatiev, who was injured in the game with Torpedo, could not help his partners.

Fedorov’s scheme

The acting head coach of Lokomotiv Andrey Fedorov tried to surprise the opponent and decided to mirror the formation of CSKA. At least on defense. Thus, Stanislav Magkeev made up the company of Dmitry Barinov and Tin Yedvay in the top three, and Nair Tiknizyan and Maxim Nenakhov settled on the flanks. And these changes helped the railroad to minimize the number of dangerous moments with the enemy. During the first half, the guests hit Marinato Guilherme five times on goal, but only one of the blows was delivered from outside the penalty area. And the owners should be offended that it was he who eventually became accurate. Jorge Carrascal was allowed to hang freely, and no one prevented Jesús Medina from heading the ball into the near corner. The Paraguayan found himself all alone and was deprived of the need to fight on the second floor.

As for attacks, for a long time Lokomotiv preferred to develop them through the left flank. And this could be due to two factors. Firstly, it was to this zone that Anton Miranchuk moved. Secondly, Lukin was located there together with Milan Gaich. And although the young footballer himself did not make individual mistakes, there was no mutual understanding in the actions of the defensive line. This is what led to a series of dangerous episodes at the gates of Igor Akinfeev, at least one of which could end in a goal. The penetrating pass of Wilson Isidore left out of work the entire defense of the army and allowed Konstantin Maradishvili to go one on one with his former partner. However, the midfielder made the wrong decision and instead of hitting, he tried to beat an experienced goalkeeper, for which he paid the price.

Lack of strength

It seemed that in the second half the railroad will try to increase the pressure to the limit and even more fire at the gates of Akinfeev. But the problems that Yuri Semin spoke about a couple of months ago were revealed again. Functionally, the hosts were not ready to work at the highest pace throughout the entire 90 minutes and gave the initiative to the guests. Even Miranchuk, who demonstrated high-class football, slowed down, and his partners in the attacking line were completely “lost”. Fedorov noticed this and released Girano Kerk and Marco Racognac instead of Isidore and Kamano, but a significant transformation was not achieved. Only in stoppage time did Lokomotiv manage to pile up, but they weren’t close to scoring a goal.

The red-greens “killed” their opponents in both halves and in total outnumbered them by almost two times (17:10), but this did not help them extend the scoring streak in home meetings. Prior to this, this season they have never left the RZD Arena without goals.

Ambiguous refereeing of Lyubimov

Moreover, Lokomotiv could well have suffered a more sensitive defeat. In the middle of the second half, CSKA earned the right to a free kick a couple of meters from the penalty area and only miraculously did not double the advantage. Fedor Chalov hit the post, and Baktiyor Zainutdinov, who was on the rebound, did not have time to adjust to the ricocheted ball and sent it over the crossbar. And already at the end of regular time, the chief referee of the meeting, Artyom Lyubimov, did not allow Yegor Ushakov to distinguish himself for the first time for the main team.

The replacement graduate of the army team broke through on the left flank, moved to the center and outwitted Guilherme, performing a shot into the near corner instead of a pass. But after watching the video replay, the judge ruled that in the fight against Barinov, the red-blue striker hit him in the face and canceled the goal, punishing the athlete with a mustard plaster.

As a result, Ushakov became so nervous that ten of his partners left him in stoppage time. A young football player from behind jumped at the feet of Barely in a non-committal situation and received a second yellow card in four minutes. However, it is definitely not worth blaming the refereeing of CSKA. Even in the first half, Lyubimov had every reason to present Zainutdinov with a second card for the go-ahead, but felt sorry for the Kazakh defender. Like Barinov, who hit Chalov in the back of the head with his elbow.

One way or another, CSKA prevailed over Lokomotiv in the derby, broke the losing streak and returned to the fight for second place. After 15 rounds, Fedotov’s wards have 29 points in their assets – the same number for Rostov and Spartak. True, the red-whites have a match in hand.


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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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