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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

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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