The appearance of star-rookie Yury Zhirkov was not enough to prevent Anzhi Makhachkala from 3-0 hammering away at Spartak Moscow on Mtachday 20 of the Russian Premier League.
Spartak Moscow 3-0 Anzhi Makhachkala
Brazilian striker Ari regrouped to fire home a left-footed opener, with 35 minutes gone.
He then turned provider nine minutes later, as Dmitry Kombarov netted from close range what at first looked like an air ball, but ended up as another surprise goal.
Spartak applied as much pressure after the restart, with substitute Aleksandr Kozlov netting their third, and also the last of the day after 73 minutes.
Zhikov spent the whole 90 minutes on the pitch, but did not enter spotlight too often. And when the former Chelsea midfielder received the ball he was booed by the Spartak fans, just as he was during the national team’s game last Wednesday.
The Moscow supporters greeted the 27-year-old with the banner saying: “Honor can’t be bought with money,” hinting that it was only the high salary, which persuaded Zhirkov to swap one of Europe’s top clubs for the mid-table Russian side.
”Frankly, it didn’t work too well,” Zhirkov told Russia 2 channel. “Alas, the first pancake turned out lumpy. We couldn’t control the ball and gave our opponents too much space.”
While Anzhi coach, Gadzhi Gadzhiev, called the Russian international’s debut a “satisfactory” one.
”He can play better and he will play better,” he said.
Zenit St. Petersburg 1-1 Amkar Perm
Zenit have missed the chance to join CSKA at the top of the Russian Premier League after coming back to draw 1-1 at home to lowly Amkar.
A fourth league win in a row would have put the defending champions level on points with the Army Men, but Aleksandr Kolo’meytsev gave Amkar the lead ahead with a long-range stunner, midway through the first-half.
Danko Lazovic then missed a penalty for Zenit, right before the break, hitting the ball high over the bar and, after the match, said he is staying at Zenit, despite previous rumors of a move to Anzhi.
Aleksandr Kerzhakov leveled matters, six minutes after the break to go joint-top of the league scorers’ list, but 1-1 was how it stayed.
Luciano’s Spalletti’s men are currently two points off the top.
Volga Nizhny Novgorod 0-0 Lokomotiv Moscow
Lokomotiv Moscow have yet to taste defeat since the arrival of new coach Jose Couceiro last month, even though they failed to score for a second straight game.
The Railway Men were held to another goalless draw, this time at new boys Volga.
Dmitry Sychev was arguably the closest to break the deadlock for Loko, with the striker seeing a goal in each half ruled out for offside.
Krasnodar 1-2 Krylia Sovietov Samara
New boys Krasnodar hosted bottom team Krylia Sovetov, but a horrible mix up at the back saw the visitors take the lead through Nenad Dordevic.
And they made sure of the win five minutes from time as Anton Bober got on the end of a spectacular pass.
Krasnodar got one back in injury time through Otar Martsvaladze, but at 2-1, Krylia still snatched a rare win.