The injury of Russia’s first choice goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev, has topped the agenda after Spartak and CSKA played a spectacular 2-2 draw in the biggest Moscow derby there is.
The incident happened in the middle of the first half, when CSKA’s netminder left his box to clear a Spartak long ball with his head.
Opposing team striker Welliton was clearly second on the ball, but he still crashed into Akinfeev, with the goalkeeper hurting his knee due to an unlucky landing on Luzhniki Stadium’s artificial grass.
“It’s very serious,” Leonid Slutsky, CSKA’s coach, commented. “According to the symptoms, it’s a cruciate ligament injury. Apparently, he’s out for at least six months. I’m outraged by Welliton’s behavior.”
Akinfeev’s trauma means the Russian national team is left without their No.1 goalie for the rest of the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, which finishes this year.
Russia’s coach Dick Advocaat has already called up Dynamo’s Anton Shunin as a replacement for the upcoming home games against Macedonia and the Republic of Ireland.
Plenty of harsh words were said after the game, with Spartak even planning to file a claim to the Prosecutor’s Office after CSKA’s General Director Roman Babaev informed the press that some of the Ary Men’s fans had come up to him after the game and said they are planning to take revenge on Welliton.
“He should be careful walking the streets from now on,” Babaev added.
It is not the first time the Brazilian has injured a keeper playing for the Russian national team. In September 2010, Dynamo’s goalie Vladimir Gabulov left the pitch with a broken facial bone after a collision with Welliton, which did not appear accidental at all.
Ironically, it was Welliton who opened the scoring in stoppage time to the first half, heading in a rebound after Dmitry Kombarov’s shot.
But CSKA got right back into it half a dozen minutes after the break as Seydou Doumbia took full advantage of the panic in Spartak’s box.
And one would become two 69 minutes in, with Zoran Tosic finding the net for the Blue-and-Whites, 2-1.
However, a contender for strike of the weekend guaranteed Valery Karpin’s charges a point.
Emmanuel Emenike’s blast from outside the box became an unsolvable riddle for CSKA’s substitute keeper, Sergey Chepchugov, 2-2.
That scoreline means CSKA have company at the summit for the first time in months.
Zenit St. Petersburg 5-0 Krasnodar
Zenit join the Army Men at the top following a 5-0 home thrashing over FC Krasnodar.
Aleksandr Kerzhakov helped himself to a brace before the half-hour mark after good work from Danny.
The final 11 minutes would turn into a goal-fest. Kerzhakov claiming his hat-trick from the penalty spot before a brilliant volley from Roman Shirokov made it 4-0, five minutes from time.
The icing on the cake came courtesy of Danny as a delightful chip made it win number three on the trot for Zenit.
Elsewhere on the day, Dynamo kept the pressure up on the leading pair, with the third-seated side seeing off Spartak Nalchik 2-0.
Fellow Moscovites Lokomotiv also won against Southern Russian opposition, Kuban 1-0.
While Rubin have leapfrogged Samuel Eto’o’s Anzhi into fourth with a 1-0 win at home to rock-bottom Krylia Sovietov.