Spartak tear apart Ajax, Zenit and CSKA bid farewell to Europa League

Spartak Moscow became the only Russian team to make it to the Europa League quarterfinals, following a solid 3-0 display against Ajax.

­Spartak Moscow 3-0 Ajax (aggregate 4-0)

The Muscovites came into the match at Luzhniki Stadium after a 1-0 win in Amsterdam. But Valery Karpin’s men didn’t even think about preserving the advantage, putting Ajax under pressure from the very start.

The Red and Whites got the opener in the 21st minute after Alex found Dmitry Kombarov following a turnover in the visiting half, 1-0.

Spartak celebrated again nine minutes later. Brazilian striker Welliton put his name on the scoreboard, shooting into the far corner of Dutch substitute keeper Jeroen Verhoeven’s goal, 2-0.

The third blow came after the break and it was Moscow team’s captain Alex who scored his second goal in two games, this time from a free kick.

Spartak allowed Ajax to do something in front only after the score became 3-0, but all of Frank De Boer charges’ efforts were prevented by home keeper Andrey Dikan.

The Muscovites maintained their perfect record against the Dutch powerhouse, winning four games out four.  

Zenit St. Petersburg 2-0 Twente (aggregate 2-3)

The Russian champions had a mountain to climb following a 3-0 defeat in the Netherlands a week ago, and they were doing pretty well, scoring two goals through Roman Shirokov and Aleksandr Kerzhakov in the first half.

But Twente gave away everything in defense afterward and managed to maintain their advantage.  

FC Porto 2-1 CSKA Moscow (aggregate 3-1)

CSKA keeper Igor Akinfeev had to pick the ball out of his net after just 50 seconds of play in Portugal as Hulk wasted no time in opening the deadlock, 1-0.

Porto then doubled the lead, following Fredy Guain’s second goal in two games in the 27th minute, and allowed the visitors to get only one back, thanks to Zoran Tosic, who beat home keeper Heilton five minutes later.

The quarterfinals draw of the Europa League is scheduled for Friday, March 18.

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