Saturday saw the top four Russian Premier League sides in action as CSKA were playing rivals Dynamo Moscow and Lokomotiv were taking on Zenit St. Petersburg. Both games ended with a shock.
CSKA 0-4 Dynamo Moscow
League leaders CSKA Moscow hosted cross-city rivals Dynamo in their first match without national team goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, who picked up a major knee injury a fortnight ago. And the absence was a glaring one.
Andrey Voronin opened for the visitors 36 minutes in. More misery was then heaped on CSKA’s deputy shot-stopper Sergey Chepchugov just three minutes later as Kevin Kurani coolly converted a Dynamo counter-attack.
The hosts’ defense remained all at sea essentially for the rest of the game. Argentinean Leandro Fernandez took advantage of that lackadaisical approach midway through the second half, nodding home a corner kick.
Late substitute Aleksandr Kokorin would then round out the 4-0 scoreline on the stroke of full-time.
Dynamo Moscow showed they are the real deal this season, moving to within a couple of points of the summit.
Lokomotiv 4-2 Zenit
Zenit should have capitalized on CSKA’s slip-up. In order to leapfrog the Army Men in the table they needed only a draw at Lokomotiv. But Luciano Spaletti’s men threw away a two-goal lead to blow it 4-2.
Danko Lazovic and Aleksandr Bukharov both struck in the first half to put Zenit into the driver’s seat.
But Loko’s new coach Jose Coucerio would not taste his first defeat since taking up the reigns in July as the second half saw an impressive turnaround.
Summer signing Victor Obinno launched Loko’s comeback soon after the re-start. Another new arrival Felipe Caicedo made it all square after 60 minutes.
Before yet another summer signing Manuel da Costa bagged a brace within 13 minutes to complete the scoring.
The thrilling victory moved the Muscovites up to fourth place in the league.