09.03.2020

Ufa hold League leaders Zenit to goalless draw

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Zenit 0-0 FC Ufa
Monday 9 March, Gazprom Arena
Man of the Match: Bojan Jokic (Ufa)

Mid-table side FC Ufa took points off Zenit St. Petersburg again after initially beating them by a goal in the reverse fixture. Zenit fans and players will probably be displeased with the result, given that the blue-white-sky-blues were absolutely dominant and managed 18 shots. FC Ufa’s defence should also be credited, as it evoked memories of the 2017/18 Ufa team that, under Sergey Semak, managed to qualify for the Europa League qualifiers.

The first half was an extremely tight and dull affair, with only a few significant chances. Ufa, against the run of play got the ball to striker Lovro Bizjak, but the forward couldn’t convert. Just three minutes later after that, Artem Dzyuba made a mockery of the FC  Ufa defence, only for the Bashkortostani club to clear the ball off the line.

In the second half, Sardar Azmoun replaced Emiliano Rigoni and a trifecta of Azmoun, Malcom and Dzyuba made life quite difficult for the away team. Ufa’s five at the back system consisting of Bojan Jokic, Jemal Tabidze, Aleksandr Putsko, Ionut Nedelcearu and Azer Aliev was effective at combatting Malcom’s pace and Dzyuba’s height. Aleksandr Belenov was reliable as ever in goal, making four saves.

There wasn’t too much else to report, bar a few yellow cards for both teams. Zenit play FC Ural next and will be hoping to get back to winning ways after two successive draws since the winter break. FC Ufa travel to play CSKA Moscow, meaning that they’ll have played three of the top four sides in three weeks’ time.

Zenit St. Petersburg: Lunev; Karavaev; Osorio, Rakitskiy, Douglas Santos (Driussi 67’); Ozdoev (Erokhin 77’), Barrios; Rigoni (Azmoun 46’), Malcom, Zhirkov; Dzyuba
FC Ufa: Belenov; Aliev, Nedelcearu, Putsko, Tabidze, Jokic; Golubev, Carp, Fomin, Urunov (Thill 72’); Bizjak (Krotov 65’). Olivier Thill substituted by Andres Vombergar in added time due to injury


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