Davitashvili goal caps 10-man Rubin’s resilience in Slutskiy’s first win

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Arsenal Tula 0-1 Rubin Kazan

Saturday 14 March, Arsenal Stadium

Goals: Davitashvili (43’)

Man of the Match: Daniil Lesovoy

Sent off: Nikita Makarov (55’)

Zuriko Davitashvili scored Leonid Slutskiy’s first goal as Rubin Kazan manager at the third time of asking and lifted them out of the relegation zone. They had to do it the hard way though as Nikita Makarov was sent off after 55 minutes.

After the frenetic first three matches of matchday 22 produced 17 goals, Arsenal Tula struggled to break down a Rubin Kazan side that have scored fewer than any other side in the Russian Premier Liga. Their major chance came early on though. 

Goran Causic let fly with a vicious 20-yard drive that Yuriy Dyupin had to fling a full-length save at to turn behind. From the corner the ball fell loose in the box to Georgi Kostadinov to swing a shot on the turn at Dyupin which the keeper held. Evgeniy Lutsenko then almost put Arsenal ahead midway through the opening period but his header flashed just wide.

Other than Ivan Ignatyev seeing a half-chance smothered by Mikhail Levashov and Zuriko Davitashvili being unable to finish a ball over the top, Rubin barely threatened for most of the first half. 

Two minutes before the break though, Ivan Ignatyev’s through ball was met by Davitashvili on the bounce. Under reasonable pressure, he volleyed it past Levashov off the inside of the post to give Rubin a shock lead.

Ten minutes after the break, however, and Rubin were down to 10 men. Denis Makarov was shown a second yellow card for a challenge on Gia Grigalava after beating Victor Alvarez with a nutmeg but then losing control of the ball.

Arsenal predictably dominated pressure and possession afterwards. Just before the hour mark Evans Kangwa whipped in a cross that Causic headed against the post with Dyupin beaten, while moments later Sergey Tkachev curled a low free kick inches wide.

As the match wound down into the last quarter of an hour, if anything it was Rubin who were more in control. Soltmurad Bakaev and Darko Jevtic came off the bench and carried some rare counter attacks while Arsenal were toothless in response.

Arsenal Tula: Levashov, Denisov (Kombarov 60’), Grigalava, Belyaev, Alvarez, Causic, Kostadinov, Tkachev, E. Kangwa (Kovalev 66’), Lesovoy (Banda 76’), Lutsenko

Rubin Kazan: Dyupin, Danchenko, Uremovic, Starfeldt, Zuev, Konovalov (Mogilivets 85’), Abildgaard, Makarov (sent off 55’), Podberezkin (Jevtic 75’), Davitashvili, Ignatyev (Bakaev 73’)

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