15.03.2020

Three-goal, eight-minute Lokomotiv blitz destroys FC Rostov hopes

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FC Rostov 1-3 Lokomotiv Moscow

Sunday 15 March, Rostov Arena

Goals: Pesyakov OG (34’), Zhemaletdinov (38’), Krychowiak (42’); Popov (64’ pen)

Man of the Match: Grzegorz Krychowiak

Grzegorz Krychowiak scored his ninth goal of the season as Lokomotiv Moscow blew FC Rostov away in a seven-minute burst before half time. His dipping shot was deflected in for an own goal by Sergey Pesyakov, while Rifat Zhemaletdinov also helped put the visitors 3-0 up before Ivelin Popov’s second-half consolation penalty.

Popov hit the first shot in anger after seven minutes as his long-range effort was half-spilled by Guilherme, then collected at the second attempt. A minute later Matthias Normann’s radar was slightly off as he cut in from the right as he hit the side netting.

Just around the quarter-hour mark FC Rostov very nearly struck twice. After 13 minutes Popov’s header from Aleksey Kozlov’s cross struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced out, before Eldor Shomurodov’s volley drew a diving save from Guilherme.

For all FC Rostov’s early dominance, they were completely undone by a three-goal, seven-minute blitz just before half time.

On 34 minutes Krychowiak unleashed a spectacular left-foot volley from all of 30 yards. Pesyakov got the faintest of touches to tip it onto the post only to see the ball rebound off the back of his head as he completed his dive and bounce in.

Just three minutes later Lokomotiv were 2-0 up. A swift counter attack caught Denis Hadzikadunic out of position as Aleksey Miranchuk carried possession deep into FC Rostov’s half. Krychowiak met a dead end, but left Zhemaletdinov to sweep a left-footed shot across Pesyakov from the edge of the box.

Four minutes before the break Krychowiak was again the source. Maksim Osipenko’s slightly wayward header saw a long ball fall to the Pole, who swept it wide to Joao Mario. Maciej Rybus raced through on the overlap before cutting back to Krychowiak near the penalty spot to smash home Lokomotiv’s third.

There was even time for Miranchuk to graze the outside of the post from outside the area before the hosts staggered back to the dressing rooms dazed and confused. When they emerged for the second half, however, they came out fighting.

Khoren Bayramyan and Shomurodov won back possession before the latter spotted Baktiyor Zaynutdinov. The cut-back was intercepted in the nick of time by Benedikt Howedes’ sliding challenge.

Five minutes later another last-ditch challenge kept FC Rostov out. With club top goalscorer Shomurodov lurking for Bayramyan’s pull-back, Barinov was just in time to slide in and block the effort.

On the hour mark, Normann’s long-range sighter could have gone anywhere when Solomon Kverkvelia stuck his leg out, but fortunately for him it span behind safely. Eventually the pressure told when Zaytnutdinov was bundled over in the box by Krychowiak.

Up stepped Popov to pull one back with a confident penalty into the top-corner. The renewed intensity couldn’t be sustained though as the match dwindled into the last 10 minutes without incident.

Miranchuk hit the crossbar from a direct free kick with three minutes left, before Popov slid a loose bouncing ball a foot wide of Guilherme’s far post up the other end. FC Rostov’s energy had been spent though.

FC Rostov travel to take on FC Sochi next on Friday 20 March, while Lokomotiv Moscow host FC Orenburg the following day.

FC Rostov: Pesyakov, Kozlov, Hadzikadunic, Osipenko, Chernov, Normann, Zaynutdinov (Dolgov 86’), Eremenko, Popov, Bayramyan (Saplinov 86’), Shomurodov

Lokomotiv Moscow: Guilherme, Ignatyev, Kverkvelia, Howedes, Rybus, Barinov, Krychowiak, Zhemaletdinov (Idowu 82’), Al. Miranchuk, Joao Mario (Magkeev 74’), Eder


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