This season’s highest-scoring games: thrashings from Zenit and Sochi, spirited wins for Krasnodar

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Here we revisit the five highest-scoring matches of this Russian Premier Liga campaign so far. Two of the RPL’s three frontrunners, Zenit St. Petersburg and FC Krasnodar, appear more than once, but unfortunately Ural Ekaterinburg also feature twice but for less impressive reasons.

FC Ural 2-4 FC Krasnodar
1 September 2019 (Matchday 8)

This was the first match of the season featuring six goals. The turning point at the Ekaterinburg Arena was the appearance of Krasnodar academy graduates Ivan Ignatiev and Daniil Utkin 20 minutes before the end of the game. Before their arrival, the visitors had twice taken the lead through goals from Dmitriy Skopintsev and Ari, but the hosts drew level thanks to Yuriy Bavin and Othman El-Kabir.

After 10 minutes on the pitch, Ignatiev and Utkin combined for the third goal, and later Utkin set up Wanderson to wrap up the win for FC Krasnodar. The spirited win extended their unbeaten run away to FC Ural: their last defeat away in Ekaterinburg was a 3-1 loss in September 2015.

FC Krasnodar 4-2 Krylia Sovetov Samara
15 September 2019 (Matchday 9)

This game against Krylya Sovetov bore similarities to the FC Ural match, but its course was different. FC Krasnodar conceded the first goal and hit back, before Aleksandr Sobolev's double was denied by Matvey Safonov, who kept out his penalty at the end of the first half.

After such a blow, the hosts played shockingly after the break. A quick goal from Kristoffer Olsson, a powerful strike by Wanderson and Ari's goal after an unforced penalty out the hosts firmly in control. Safonov faced another penalty which Paul Anton, unlike Sobolev with his, scored, but it was the visitors’ last moment. Since FC Krasnodar moved to their new stadium, Krylia have never won there with a draw and two defeats.

FC Sochi 5-1 FC Orenburg
11 March 2020 (Matchday 18)

The teams were supposed to meet at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on 1 December when Vladimir Fedotov was still in charge at FC Orenburg. Due to the illness of several FC Sochi players the game was postponed to March, and by that time the coach had left to work at the Sochi club.

Fedotov's new players did not spare his former ones. Although the visitors made life difficult at first, the deadlock was broken by an own goal; then FC Sochi ran away with it. Aleksandr Kokorin scored a double, while Andrey Mostovoy and Christian Noboa also scored. All that was left for FC Orenburg to contribute was for Joel Fameyeh to deny Soslan Dzhanaev a clean sheet, but with victory FC Sochi climbed out of the automatic relegation zone.

Zenit 6-1 FC Rostov
19 October 2019 (Matchday 13)

Before the match at the Gazprom Arena, these two were in the top four alongside Lokomotiv Moscow and FC Krasnodar, all of them on 26 points. This clash between title rivals drew the highest crowd of the season with 58,639 spectators. Artem Dzyuba stole the show, winning and converting two penalties, scoring from a free kick he had won, and also set up Serdar Azmoun and Vyacheslav Karavaev’s goals.

For Dzyuba, this was his second hat-trick in the RPL. The first came when he scored all three goals for FC Rostov in a 3-0 win against Tom Tomsk way back in July 2013. Roman Eremenko's goal from the penalty spot helped FC Rostov avoid a repeat of their most crushing all-time RPL defeat, a 6-0 humiliation against CSKA in August 2014.

Zenit 7-1 FC Ural
14 March 2020 (Matchday 22)

Before Ural’s arrival, the Blue-White-Sky had not won or scored two games in a row. Sergey Semak picked four nominal forwards who decided the game. Serdar Azmoun scored the first club hat-trick of his career, Malcom scored his debut goal in the RPL, Artem Dzyuba increased his lead in the league’s top goalscorer race with a double, and Sebastian Driussi broke a goalless streak that had lasted since September.

In this match Zenit recorded one of their biggest victories in the RPL: the St. Petersburg side had scored eight against Luch-Energiya Vladivostok (2008) and Torpedo Moscow (2014). For FC Ural, this was the first time they’d conceded seven goals in a league game. Before that their heaviest defeat was inflicted by FC Krasnodar in a 6-0 defeat in April 2016.

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