21.06.2020

Three players sent off as Aleksey Miranchuk peach wins Nikolic’s first Lokomotiv match

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Lokomotiv Moscow 1-0 FC Orenburg
Sunday 21 June, RZD Arena

Goal: Al. Miranchuk 38’

Man of the Match: Al. Miranchuk

Sent off: Zhemaletdinov 45’; Miskic 58’, Malykh 84’

Aleksey Miranchuk’s delightfully placed finish began Marko Nikolic’s reign as Lokomotiv Moscow manager with a narrow 1-0 win over FC Orenburg. Rifat Zhemaletdinov was sent off for the hosts just before half time, while the visitors’ Danijel Miskic and Andrey Malykh followed suit in the second half.

Lokomotiv began comfortably enough when captain Vedran Corluka stooped in the six-yard box to head just over after eight minutes. Soon after Miranchuk’s inswinging cross was met first time by the onrushing Zhemaletdinov, only to see his poked effort drift just wide.

After quarter of an hour a harmless looking header out was volleyed straight back over the onrushing defence by Vladislav Ignatyev. Miranchuk timed his run well and nudged the bouncing ball back across to Eder, only for the Portuguese striker to head over from eight yards.

Midway through the first half it was the struggling visitors who should have taken the lead. Ricardo Alves was pulled back near the corner of the area by Miranchuk, and although Vitaliy Shakhov met the Portuguese forward’s set piece delivery inside the six-yard box his header trickled agonisingly wide.

Just after the half hour mark Eder almost made amends with a beautifully cushioned header to the onrushing Dmitriy Barinov only for Mikhail Sivakov to slide in and turn the ball behind. The resultant corner was deflected inches wide of the far post by Shakhov.

There was no stopping Miranchuk’s cultured top-corner finish five minutes later. Zhemaletdinov held up play just inside the box to allow his teammate time and space to pick his spot perfectly.

Having made the assist, on the stroke of half time Zhemaletdinov took the gloss off a convincing first period by picking up a second booking for a rash slide tackle.

Orenburg threw on a second striker for the second half in Joel Fameyeh to press home their numerical advantage. It took a stunning one-handed diving save from Guilherme to tip over a thumping Mamadou Sylla header just a minute after the restart.

Numbers were levelled less than 15 minutes in though when Danijel Miskic was sent off. Initially he was dismissed for a lunge on Grzegorz Krychowiak in the penalty area, and although VAR earned him a reprieve, he was shown a second yellow card for dissent anyway.

The closing stages opened up as legs grew tired and more space appeared. With quarter of an hour left Miranchuk sent Andrey Klimovich sprawling with a curling effort low down, before bending a free kick a couple of yards wide moments later. Joao Mario then raced completely clear, rounded Klimovich but could only strike the crossbar. 

Andrey Malykh was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence with just over five minutes remaining, but that was far from the last heart-stopping moment. Sylla tapped in from a few yards out only to see it chalked off, while at the other end Miranchuk earned a penalty - thanks to a VAR review - deep into added time.

Eder stepped forward, but blazed his spot kick miles over the bar.

Lokomotiv have a trip to Rubin Kazan up next on Saturday 27 June, while FC Orenburg host FC Krasnodar on the same day.

Lokomotiv Moscow: Guilherme, Ignatyev, Murilo, Corluka, Rybus, Krychowiak, Barinov, Al. Miranchuk, Joao Mario (Idowu 90+5’), Zhemaletdinov, Eder

FC Orenburg: Klimovich, Sivakov, Radakovich, Shakhov (Fameyeh 46’), Malykh, Miskic, Ayupov (Chukanov 82’), Zotov, Ricardo Alves, Chernykh (Lipovoy 63’), Sylla


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