08.08.2020

Second domestic treble: The key points from Zenit’s fifth win

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We have gathered the most interesting facts about Zenit’s win in the 2020 Russian Super Cup.

This was Sergey Semak’s 1st Super Cup win as a manager. In the former midfielder’s coaching career overall, this is his third victory in the tournament, but in 2015 and 2016 he was only at Zenit as an assistant to Andre Villas-Boas and Mircea Lucescu respectively. In the 2018/19 season, Semak became the first to win the Russian Premier Liga as a player and head coach, this achievement he repeated in the Russian Super Cup - as a player, he won the trophy with CSKA, Rubin and Zenit.

The second club earned the right to keep the Super Cup trophy for permanent storage. After beating Lokomotiv, Zenit became a five-time winner of the trophy. The first was CSKA. The Armymen were given the trophy in 2013 for their fifth victory in the tournament, and it was issued after a 3-0 win against Zenit. The next year, the RPL presented an updated version of the trophy, which was played for at VEB Arena. Zenit strengthened their hold on second place in number of Super Cup titles, reducing the gap behind seven-time champions CSKA to just two.

Zenit won three trophies in 2020 and won the Super Cup for the second time in their history as double winners. In 2010, the Blue-White-Sky Blues won the national Cup in May, in November they secured the RPL championship ahead of schedule, and in March 2011 they beat CSKA in the Super Cup. This time though, Zenit completed their hattrick of trophies within the space of a month: on 5 July they won the fastest title in RPL history, on 25 July they beat Khimki in the Russian Cup Final, and on 7 August they defeated Lokomotiv Moscow in the Super Cup. The record holder for such hat-tricks is CSKA again, who took the trophy after winning the double in 2005, 2006 and 2012-13.

It took four attempts for Mikhail Kerzhakov to start a Super Cup from the first minute. The Zenit goalkeeper remained on the bench twice against Lokomotiv in 2015 and 2019, as well as against CSKA in 2016. In the last meeting with the Railwaymen, the goalkeeper saved six shots on target and conceded only from Vedran Corluka when the score was already 2-0 to Zenit.

Artem Dzyuba has played in five Super Cups, and finally scored his first goal in the tournament. Zenit’s captain pounced to convert Douglas Santos’ cross with a precise header in the 14th minute. In four previous appearances, the forward registered one assist. In 2007, when he was still playing for Spartak, Dmitry Torbinsky scored from his pass to Igor Akinfeev, but the Red-Whites lost 4-2 to CSKA. In all five of his Super Cups, Dzyuba played in the starting line-up but only played the entire 90 minutes twice (2007 & 2019).

Yuri Zhirkov became a six-time winner of the Super Cup. The midfielder has participated in seven, only suffering defeat in 2019 against Lokomotiv. The 36-year-old, who has extended his contract with Zenit by a year, this time played 10 minutes against the Railwaymen and earned a yellow card. In terms of the number of Super Cup wins, Zhirkov caught up with former CSKA teammates, the Berezutsky brothers. He has one more title left before equalling the tournament record, which is held by some other old friends - Igor Akinfeev and Sergey Ignashevich.

The seventh tournament in his career was won by Dejan Lovren, who made his debut for Zenit in the Super Cup after moving from Liverpool and immediately won his first Russian trophy. With the English club, the Croatian defender first won the Champions League, and last season became English Premier League champion. Lovren did not participate in two more winning tournaments for the Merseysiders; the European Super Cup and the Club World Cup in 2019. In his homeland, the 31-year-old won the second league with Inter Zapresic (2006/07), the Croatian League and Cup with Dinamo Zagreb, and then won the 2011/12 French Cup with Lyon.

Nine players from the starting line-up won the Russian Super Cup for the first time: defenders Vyacheslav Karavaev, Yaroslav Rakitsky, Dejan Lovren and Douglas Santos, midfielders Wilmar Barrios and Magomed Ozdoev, and forwards Sardar Azmoun, Malcom and Sebastian Driussi. Mikhail Kerzhakov and Artem Dzyuba were already winners in 2015 and 2016, while Yuri Zhirkov, who started the match on the bench, won the trophy four times with CSKA and now twice with Zenit.

Magomed Ozdoev played his 11th match against Lokomotiv, and for the first time he scored against his former team. The midfielder played for the Red-Greens from 2010, before going on loan to Rubin Kazan in 2014 and then making his move permanent at the end of that season. The player has appeared eight times against the Railwaymen in the RPL, once in the Russian Cup and twice in the Super Cup. In last year's match between Zenit and Lokomotiv at VTB Arena, Ozdoev earned a late dismissal for two yellow cards. His goal at the VEB Arena in the 69th minute was the player's first in the tournament and the match-winning goal.

Photo: Konstantin Rybin/RPL; Vyacheslav Evdokimov/Zenit


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