31.08.2020

Matchday 6 highlights: six draws for the first time in 10 years, Spartak lead for first time since winning the title

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We have rounded up the main events from matchday six in the RPL.

For the 1st time in 10 years, six matches on a single matchday ended in a draw, as only Spartak and CSKA Moscow won. At the end of 2010, the RPL held two matchday with the same number of draws. In the 28th, only Anzhi Makhachkala, who defeated Terek Grozny 3-1, and Zenit St. Petersburg, who then sealed an early league title after beating FC Rostov 5-0, picked up three points. On the last matchday, Anzhi again won their match - 3-1 against Spartak Nalchik - with the other winning team being Tom Tomsk, who beat Rostov at home by the same score.

For the second time this summer, Aleksandr Sobolev scored Spartak's first goal against Arsenal Tula. The forward scored his first goal for the Red-Whites in June as they won 3-2. Two months later, Sobolev equalised at the Otkritie Arena, and Spartak again triumphed as they won 2-1. The next day after the match, Sobolev received a call-up to the Russian national team for their UEFA Nations League matches due to an injury to Arsenal forward Evgeny Lutsenko.

The third draw in the history of meetings between FC Khimki and Rotor Volgograd was recorded, and for the third time by a 1-1 scoreline. Previously, the teams had drawn in the FNL - in August 2018 at Khimki Arena, and in July 2019 at the Volgograd Arena. In the first direct RPL meeting, goals were scored by Aleksandr Lomovitsky and Kamil Mullin; for both players, these were the third goals scored in their top-flight careers.

Sergey Ryzhikov had not conceded against Rubin Kazan in four halves until the end of the first 45-minute period in Kazan, when he was beaten by a Djordje Despotovic tap-in. The Serb eventually scored twice and the teams drew 2-2. The goalkeeper spent 10 years at Rubin, during which time he won two RPL titles, the Russian Cup and the Russian Super Cup. After leaving Rubin, Ryzhikov played two seasons at Krylia Sovetov Samara, where he played twice against his former team and never missed a goal.

The fifth RPL derby in a row between Krasnodar and Rostov ended in a draw. The run began with the first meeting of Murad Musaev and Valery Karpin in November 2018. Two previous matches at Krasnodar Stadium ended in 2-2 draws, while in both games in Rostov both teams scored once. Now a 1-1 has been recorded in Krasnodar. Under Musaev and Karpin, the teams have faced each other six times, including two quarter-final meetings in the 2018/19 Russian Cup, and the only victory was won by Rostov in the second Cup game.

CSKA have now beaten Akhmat Grozny six times in a row without conceding in the RPL. Akhmat’s last goal in the entire history of this fixture was scored by Zaur Sadaev in August 2017 at the VEB Arena, and Akhmat, under the leadership of Oleg Kononov, beat the Red-Blues 1-0. Since then, the Armymen have won six matches in a row, scoring 16 goals and conceding none. CSKA also kept their sixth consecutive clean sheet at the Akhmat Arena, Igor Akinfeev's dry streak at the stadium reaching 569 minutes.

After Ural held them to a draw, Sochi’s unbeaten run at the Fisht Olympic Stadium has now stretched to nine matches. In March, Sochi beat Ural 2-0 at home after losing to Arsenal, and since then they have not lost to anyone at home. During this time, Vladimir Fedotov's team have won six and drawn three. On the other hand, Sochi have scored fewer points at home this season than on the road - five against seven.

Dynamo Moscow have never lost to FC Ufa in 11 meetings. Since Ufa entered the RPL in 2014, the Blue-Whites have beaten them seven times and drawn four, while the teams haven’t met in the Russian Cup. In the last clash at the weekend, the Muscovites took the lead through Clinton N'Jie, but the hosts hit back thanks to Timur Zhamaletdinov, who scored his first goal after moving from CSKA. Dynamo left Ufa for the second time without a win: in 2018, they also drew 1-1.

Mathias Normann has scored his only two RPL goals in the 64th minute, and the Norwegian scored both from outside the penalty area. In September 2019, he scored in the middle of the second half against Akhmat, and his goal was the winner in a 2-1 victory for Rostov. In the recent southern derby, Normann converted a free kick in the same minute, but Rostov only took one point in Krasnodar after a 1-1 draw.

Zenit haven’t scored in the last 306 RPL minutes played against Lokomotiv after their draw in Moscow. Yaroslav Rakitskiy scored Zenit’s last league goal against the Railwaymen in April 2019 in the 54th minute, the second of three successful free kicks by the defender. In September of the same year, Lokomotiv beat the Blue-White-Sky Blues 1-0 at the RZD Arena, and in February 2020, the teams played out a goalless draw in St. Petersburg. In this time, however, Zenit have scored twice against Lokomotiv in the Russian Cup.

Spartak had not been top of the RPL standings for 1,179 days until the Red-Whites came out on top against Arsenal. The next day Zenit were not able to overtake them as they drew with Lokomotiv, nor could Sochi, who took one point from Ural. Spartak have not been leaders since the spring of 2017, when Massimo Carrera’s side won the championship. That season, Spartak guaranteed the title three matchdays before the end of the season, and on the last one on 21 May, they met Arsenal as champions and lost 3-0 in Tula.

Photo: Alexander Stupnikov/Spartak


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