11.05.2021

Key Points from Matchday 29: Chalov’s rebirth, Sochi’s early and late marks, Despot dependence

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We have picked up the key stats from Matchday 29 of the Russian Premier Liga.

Zero - After their goalless draw away to city rivals Lokomotiv this weekend, Dynamo Moscow lost the initiative in the race for Europe by dropping five points off the pace for a top-five finish. Although they boast a decent defensive record - only two sides have conceded fewer - Dynamo are also now the only side with no goals in the last three RPL fixtures.

Two - Fedor Chalov has struggled for regular game time in recent months, only making his first start since the winter break in the home win over Krasnodar. He rewarded manager Ivica Olic’s faith with a goal though, having failed to score in his previous eight RPL appearances. It made it two goals in consecutive matches - the first time he managed the feat this season.

Four - Daniil Khlusevich played a key role in Arsenal Tula racing into two-goal lead at home to Rubin Kazan, scoring the first and assisting the second for Luka Djordjevic. Sadly for him, the visitors stormed back to win 4-2 in a blistering second half, but for Khlusevich personally it marked his fourth direct goal involvement (2 goals, 2 assists) in his last three RPL performances - one more than his previous 26.

Five - Ramazan Gadzhimuradov’s wonderful individual winner for Ural Ekaterinburg against Rostov was worthy of winning any game, yet alone what was effectively a dead rubber with both sides out of contention for European places and also safe from relegation. What it did achieve was Ural’s fifth consecutive unbeaten home game against Rostov (W2, D3) - after having lost the previous three.

Seven - Artur Yusupov has been in the form of his life for Sochi this season, and once again he registered a vital contribution by scoring the winner deep into added time with virtually the last kick of the match. It brings his personal tally to seven goals for the league campaign, behind only Christian Noboa and Anton Zabolotny for his club, and equals his total for the last seven seasons combined.

Eight - Sochi had got off to a typically strong start before Yusupov’s late heroics by taking the lead through Aleksandr Rudenko’s ninth-minute strike. In fact, it was their eighth goal in the first 15 minutes of RPL matches, second only to Spartak with 10.

11 - After converting a penalty early in the second half of Spartak Moscow’s 2-1 win over FC Khimki for his 14th overall goal on the RPL season, Aleksandr Sobolev then continued his sparkling form since the season restart in February by also supplying the assist for partner Jordan Larsson’s winner. In fact, he has had a direct hand in 11 goals since the winter break (nine goals, two assist) - more than any other player. 

33 - Djordje Despotovic has been one of the signings of the season arguably, spearheading Rubin Kazan’s charge towards the upper echelons of the Russian Premier Liga table. His penalty began the explosive comeback in a rain-drenched Tula, and was his 13th goal of the season. His league goals account for 33% of Rubin’s total team goals, making Despotovic’s individual contribution ratio to his team’s goals the highest in the RPL.

64 - Douglas Santos has played a central role to Zenit St. Petersburg’s success, chipping in with a joint league-high seven assists despite being a defender. Those are among the 64 chances the Brazilian full-back has created this season, the third most of defenders in top UEFA’s top-five leagues, behind only Manchester United’s Luke Shaw (66) and Verona’s Federico Dimarco (66).


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