Zhemaletdinov brace guides Loko to victory over Arsenal 

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Lokomotiv Moscow 3-1 Arsenal Tula
Saturday July 24, RZD Arena, Moscow

Goals: Lokomotiv - Zhemaletdinov (80, 86), Smolov (89); Arsenal - Tkachev (22)
Sent off: Arsenal - Artem Sokol (79)
Man of the Match: Rifat Zhemaletdinov (Lokomotiv)

Title hopefuls Lokomotiv Moscow left it late to complete a comeback against 10-man Arsenal Tula, thanks to a double from Rifat Zhemaletdinov. They had enjoyed a stellar run of form last year, whereas Arsenal finished in the relegation playoffs meaning that most fans were expecting a textbook victory for the former. After getting a goal disallowed in the sixth minute, the Railwaymen conceded to veteran midfielder Sergey Tkachev later in the first half.

Tula went down to ten men in the second half when defender Artem Sokol was sent off for a second offence. No more than a minute later, Rifat Zhemaletdinov equalised for Lokomotiv with some help from Grzegorz Krychowiak. Rifat then scored again to complete Lokomotiv’s turnaround, and gave them the three points they expected at the start. Fedor Smolov then added a third, compounding Arsenal’s misery after going down to ten men.

Next RPL fixtures: Friday 30 July - Arsenal Tula vs Rubin Kazan; Saturday 31 July - CSKA vs Lokomotiv

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