Matchday 5 Review: Yakovlev takes off, Akinfeev’s record, Rifat on fire

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We have rounded up the key stats and figures from matchday five of the Russian Premier Liga.

One - CSKA were struggling to break down a stubborn Akhmat Grozny that had been reduced to 10 men for almost an hour when they finally broke the deadlock, courtesy of Vladislav Yakovlev. It was the teenager’s first ever goal in professional football in only his fifth appearance for the first team, and first shot on target.

Five - It took all of eight minutes for Zenit to take the lead against Ufa at the weekend as Malcom latched onto a stunning lofted pass from Yaroslav Rakitsky to finish coolly. It was the Ukrainian’s fifth assist for Zenit this calendar year - two more than any other defender in that time - but remarkably he had failed to deliver a single one in his first 54 league games for the club.

Five - Fedor Smolov celebrated his recall to the Russian national team with yet another crucial contribution, as his two goals for Lokomotiv were enough to see off the challenge of his former club Krasnodar. He is currently the RPL top goalscorer with five goals, the same tally he managed in his previous 14 matches.

Eight - CSKA have the most flawless record in recent years against Akhmat Grozny, and they extended that at the weekend with the 2-0 win at home. They have now won all of the last eight meetings between them, and without even conceding a single goal in that run. Unsurprisingly, it is their longest winning run against Akhmat.

11 - Zelimkhan Bakaev has begun to re-establish himself in the Spartak Moscow side lately after a challenging period out of contention, but he registered his first goal involvement in 11 games at the weekend. He hasn’t scored in the RPL since last August, but at least he is back in the goal involvements.

12 - Dynamo Moscow are the early leaders in the RPL this season after they coasted to a commanding 1-0 win away to Ural Ekaterinburg last weekend to make it four wins from five. Their points tally of 12 is their best after five games since the 2014/15 season, when they finished fourth.

14 - Another increasingly routine contribution for Lokomotiv came from Rifat Zhemaletdinov, who set up both goals for Smolov this weekend. The forward has made a blistering start with three goals and four assists already this campaign, which takes him up to 14 direct goal involvements in his 16 RPL appearances in 2021. This is more than any other player in the league in the period, and surpasses his own personal tally for his previous 96 RPL matches.

19 - Denis Glushakov struck a vital goal for Khimki last weekend to claim a share of the spoils at home to Rubin Kazan to keep them out of the relegation playoff zone. The former RPL champions has not been short of effort trying to score either; in fact, he has now attempted 19 shots on goal this season already, at least three more than any other player.

490 - Igor Akinfeev broke yet another record in a glittering career this weekend, by becoming the outright leader in number of Russian top-flight appearances with 490. Since making his debut 18 years ago against Krylia Sovetov Samara when he saved a penalty, he has won everything domestically, as well as the UEFA Cup, and overtakes former teammate Sergey Ignashevich in the appearance charts.

Stats courtesy of OptaIvan

Photo: Konstantin Rybin / RPL; Kristina Korovnikova / Dynamo Moscow


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