Dzyuba double powers unstoppable Zenit to win in Kazan

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Rubin Kazan 1-3 Zenit St. Petersburg
Monday 20 September, Centralny Stadium

Goals: Rubin - Chistyakov (OG) 67’; Zenit - Dzyuba 24’, 43’, Claudinho 29’
Man of the Match: Artem Dzyuba (Zenit)

Claudinho was the spark for Zenit’s five-minute first-half burst to open up a 2-0 lead that saw him score his first goal for the club. His clever reverse pass had found Artem Dzyuba for a spectacular top-corner finish just moments earlier.

Former Rubin striker Sardar Azmoun wasn’t included in the matchday squad, but the Brazilian connection was firing in his absence. The second goal was a brilliant short combination started by Dzyuba’s simple header back across goal to Malcom, whose unselfish lay off left Claudinho time and space to hit a first-time finish.

Zenit made it three right before the break from a ruthless, lightning-quick counter attack that streaked the length of the pitch in seconds. Wilmar Barrios won possession on the edge his own box, allowing Malcom to carry at pace and feed Daler Kuzyaev out wide. His low cross found Dzyuba, who slid in and almost skied his shot over but found the underside of the bar.

Rubin did at least pull one back midway through the second half. Sead Haksabanovic’s deep free kick was powered goalwards by Djordje Despotovic, and although Dmitry Chistyakov intercepted the ball, he could only divert it past Stanislav Kritsyuk.

Rubin stay fifth on 14 points, while Zenit open up a four-point lead at the top of the table on 20 points.

Next RPL fixtures: Saturday 25 September - Zenit vs Krylia Sovetov; Sunday 26 September - Dynamo vs Rubin

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