Matchday 14 Review: Zenit draw a blank, Umyarov derby debut goal, Cassierra hot streak

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We have looked back over the matchday 14 fixtures in the Russian Premier Liga to bring you the best stats and figures.

0 - For the first time this season, Zenit St. Petersburg failed to score in the RPL, and it was against the bottom side in the league - Ural. The goalless draw was also only the second time the reigning champions had managed to keep a clean sheet, and in a bizarre twist of statistics, they still have a worse defensive record than Ural (16 goals conceded to Ural’s 15).

1 - Nail Umyarov saved 10-man Spartak from a derby defeat with a well-placed shot in the second half; just for equalising against local rivals is good enough, but the goal also marked two firsts; it was the young midfielder’s first goal for the club at senior level, and also Spartak’s first goal scored from outside the box this season.

3 - The speed with which Sochi ripped through CSKA with ruthless efficiency was alarming for a side that had previously boasted the best defensive record in the top flight. Three goals down after 16 minutes is poor by anyone’s standards, and marked the first time the Armymen have conceded three in the first half of an RPL match since losing 4-0 to Zenit in June 2020.

4 - Vyacheslav Grulev struck the only goal of the game at home to Krasnodar to keep Dynamo in the title hunt with a fine finish at the back post. The forward has something of a penchant for playing the southerners too; that was his fourth direct goal involvement (3G, 1A) against Krasnodar, his best tally against all RPL sides. Top top it off, his side have now won their last four matches against Krasnodar too, with three of those victories coming with clean sheets.

4 - Another favoured opponent is Khimki for Krylia Sovetov. After their commanding 3-0 win, Krylia have now won all four of their top-flight meetings at home against the Moscow region team; against no other side that they have faced at least twice at home do they have a 100% winning record without conceding.

5 - Vladislav Sarveli continued his electric run of form in front of goal to score and assist in Krylia’s comfortable 3-0 win over Khimki. The former Chertanovo graduate has now bagged four goals in his last four league games, and five of his side’s last eight - all five have come from open play inside the penalty area too.

5 - Although holding the runaway leaders to a goalless draw certainly counts as a significant result for Ural, they still can’t break their goal-shy tendencies. Another blank column on the scoreboard leaves them with just five goals scored after 14 matchdays - a joint record low in the RPL at this stage alongside Arsenal Tula (2016/17).

9 - There are a few names that stand out when discussing the most lethal forwards in the RPL - Gamid Agalarov streaking ahead at the top of the scoring charts, the record-breaking Artem Dzyuba - but head and shoulders above the rest in recent weeks is Colombian new boy Mateo Cassierra. The Sochi forward delivered yet another blistering performance in which he scored twice and set up another, to bring his tally to nine goal involvements in his five league games since the beginning of October. 

13 - Lucky for some, as it turns out; Rostov’s 5-1 blitz was impressive enough in itself, but it also marked their 13th consecutive RPL game in which they have scored, making it their longest scoring streak in the top flight. Only Zenit have scored more (31) since the start of August than Rostov (24).

21 - Rostov’s emphatic romp past Rubin was quite some comeback, after Soltmurad Bakaev had given the visitors the lead. Khoren Bayramyan has not exactly been on fire in front of goal or late, but he finally got on the scoresheet after 21 matches without a goal. He also laid on a beautiful assist for Pontus Almqvist for good measure.

Photo: Olga Voronova / FC Sochi


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