Hattrick hero Dzyuba ruins Kerzhakov's managerial return as Zenit thrash 10-man Nizhny Novgorod

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Zenit St. Petersburg 5-1 Nizhny Novgorod 
Friday 19 November, Gazprom Arena 

Goals: Zenit - Malcom 24', Dzyuba 34, 45+1', 60', Chistyakov 87'; Nizhny Novgorod - Kozlov 39'
Sent off: Nizhny Novgorod - Boumal 42'
Man of the Match: Artem Dzyuba (Zenit) 

Zenit made light work of Nizhny Novgorod from the off, with Wendel twice blazing just over and Aleksandr Erokhin denied from point-blank range. The only surprise was that it took halfway through the opening period for them to go in front. 

Some classic target man hold-up play from Artem Dzyuba in the box allowed him to cleverly back heel the ball into Malcom's path for the Brazilian to volley past Artur Nigmatullin. 

Dzyuba bagged an easy tap-in from Erokhin's cutback 10 minutes later to put Zenit firmly in the driving seat. 

It didn't take long for Zenit's extraordinary habit of conceding to throw an element of intrigue into proceedings though. Ibrakhimkhalil Yuldoshev showed dogged determination on the left flank to force a crossing opportunity, and his peach of a delivery was bulleted home by unlikely top scorer Aleksey Kozlov. 

Once again though, the pendulum swung emphatically back in the hosts favour. Firstly, Petrus Boumal was shown his second yellow card for pulling back Andrey Mostovoy, then in first-half added time Dzyuba restored the two-goal advantage in barnstorming fashion. 

Malcom threaded a firm through ball with the outside of his left foot, and without breaking stride Dzyuba smashed home an unstoppable rocket. 

The pair combined again just before the hour mark to make the extra man count in a rapid counterattack as Dzyuba delicately dinked the Brazilian's simple pass over Nigmatullin to complete his hattrick. 

Akos Kecskes did head a corner against the crossbar with 13 minutes left, but it was the closest they came to reducing the deficit. As if to rub it in though, Dmitry Chistyakov glanced home a fine header from Daniil Krugovoy's free kick for his first Zenit goal near the end of normal time. 

Zenit extend their lead at the top of the table to six points, while Nizhny Novgorod stay 13th on 14 points. 

Next RPL fixtures: Sunday 28 November - Nizhny Novgorod vs Krylia Sovetov; CSKA vs Zenit 

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