Matchday 18 review: Fedotov strikes again, Akhmat’s penalty hattrick, record-breaking Ural

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We have looked back over the Russian Premier Liga Matchday 18 fixtures to bring you the best stats and figures from the last round of matches before the winter break.

3 - Akhmat finish the first part of the season with a perfectly symmetrical win/loss record after dispatching Khimki 4-1 to see them secure a comfortable top-half place going into the winter break. The remarkable aspect of their result was that all of their first three goals were scored from the penalty spot, making it the first time any side had scored three spot kicks in a single RPL match since Anzhi Makhachkala in April 2017.

4 - Ural Ekaterinburg pulled out their most remarkable performance in months with a stunning 4-1 rampage past Rostov. Ramazan Gadzhimuradov scored his first two goals of the season before top scorer Eric Bicfalvi headed in a fourth - even defender Arsen Adamov smashed in a superb effort. It was the first time Ural had ever scored four goals away from home in the RPL, and the first time in any league match in five and a half years since a 4-2 win over Anzhi Makhachkala. As the cherry on the cake, it equalled their longest ever streak of away wins, meagre as it might seem at just two.

6 - The defining fixture of the weekend was undoubtedly leaders Zenit travelling to the capital to face Dynamo, and it came as little surprise when Claudinho was the man to break the deadlock. The Brazilian creative forward is on blistering form, scoring six goals in his last six league games - which includes four of Zenit’s last five league goals - having only managed one goal in his first six league games.

7 - The final RPL match of the calendar year supplied its fair amount of drama as Sochi came away with a 3-0 win despite being heavily under the cosh after going down to 10 men midway through the second half. Vladimir Fedotov thus masterminded his sixth win against Spartak, and also extend an extraordinary record of never losing to them in last seven RPL games (two wins as Orenburg head coach, four wins and one draw in charge of Sochi) - the most games he’s managed against any Russian top-flight side without losing.

15 - Dmitry Poloz has ice in his veins when it comes to the penalty spot. The Rostov forward scored another spot kick in his side’s historic 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Ural Ekaterinburg to take his personal tally for the season to eight. More impressive though is that this was his 15th successful penalty in the RPL, extending his 100% record.

17 - Sergey Pinyaev is already into his third season of senior professional football, and yet is still only recently turned 17 years old, so Igor Osinkin’s careful gametime management of the teenager is understandable. There’s only so long he can hold back such a talent though after he scored his first top-flight goal in Krylia Sovetov Samara’s 2-0 win over Rubin Kazan at the weekend. His strike makes him the third youngest scorer in RPL history at 17 years and 39 days behind Jano Ananidze (17yrs 8d) and Aleksandr Salugin (17 yrs 27d).

30 - Lokomotiv Moscow have rotated their playing squad significantly this season with a number of injuries and suspensions to contend with, as they handed a first RPL start to Kirill Zinovich in their 2-0 win over Ufa this weekend. In fact, they have now used 30 players this season already, the most of any side after 18 matchdays. Zenit and Krylia Sovetov are at the other end of the scale with just 22 players used.

34 - Christian Noboa has become synonymous with Sochi’s exponential rise to become modern powerhouses in the RPL, and once again he was involved on the scoresheet as he guided Sochi to a 1-0 win. His first-half penalty was his 34th goal involvement (21 goals, 13 assists) in his 60 RPL appearances since joining the southern club - at least 13 more than any other player in the club’s brief history.

Photo: Magomed Abasov / Akhmat Grozny


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