08.03.2022

Matchday 20 Review: Evergreen Akinfeev, Promes’ Dynamo addiction, Lokomotiv comeback kings

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We have rounded up all our favourite stats and figures from the Russian Premier Liga Matchday 20 fixtures this weekend.

4 - Akhmat kicked off the final game of the matchday in spectacular fashion after just three minutes, through a typically inch-perfect Daniil Utkin free kick. It was the on-loan Krasnodar midfielder’s seventh league goal of the campaign, and his fourth from a direct set-piece.

4 - Igor Akinfeev’s record between the sticks has already cemented his legendary status in Russian football with his record number of clean sheets, but he shows no sign of slowing down. As CSKA edged to a last-gasp 1-0 win over Nizhny Novgorod this weekend, it marked the team’s fourth straight win - their longest in 16 months - and also Akinfeev’s fourth clean sheet on the trot too. He is now on 11 for the season already, four clear of Ivan Lomaev.

6 - Although Ufa made Zenit wait for their breakthrough, there was little they could do to resist the impressive attacking firepower Zenit boast. This time it was not the winter newcomers who provided the direct goal threat, but youth-team product Danil Krugovoy and Malcom who scored. The Brazilian was assisted by captain and record RPL goalscorer Artem Dzyuba, marking the sixth goal the pair have combined for this season (Dzyuba scoring two and Malcom four from the other’s assist). This is twice more than the RPL’s next most prolific partnership.

7 - Spartak’s new-look attack has sparkled so far since the season’s resumption as Shamar Nicholson bagged his fourth goal in two games following his Russian Cup hattrick midweek. It was a more established figure whose record really stands out though; Quincy Promes’ absolute stunner was the Dutchman’s seventh goal in eight games vs Dynamo, the most he has managed against any RPL side.

11 - Krasnodar came into their home game with Ural Ekaterinburg without foreign players, and at first struggled to break down the stubborn visiting side. Perhaps, therefore, it was unsurprising that their breakthrough came from a set piece - Eduard Spertsyan’s penalty was pinpoint. It was the 11th spot-kick krasnodar had been awarded this season, more than any other side so far, and one short of the RPL record over the past decade.

13 - It’s fair to say Spartak ripped up the form book in the huge Moscow derby on Sunday night, making a mockery of their bottom-half league placement and ruining Dynamo’s chance to go top of the table again. Perhaps we’re looking at the wrong book though; after their 2-0 defeat to their historic rivals, Dynamo have now gone 13 home league matches against Spartak without winning. This is their longest winless streak at home against any side in the RPL.

15 - Lokomotiv clawed their way back from a 1-0 deficit to win 3-2 against Khimki with a few new faces on display - including goalscoring RPL debutants Wilson Isidor and Jan Kuchta - to pick up their second win in a row. They are undoubtedly the comeback kings of this season’s RPL season, having picked up a league-high 15 from losing positions.

20 - Akhmat were denied right at the death by Anders Dreyer’s late one-on-one finish to miss the chance to go back up to fifth. One unusual record was kept intact though; they have now gone 20 matches without drawing a single game, the longest run in well over a decade in the top flight.

23 - Ivan Ignatyev has found a new platform to revive his career at Krylia Sovetov after his winter loan deal was secured, and he’s already making it count having scored for his new side in their 2-2 draw with Arsenal Tula this weekend. It was his first goal in 23 RPL appearances, having last registered on the scoresheet back in August 2020; the last time he had scored a non-penalty goal was even further back - in November 2019.

30 - Zenit extended their lead at the top of the RPL table thanks to their comfortable 2-0 win over Ufa, which bizarrely was only their second clean sheet at home this campaign. Less surprising was that they once again scored, making it their 30th consecutive home league game in which they’ve scored - their longest ever such run in the top flight.


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