Spertsyan set-piece double steals stunning win over Spartak

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Spartak Moscow 1-2 Krasnodar
Sunday 13 March, Otkritie Bank Arena

Goals: Spartak - Promes 39’ (pen); Krasnodar - Spertsyan 5’, 86’ (pen)
Man of the Match: Eduard Spertsyan (Krasnodar)

Eduard Spertsyan again led the resistance for Krasnodar from a set piece as he opened up an early lead for Krasnodar in Moscow. The Armenian midfielder struck a clever low free kick under the defensive wall - which had no ‘draught excluder’ to prevent such an impudent attempt - past Aleksandr Selikhov after just five minutes. 

Spartak thought they had equalised in classy fashion just five minutes later, and there was little surprise when their man of the moment Shamar Nicholson was central to the moment. 

The Jamaican forward won a header against Egor Sorokin before breaking the line to chase the return ball into the channel, holding off Sorokin’s challenge then smartly turning him inside out and laying off to Zelimkhan Bakaev to stroke home a beautiful placed finish. The problem was, VAR ruled out the goal by the narrowest of margins.

Quincy Promes drew Spartak level from the penalty spot a few minutes before the break after Vladimir Ilyin had handled a scrambled clearance.

Ten minutes after the break Nicholson was again key to a stunning goal - and again denied by VAR. He controlled an awkwardly bouncing ball before twisting and turning his way inside a handful of challenges before poking past Matvey Safonov from close range, but technology picked up a handball that helped him get there.

Spartak huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow Krasnodar’s house down - leaving the Spartak wolf to rue the countless missed half-chances. With five minutes remaining, a rapid counter-attack saw Krasnodar burst forward into the box through Spertsyan, with Christopher Martins Pereira only able to snag his heels and concede a penalty - Krasnodar’s 12th of the season.

Spertsyan was naturally the man to step up, and send Aleksandr Selikhov the wrong way to hand the visitors a second successive win - not before Promes’ vicious snapshot took a wild deflection and struck Safonov’s post.

Spartak remain ninth on 26 points, while Krasnodar stay fifth on 35 points.

Next RPL fixtures: Saturday 19 March - Nizhny Novgorod vs Spartak; Sunday 20 March - Ufa vs Krasnodar

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