Matchday 24 Review: Rostov entertainers, historic Khimki, evergreen Krasnodar

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We have looked back over the Matchday 24 fixtures in the Russian Premier Liga to bring you our favourite stats and figures.

1 - Khimki sprang the shock of the weekend with their first-ever win against CSKA Moscow in a thumping 4-2 comeback win to continue their stunning renaissance. It had taken Khimki six games to score their previous four top-flight against their former Arena Khimki tenants. It was also only the second time in almost seven years CSKA had conceded four goals in an RPL match (the other coming away to Sochi in November).

2 - Krasnodar continue to delve deep into the academy system to provide their matchday squads, and again the youngsters are defying their lack of top-flight experience. In fact, they fielded three players who’d only made their debuts last weekend in Nigerian teenagers Jonathan Okoronkwo and Olakunle Olusegun, and Sergey Borodin, while this weekend they named two more debutants in the 1-0 win away to Rubin Kazan. One of them - 19-year-old Sergey Volkov - bagged the winner in the final six minutes. Of the 15 players to feature, nine had fewer than 10 RPL appearances under their belts.

5 - It will come as little consolation after his Lokomotiv side were hammered 4-1 in Rostov, but Wilson Isidor remains breathing down Yusuf Yazici’s neck in the record-breaking stakes for longest continuous scoring streak to start a Russian top-flight career. The Frenchman slotted a consolation penalty to make it the fifth consecutive RPL game in which he has scored since starting in the league.

6 - Death, taxes, and Yusuf Yazici scoring. The Turkish playmaker once again got on the scoresheet, extending his incredible streak of bagging at least one goal in every single match so far in the Russian top flight. He has now scored in all of his first six RPL matches, becoming the first player to ever achieve the feat. 

7 - Nizhny Novgorod have struggled to build a fortress at home this season upon being promoted, and were once again beaten on their own ground this weekend. It was their seventh defeat out of 12 home games this season, an unwanted tally matched only by Rostov, and falls one short of the most by a side to finish outside the bottom four in the last decade (Arsenal and Ural in 2019/20, and Ural again in 2013/14).

7 - Lokomotiv were unlikely to have a simple task away to Rostov - the southerners had outscored the Railroaders 35 goals to 32 before the game - but they made life harder for themselves when Nair Tiknizyan was sent off for a stamp on Danil Glebov in the first half with the score still at 0-0. It was Lokomotiv’s seventh red card of the season, more than any other side in the RPL.

9 - Dynamo Moscow again edged to a narrow win, and in doing so picked up their ninth away victory of the season - three more than the next most successful away sides so far this campaign. They have scored more away goals (23) and picked up more points away (28 out 49 total) than any other team. Only twice in the last 10 RPL seasons has a club finished with more away wins; Rubin Kazan last season managed 10, while Zenit racked up a whopping 12 in 2019/20.

73 - Gamid Agalarov extended his lead at the top of the RPL goalscorers’ charts again in Ufa’s defeat at home to Sochi to set up a grandstand finish, but sadly his penalty wasn’t enough to secure a result for the hosts. The 21-year-old striker has now scored 16 of Ufa’s 22 goals, or 73% of their total. If he holds onto his position at the top of the goalscoring charts, and Ufa remain in the bottom two, he could break an unusual record as the only top scorer in the Russian top flight to be relegated.

80 - Rostov are nothing if not entertaining. After they swept past Lokomotiv 3-0 in the last game of the matchday, they took their tally of goals for and against combined up to 80, surpassing league leaders Zenit St. Petersburg in total goals in their matches.

Photo: Rostov, Konstantin Rybin / RPL


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