16.04.2022

Alberto leads the way to comfortable Zenit win

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Zenit St. Petersburg 3-1 Ural Ekaterinburg
Saturday 16 April, Gazprom Arena

Goals: Zenit - Claudinho 12’, Yuri Alberto 37’, Dzyuba 79’; Ural - Zheleznov 83’
Man of the Match: Yuri Alberto (Zenit)

Sergey Semak didn’t have to wait long to see his side take the lead as Ural defender Ivan Kuzmichev was penalised for catching Ivan Sergeev with a leading arm. Although Claudinho’s penalty was saved by Ilya Pomazun, the Brazilian tucked away the rebound.

His compatriot Yuri Alberto tucked in a second, and again there was an element of fortune involved. Malcolm’s first touch from a whipped low ball rebounded off a defender straight into Alberto’s leg, which was already spinning round his marker, before he steadied himself for a composed finish.

Around the hour mark Malcom smacked a header against the post as the pressure piled on the visitors, with Ivan Sergeev pouncing inside the six-yard box only to be robbed of the ball by a desperate challenge from Andrey Egorychev. 

There was a precise efficiency to the inevitable third. Wendel, who had come off the bench after a short injury layoff, guided an angled through ball to Douglas Santos down the left. His cutback cross found the all-time RPL top goalscorer Artem Dzyuba in masses of space just next to the penalty spot, so much so that he had time to take a controlling touch before picking his spot in the bottom right corner.

Without question the most spectacular goal was saved till the end. With the game already settled in Zenit’s favour, Ural’s teenage substitute Yuri Zheleznov was not pressured tightly by Santos, so cut inside before unleashing a stunning dipping effort from all of 25 yards out at an angle flying into the far corner.

Zheleznov tried an even more audacious effort from near the halfway line three minutes later after spotting Mikhail Kerzhakov off his line after a hurried clearance, but the ambitious lob drifted well wide.

Zenit remain top of the table on 5 points, while Ural stay 15th on 21 points.

Next RPL fixtures: Saturday 23 April - Ural vs Ufa; Monday 25 April - Krasnodar vs Zenit


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