Sobolev second-half strike saves Spartak blushes

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Spartak Moscow 1-1 Rubin Kazan
Saturday 16 April, Otkritie Bank Arena

Goals: Spartak - Sobolev 69’; Rubin - V. Ignatyev 30’
Man of the Match: Aleksandr Sobolev (Spartak)

After such a dire run of form, the relief for Rubin to take the lead was enormous - and it was far from a surprise. As early as the 12th minute Vitaly Lisakovich literally couldn’t have come any closer to scoring, bending a shot onto the inside of the far post, only to see it bounce along the goalline and hit the other post and bounce safely into Aleksandr Maksimenko’s arms.

Montessar Talbi saw two headers tipped away, one moments later and one deep into the second half.

Vladislav Ignatyev’s opener came on the half-hour mark, as he glanced a firm cross from Aleksandr Zuev in off the underside of the crossbar. Spartak’s best chance, meanwhile, was squandered by Daniil Khlusevich whose free volley at the back post squirmed wide.

After the break the hosts ramped up the pressure as Aleksadr Sobolev smashed a volley from a wide angle three yards out, only for it to be blocked by Rubin keeper Yuri Dyupin. He finally dragged his side level with 20 minutes remaining, tapping in from close range after Dyupin could only palm Nikita Chernov’s header back out.

The relentless pressure wasn’t enough though, as half-chance after half-chance was squandered, leaving Leonid Slutsky’s side avoiding defeat for only the second time in 10 RPL matches.

Spartak remain ninth on 31 points, while Rubin stay 12th on 26 points.

Next RPL fixtures: Sunday 24 April - Rubin vs Arsenal; Rostov vs Spartak

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