“Torpedo” – “Zenith”: Petersburgers won an away victory

Goals by Malcolm and Claudinho in the second half brought victory to Zenit in Luzhniki.

For the final match of the RPL World in 2022, the blue-white-blue came out in the following composition: Kerzhakov – Karavaev, Lovren (team captain), Alip, Douglas Santos – Kuzyaev, Wendel – Barrios, Malcom, Mostovoy – Sergeev. 

From the first minutes, the players of “Torpedo” put high pressure on the Zenit players, which made it difficult for the Petersburgers to break into the opponent’s defense. Semak’s team tried to play combinations, while Torpedo used counterattacks, but there were practically no dangerous moments either at one or the other gate. 

In the middle of the half, Malcolm, after a pass from the depths, hit the goal with his head – next to the post. Soon, the Brazilian again had the opportunity to excel: after a combination attack, Douglas Santos brought Malcolm to a shock position, but he struck a little past the gate. 

Toward the end of the first half, Zenit found a loophole in the hosts’ defense, thanks to which they broke through the center to the opponent’s goal several times. The most dangerous moment of the blue-white-blues in the first half was at Vendel: the Brazilian dispersed the attack and brought Sergeev one on one with the opponent’s goalkeeper Baburin, but the Torpedo goalkeeper saved his team. 

Almost immediately, Wendel was at the forefront of the attack – after Lovren’s pass from his half, the midfielder took the ball to the chest in the hosts’ penalty box, but let it go a little far, allowing the defenders to save his team. Less than a minute later, Sergeyev was already hitting from close range, however, past the gate. Despite the playing advantage of the Petersburgers, it was not possible to open an account in the first half – 0:0.

At the beginning of the second half of the game, Zenit continued to press on the opponent’s goal, spending moment after moment. In the 63rd minute, the Blue-White-Blues made a double substitution: Claudinho and Cassierra replaced Mostovoy and Sergeev. Almost immediately, Claudinho almost scored – he struck from a distance with a sweeping shot, but Baburin pulled the ball out of the corner of the goal.

Nevertheless, soon Claudinho was marked by a productive action: in the 70th minute, Malcom moved from the flank to the center, rebounded from Claudinho, who brought his partner one on one with the goalkeeper with a chic pass. From that position it was harder to miss than to score – 0:1. 

A few minutes later, the Petersburgers fled to the counterattack, Wendel went with the ball almost the entire field and tried to roll out Barriosa to an empty net, but the defenders intercepted the transfer. Immediately, the torpedoes carried out their counterattack, but Kerzhakov coped with a long-range strike in a spectacular jump. In the 79th minute, the coaching staff of Zenit made another change. Mantuan entered the field instead of Malcolm and a minute later made an assist to Claudinho – he brought him one on one with Baburin. 

At the 87th minute, Bakaev and Erokhin replaced Vendel and Kuzyaev. In the remaining time, Zenit tried to score the third goal, and Mantouan was the closest to this, but after his strike, the Torpedo defender knocked the ball out of the goal.

Thus, after 17 rounds, Zenit scored 42 points and went on a winter break in the RPL as the leader of the RPL World. Semak’s team will play the next match on Wednesday, November 16th. In the Fonbet Cup of Russia, blue-white-blue will play in Voronezh with Fakel.

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