In their second match at Euro 2020, the Russian national team in St. Petersburg beat Finland with a score of 1: 0. Kommersant asked football experts about their impressions of the game.
Haji Hajiyev, honored coach of Russia:
Photo: Ilnar Tukhbatov, Kommersant
– There were positive moments: Miranchuk’s goal is generally a masterpiece, although Dzyuba played well there too! There were also moments, but they played carefully, the players could see the responsibility of the players, and it was felt. A well-deserved victory, we played a little better, but it worries how we worked in defense, there were cases when Diveev eliminated the danger at the last moment, but if the defense players had stopped it earlier, this might not have happened! It worries that in a situation when they took the ball away and there was an opportunity to go into a quick attack in a group, for some reason they slowed down, tried to bring down the pace. What’s this? Your physical condition does not allow you to run across the field, or do you feel insecure, want to keep the score, and so on? This is alarming.
Vyacheslav Malafeev, Honored Master of Sports of Russia, goalkeeper of St. Petersburg Zenit (1997–2016) and the Russian national team (2003–2012):
Photo: Ilya Smirnov, Kommersant
– Watching the game from the stands of the stadium, I noted several key points that could radically affect the final result. First, this is the canceled goal of the Finns. Luckily for us, he was hammered offside. Secondly, the opponents managed to level the game in the second half both in possession of the ball and in shots on goal. But I admit that the difficult match with Denmark in all respects affected their physical condition. Thirdly, our team was able to quickly get together after a missed and canceled goal. Of course, I was pleased with the goal of Alexei Miranchuk, when he shot perfectly into the far corner from under the congestion of players from the Finnish national team.
But the worry is that every match we lose players. True, as we can see, you can play without Zhirkov. And the RFU said that the worst fears of injury to Mario Fernandez were not confirmed. I think that he will have time to recover by the next match and will be able to help our team.
Edward Nisenboim, analyst at SA-Football Agency, former press attaché for Spartak:
– This is the case when the game is forgotten, but the result remains. There is no need to talk about the quality of football, especially in the second half, it was extremely low. But due to the individual actions of Miranchuk, they scored a goal and earned three points, which leave hope for leaving the group. In addition to this episode, it can be noted that the team had to play – and played – zero in defense. Even though Finland did not really hold the pressure, nevertheless the Danes did not manage to restrain the Finns, we did.
It is impossible to compare the quality of this game with the last match against Belgium, just because there was a different level of resistance. Belgium and Finland are teams from “different planets”, therefore, in relation to this match, there was a completely different tactic, completely different tasks were set for the Russian national team. If it was necessary to defend against Belgium more and look for a chance to go on the attack, which Russia did not succeed, then with Finland we already had to play the first number, which in principle happened, at least in the first half.
Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE President, Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation:
Photo: Dmitry Lebedev, Kommersant
– It seems to me that the roster was more attacking than in the game with the Belgians, both Golovin and Miranchuk were on the field, which became an application for success, and in general we played enough for 1: 0. This is a victory, regardless of the goal difference, and although the game was difficult, ours deserved the result, fighting on every part of the field. There were alarming moments, caution was present, and this made it possible for the Finns to create danger, but the guys coped and played enough for the result. Now, with Denmark, which is higher in the rating, you need to play at least a draw, but these risks are very big.