“Zenith” did not count the victory – Sport – Kommersant

Zenit failed to overcome the starting round of the Europa League playoffs. A week after the home defeat against Real Betis, he played a great away game against a strong Spanish club, but could not hit his goal in a way that counted the goal. A draw – 0:0 – was in favor of the rivals of St. Petersburg.

This match was supposed to give those who are worried about the “Zenith”, a solid portion of hope. You rarely see a Russian club playing on the road against a Spanish club, and a “hot” one, in good shape, has an advantage in possession, in accuracy of passes. And Zenit had. And one could even think that the reserve that Betis got in the St. Petersburg meeting, which he won with a score of 3: 2, did him a disservice, pressed him down a little, or something, forced him to play with an eye to the result in which the most important thing is – don’t miss. And this style is terribly unsuitable for this team, it is good only in those cases when it feels liberated, obliged to use rich attacking resources.

But it is possible that the fact that “Betis” looked so strange, and a decent merit of “Zenith” – neat, tight, tough, always ready to intercept, always ready to quickly return back so as not to really strain their 19- summer goalkeeper Daniil Odoevsky. Odoevsky, by the way, was nervous – his nerves, his fear of making a mistake cut his eyes in a couple of episodes. But the thing is that the episodes were not one of those when a little falsehood inevitably translates into mortal danger. Zenith didn’t bring the matter to such level.

True, even with all the external cuteness of the game, it did not grow together with dangerous moments for a long time. It grew together half an hour after the start of the match, when the tireless Douglas Santos, looking at whom one could decide that he was not averse to closing half a dozen positions, dispersed a flank attack, and Danil Krugovoi terribly unpleasant shot from the left along the goalkeeper line. The ball even reached Yuri Alberto, but he failed to hit it properly.

The second half was even more interesting. Zenit immediately scored, but from offside. Betis immediately responded with a corner kick, after which Guido Rodriguez sent the ball to the rack, hinting that he was going to play more actively.

But his impulse extinguished “Zenith”. On this evening, when Europe was interested in Sevillian football, what can I say, less than other events related to Russia, it was good. Sometimes the Petersburgers simply tore the defense of Betis – along the flanks, in the center. It seemed that the owners are holding on to a thin one. But somehow they held on, surviving shot after shot, standard after standard. And Zenit’s aggressiveness did not want to fade away.

Zenit’s goal in the end – after another corner and headbutt by Dmitry Chistyakov – in this sense was absolutely deserved, honest. He played on him, this goal, after which the match taxied to overtime, played enough. Zenit even had time to rejoice at him when it turned out that referee Khalil Mehler would still watch VAR. And VAR showed that Alexander Erokhin managed to break the rules before Chistyakov scored.

“Zenith” flew out of European competition. But there is one more Russian team left in the Europa League. This is Spartak, which came out after the group stage directly to the 1/8 finals. The draw for the second round of the playoffs will take place on Friday.

Alexey Dospekhov


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