RFPL Round 18: Results & Team of the Week

 

This week’s results were finally somewhat easier to predict, with a few expected scorelines such as Amkar’s low-scoring home victory and CSKA, Lokomotiv and Rostov all winning.

Ural’s fine unbeaten home record came to an end on Saturday, and who else but former Uraltsy hitman Fedor Smolov? The RFN Top 50 2016 winner was presented with his award by our regular Englishman in Siberia, Andrew Flint and the Krasnodar striker looked almost as happy to receive it as he did to score.

Spartak Moscow really proved their top three and even title challenging credentials with a somewhat impressive 3-2 victory over rivals Zenit St. Petersburg. It is arguably the biggest game in Russia right now, with the two sides easily the most heavily supported and famous, while also pitting the two biggest cities in the nation against each other. Luiz Adriano’s second goal is a real treat and one to look out for when discussing the best goal’s at the end of the season. As such, four Red-Whites’ players are included in the list.

Rostov finally returned to winning way after five games without three points, all thanks to Aleksandr Bukharov, who became the first Rostov striker currently on the books at the club to score a brace in a game.

Tosno likewise bounced back from last week’s embarrassing 5-0 defeat in the Northern derby to Zenit with a surprise 3-2 win over Arsenal Tula. Tosno were even 2-1 down but were saved by Evgeni Markov’s excellent hattrick of headers. But you can read more about that below.

Here are the results and  TOTW for Week 18.

 

Results

Amkar Perm 2 – 1 Dinamo Moscow

FC Tosno 3 – 2 Arsenal Tula

Akhmat Grozny 2 – 1 FC Ufa

Ural Ekaterinburg 0 – 1 FC Krasnodar

Rubin Kazan 0 – 1 CSKA Moscow

FC Rostov 2 – 0 Anzhi Makhachkala

SKA Khabarovsk 1 – 2 Lokomotiv Moscow

Spartak Moscow 3 – 1 Zenit St. Petersburg

 

Statistics

Facts

  • Vitinho has had the most open play or fastbreak attempts in the Premier League this season, with 61.
  • Tosno have allowed their opponents the fewest headed attempts in the Premier League this season, with 20.
  • CSKA Moscow have lost possession due to a bad first touch the most times per game in the Premier League this season, with 15.72.
  • Evgeni Markov and Anton Zabolotnyi have directly contributed to 88% of Tosno’s goals this season.
  • Quincy Promes, Ze Luis and Luiz Adriano have likewise directly contributed to 94%.
  • Miroslav Markovic has the best conversion rate of all strikers in the RFPL this season, at 36%.
  • Sardar Azmoun has one of the worst at 0%, having not scored while missing seven “big chances”, more than any other player.
  • Vladimir Poluyakhtov has completed the most tackles in the league this season, with 62, highlighting his superior defensive ability in a struggling side.
  • Only one player features in the top ten for tackles, interceptions, clearances, aerial duels and blocks this season; Saba Kverkvelia.
  • Yaroslav Godzyur has made the most errors leading to a goal this season, with 3.
  • The same man has also made the second highest number of saves this season at 66.

 

Goalkeeper – (1) Aleksandr Selikhov, Spartak Moscow

The current heir to the Spartak goalkeeping throne both in the long and short-term, and he proved just why on Monday night against Zenit. Although there was nothing he could do with Domenico Criscito’s long-range strike due to an unfortunate deflection off  Aleksandr Samedov’s right ankle, he made a string of vital saves in the game. One in particular, from Leandro Paredes’ volley, was particularly excellent considering the amount of smoke from flares and pyro’s in the tribune behind him.

Defender – (1) Moritz Bauer, Rubin Kazan

Bauer’s presence in a faltering Rubin side had been missed in recent weeks, but his return to the team for the game against CSKA was a welcome boost. He was Rubin’s best threat going forward despite playing right wing-back and was solid when required in defence. Rubin were the better team for swathes, with only a deflected goal handing CSKA the win.

Defender – (1) Georgi Dzhikiya, Spartak Moscow

Dzhikiya has been one of Spartak’s most consistent performers this season, arguably only outshined by Quincy Promes. He was supreme against Zenit yesterday, letting nothing past him and playing a key component in beginning the sides’ attacks.

Defender – (3) Solomon Kverkvelia, Lokomotiv Moscow

For the second week in a row, Kverkvelia appears on our TOTW. He thoroughly deserves the accolade too, despite playing against lowly SKA, it was in minus conditions after a seven-hour flight. Yet he showed no signs of either fatigue or discomfort, easily clearing away any and everything the Armymen threw at him.

Defender – (1) Evgeni Chernov, FC Tosno

Tosno’s full-back on loan from Zenit continued his impressive season with two excellent assists for Evgeni Markov as Tosno twice came from behind to win 3-2 against Arsenal Tula. His pinpoint free-kick made it easy for Markov to make it 2-2, before a powerful run from the back lead to the winner just two minutes later.

Midfielder – (1) Saeid Ezatolahi, Amkar Perm

Iranian midfielder Saeid Ezatolahi is finally emerging this season, having struggled for playing time at parent club Rostov, and poor performances on loan at Anzhi last year. However this weekend he put in a MOTM performance for Amkar, capping his day off with the winning goal in a 2-1 win against Dinamo Moscow.

Midfielder – (2) Denis Glushakov, Spartak Moscow

Glushakov continues to be a key asset for Spartak in midfield. Statistically, he completed over 35 passes at an incredible 92% accuracy, but psychologically he was monumental v Zenit, especially after Fernando’s red card, in which he led the team to see the game out and hold onto a vital win.

Midfielder – (1) Charles Kaboré, FC Krasnodar

Krasnodar faced a tricky tie away at Ural, a side yet to lose at home, but triumphed in a well earned 1-0 victory. Kaboré was his normal confident self in midfield, and put in a commanding performance as Krasnodar for once did not completely dominate a match, mopping up all the attacks that Ural could muster.

Forward – (1) Evgeni Markov, FC Tosno – Player of the Week

There’s not much to be said about our Player of the Week. It would be hard to score a 20-minute hat-trick, as a sub, to come from behind to win and NOT be player of the week. And to top it off, it was a hat-trick of headers. Markov and Zabolotnyi were key figures in Tosno’s promotion, and they’ve continued as such this season, contributing directly to 15 of their 17 league goals.

Forward – (1) Zé Luís, Spartak Moscow

The Cape-Verdean may not have scored v Zenit, but he was Spartak’s best player on the day. His combination work with Promes, Adriano and Samedov is a beauty to watch, especially his cute back-heel assist for Spartak’s second. These four together proved just why the Red-Whites’ are the divisions highest scorers, and the former three of this quartet have directly contributed to 30 of their 32 goals this season. Incredible.

Forward – (1) Aleksandr Bukharov, FC Rostov

Many thought the veteran would be Leonid Kuchuk’s first-choice striker after the twin departure of Sardar Azmoun and Dmitry Poloz, but Bukharov has found life difficult this term. That is until last weekend v Anzhi. He scored two goals, the second of which was an excellent header from Timofei Kalachev’s corner.

Author: James Nickels

Born and raised in South Shields, the direct mid-point between Sunderland and Newcastle in North-East England during an era of sustained success and European football for the Magpies, while the Black Cats floundered in the lower divisions, so naturally I decided to support Sunderland. I’ve developed an interest in Russian football over the last decade or so, but it piqued while studying for my Masters’ Degree in Russian and Soviet History, and I’ve been hooked by Spartak Moscow ever since. Considers Eduard Streltsov the best of his generation, and a fond proponent of his repatriation.

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