RFPL Round 6 Review

 

The Anzhi Arena in DagestanA superb late turnaround gave CSKA, who defeated Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday, a 2-1 win and bragging rights over Spartak in the Moscow derby. The league champions’ defeat means that they sit eight points behind Zenit St Petersburg, who fired four unanswered goals past Akhmat Grozny.

Amkar remain winless but have gone two games undefeated after a credible draw with Krasnodar. Anzhi manager Aleksandr Grigoryan stepped down following his side’s fourth defeat in a row. At the other end of the form table is Rostov, who hammered Ufa 4-1 and now sit in second place.

Vad Glad to Answer SOS Makhachkala

Vadim Skripchenko is the new manager of Anzhi Makhachkala following the sensational resignation of Aleksandr Grigoryan.

Grigoryan announced his departure during the post-match press conference of Anzhi’s 3-1 loss to Dinamo Moscow.
Saturday’s defeat – the fourth in succession – meant that the Dagestan side slipped to second bottom.
And new man Skripchenko revealed that Anzhi wasted no time in trying to stop the rot.

“Late at night, you could say midnight, I received a phone call from Anzhi,” he said. “I was watching the game against Dinamo and heard that the former manager had resigned. I didn’t think that they would phone me exactly but that is how it turned out”.

The former Krylya Sovetov boss felt that bad luck was to blame for the stuttering start to the season. He said:

“Unfortunately the team has had an unlucky start. You couldn’t call the situation critical or inescapable – no, it is simply an unlucky start. Therefore, everything is in our hands. I will try to improve the mood and psychological state of the players and also the employees of Anzhi. This can happen with good results”.

Grigoryan caused a shock when he corrected a journalist who had called him the manager of Anzhi.

“I am no longer the manager,” he said. “As for the match, it was an ordinary game, where individual and serious mistakes brought about such a result. In terms of content, we had a good game.”
He went on to explain the reason behind his resignation. “When a sufficient number of good games, which you nonetheless lose, has built up, a manager must gather his courage and resign. That’s what I did.”

A Mother’s Love Has Its Bounds

With the managerial change at Anzhi, Yuriy Tkachuk’s decision not to sign with the club slipped under the radar.
Tkachuk, a 22-year-old midfielder for Karpaty Lviv in Ukraine, revealed why he did not to put pen to paper.
“For me, football is outside of politics,” he said. “But for my family it isn’t. My mum said that if I were to sign a contract with Anzhi, I would no longer be her son and that she would no longer want me.
“Therefore, I only spent three or four days there.”

Army Men Repeat Last-Gasp Act

CSKA left it late to turn around Saturday’s Moscow derby against Spartak – and Tuesday’s Euro clash against Young Boys was no different.
Trailing 1-0 with seven minutes to go against the league champions, Viktor Goncharenko’s men looked set to fall further behind pacesetters Zenit St Petersburg.

But strikes from Georgi Shchennikov and Vitinho, within seconds of each other, turned the game on its head and gave CSKA a vital 2-1 win.

Manager Goncharenko noted how the momentum swung in his side’s favour.

“When the score went to 1:1, the psychological advantage was with us,” he said. “For Spartak, the opposite; that goal broke them. All in all, I think that we had enough good attacks and deserved the victory.”

Before the Champions League play-off tie in Belgium against Young Boys, midfielder Alan Dzagoev had urged his team mates to be patient and to use their experience to come away with a positive result.

The Muscovites did just that, securing a crucial 1-0 win after Kasim Nuhu’s spectacular stoppage-time own-goal, which you can watch here.
Former CSKA player Vladimir Ponomaryov reflected on the game-defining moment. He said: “It was a royal mistake. I haven’t seen such a strange goal in the last minutes of a game for a long time.

“As they would rightly say, never give the ball to the goalkeeper when you have another option. Just kick it out.”
And Ponomaryov was impressed by the CSKA display. “In general, the Army Men pleased me. Young Boys looked fervent and bold, a decent team but CSKA withstood the onslaught. Akinfeev played well and pulled off a good save.”

Author: John Gorrod

I spent the 2015-16 academic year studying Russian at the Tver State University. One day, I visited the stadium of third-division Volga Tver and ended up helping the fans to paint the fences around the pitch. We became firm friends and they introduced me to the wonderful world of Russian football.

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