Spartak Moscow – FC Ufa Match Report: Wrestlemania RFPL

The Sunday game between Spartak and Ufa was quite similar to an old-school professional wrestling match. Two teams have excellently played two classical roles. (And - no, I do not imply that the result, like in pro-wrestling, was predetermined too). Ufa was a heel. "Heel", in wrestling parlance, describes a character whose main job is to attract heat (anger) from the fans. Semak's lads were excellent in that role: scored a quick and somewhat illogical goal (Andrey Eschenko later even said … [Read more...]

RFPL Mid-Season Review – Part Three

As we are at the halfway stage of the 2017/18 season, it is now time to look at the season so far and how it has transpired for each RFPL member club. This mid-season review will look at the pre-season expectations for each club based on their squad and summer signings, cross-referencing with last season's performance and reputation. Then deducing whether or not each club is achieving its pre-season goals so far this season, the comparative high and low points so far for each club, expectations … [Read more...]

Champions League Preview: Sevilla – Spartak Moscow

Spartak Moscow travels to Spain on Tuesday night, facing off against Sevilla at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium. Despite the 5-1 thrashing two weeks ago at the Otkrytiye, it will be a difficult night for the Red-Whites. Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and will be able to call upon the services of star man Steven N'Zonzi, who has been influential in midfield for Los Rojiblancos so far this season. Spartak themselves are still on a thirteen match unbeaten run, scoring twelve goals in their last … [Read more...]

Spartak Moscow are through to the quarter-finals

Wednesday evening, Spartak Moscow destroyed their namesakes from Nalchik; bringing their undefeated streak to twelve, which they extended to thirteen on Saturday - the longest since 2002 (Oleg Romantsev managed a 14-game streak back then). To celebrate that, here are twelve more statistical facts about the game. The game against Spartak Nalchik was a milestone for Denis Glushakov (130th game) and Ivelin Popov (70th). Ilya Kutepov scored his first ever goal for Spartak Moscow (in his 47th … [Read more...]

The Black Secret of Luzhniki – Between Memory and Oblivion

20th October 1982, Sixty-six Spartak Moscow fans would traverse up the stairway on Tribune C of the Central Lenin Stadium, the current Luzhniki, for a UEFA Cup game against Dutch side HFC Haarlem. This would be the last time they would ever make their journey, as, during injury time, they tragically died in a stampede, the majority of which were adolescents enjoying their first-ever game. 38 of the victims were aged eighteen or under, with the youngest, schoolboy Volodya Anikin, who had just … [Read more...]

Champions League Preview: Spartak Moscow – Sevilla

Spartak Moscow host Eduardo Berizzo's Sevilla side at the Otkrytiye Arena on Tuesday night. It is a key fixture for the home side, who are without a victory so far in the group stages. Spartak has won just two of their previous seventeen home games in the Champions League (D5, L10) and only kept one clean sheet in their last eighteen on home soil. However, have key players returning and are facing a makeshift Sevilla defence amidst an injury crisis. If Spartak takes their chances, may be able … [Read more...]

Champions League Preview: Spartak Moscow – Liverpool

Spartak Moscow host Liverpool at the Otkrytiye Arena. History is not on their side, as the last time the two sides met in 2002/03, Liverpool won both games, including a 3-1 victory in Moscow. Spartak has likewise won just two of their previous seventeen home games in the Champions League (D5, L10) and only kept one clean sheet in their last eighteen on home soil. However, this Liverpool side is very porous and if Spartak takes their chances, may be able to pull off a surprise result. Tactical … [Read more...]

What Have We Learned From the First Third of the RFPL Season?

The first third of the Russian Football Premier League season has been predictably unpredictable. Spartak Moscow, the reigning champions of the league, sit in a disappointing 8th place. Massimo Carrera’s men have struggled to hold leads and pick up points against lesser sides, and this wastefulness has showed in their league standing. Meanwhile in Kazan, Kuban Berdyev has not yet been able to work his magic like he did in Rostov, with Rubin’s defense looking surprisingly porous at times. … [Read more...]

Everything you need to know about: FC Spartak Moscow

After a decade and a half of obscurity, Spartak Moscow is finally back to the big time, back into the Champions League and winning trophies. However, the honeymoon was short-lived as "good old Spartak" thus far in 2017/18 have returned to their now all too welcoming mediocrity. Hopefully, as in the grand days of Oleg Romantsev and Konstantin Beskov's reigns, Spartak have the potential to thrive in Europe. History Spartak has its foundations in the Russian Gymnastics Society (RGO Sokol), which … [Read more...]

What To Expect From the Russian Clubs in the European Group Stages

With the Champions League and Europa League group stages about to begin, it is time to take a closer look at the Russian teams competing in Europe. Over the years, the Russian coefficient has risen steadily, and in August 2016, Russia overtook Portugal in the UEFA rankings for club competitions, making it the sixth strongest league in Europe, which means Russia will have three teams in the Champions League next season, instead of only two. This season Russia have four teams competing in the … [Read more...]