Spartak vs Enisey — 2:0 (1:0)
Venue: Moscow, Otkritie Arena, 21.04
Attendance: 26 655
Referee: S. Ivanov (Rostov-on-Don).
Spartak: Maksimenko - Rasskazov (Eschenko, 88) - Gigot - Dzhikia (c) - Ayrton - Guliev - Zobnin - Fernando (Ignatov, 74) - Melkadze (Tashaev, 66) - Adriano - Melgarejo
Unused subs: Tereshkin, Poplevchenkov, Kombarov, Mamin, Gaponov, Glushakov, Glushenkov, Lomovitski, Hanni
Enisey: Nesterenko, Yatchenko, Gritzaenko, Gadhibekov, Sarr (Zotov, 46), Kichin, Danchenko, Ogude, Semakin (Torbinski, 46), Sobolev (Sarkisov, 59), Savichev.
Goals: 1:0 Rasskazov (45+1, Luiz Adriano), 2:0 Guliev (83, Luiz Adriano).
Bookings: Guliev (21), Danchenko (32), Gigot (37).
The team came into the game not in the best of shapes, having lost two on the trot, to CSKA and Rostov respectively. That, coupled with a desire to redeem themselves in the eyes of their own fans, following the Club’s 97th Birthday, had the players fired up for the three points. Three points the team delivered after 90 minutes. The win also allowed to even up the teams stats on the birthdays: in the last ten years, Spartak amassed only 3 wins, 3 draws and 4 losses.
Fernando was the surprise inclusion in the XI following a lengthy spell on the sidelines. The Brazilian also started not in the familiar holding position, but rather under the striker. Guliev and Zobnin marshalled the midfield, Melkadze and Melgarejo patrolled the wings and Luiz Adriano was the lone striker with Ze Luis out.
During the first 45 our team dominated territory, but couldn’t make it count. Zobnin’s deflected strike went out for a corner, while Fernando’s free-kicks were both wide off the target. Our best chance of the half came by in the 39th minute: Zobnin’s delivery from the right found Luiz Adriano, but the Brazilian’s header sailed just wide.
Nonetheless it was advantage Spartak at the break. Fernando and Adriano carried the ball deep into the opponents’ half and the latter’s through ball was picked up by Rasskazov. Nikolai demonstrated a skillset a good striker would be proud of: timed his run into the box, wrong-footed a defender and slotted the ball past Nesterenko - this marked the fullback’s debut goal for the team.
Enisey had a chance to equalise right after the restart: our former player, Zotov, rattled the bar with a distance strike. Just after the hour elapsed the visitors went a man down: all the subs were used up and Sarkisov, moments after coming on himself, sustained an injury.
Spartak should have taken full advantage of the situation, but were unable to do so for a while. However 7 minutes before the end of normal time we went two up. Melgarejo intercepted the ball and found Adriano inside the box, the Brazilian held it up for Guliev and the latter’s run inside the penalty area paid off. Our holding midfielder’s powerful shot rippled the net - Ayaz also opened his goalscoring account for the first team, much like Rasskazov did in the first half.
Goals from two Academy products were enough to secure the points in the end.