Spartak - Rubin - 1:1 (1:0)
Venue: Otkritie Arena, Moscow, 29.04
Attendance: 20 015
Referee: V. Kazartsev (Saint-Petersburg)
Spartak: Maksimenko, Zobnin, Bocchetti, Dzhikia, Ayrton, Glushakov (c) (Eschenko,46), Guliev, Fernando (Umyarov, 88), Hanni, Lomovitski (Melkadze, 73), Ze Luis
Unused subs: Tereshkin, Poplevchenkov, Gaponov, Kombarov, Glushenkov, Melgarejo, Ignatov, Tashaev.
Rubin: Konovalov, Tsallagov, Uremovich, Kambolov (c), Sorokin, Kalinin (Stepanov, 67), Konolavov, Bashkirov, Podberezkin (Panteleev, 78), Poloz, Bairamyan (Sagitov, 70)
Unused subs: Baburin, Tushev, Akhabashev, Mikushin, Abdullin, Agapov, Shekari, Ustinov.
Goals: 1:0 Fernando (23), 1:1 Sorokin (87)
Bookings: Lomovitski (14), Ze Luis (41), Sorokin (45+1)
The starting XI for today’s game was heavily altered compared to the last league match. Zobnin was the surprise pick at right-back, Ayrton was reinstated at left-back and Glushakov made a return to the holding position. Bocchetti came in for Gaponov, after recovering from a knock. Hanni and Lomovitski completed the much-changed roster, replacing Tashaev and Melkadze.
Rubin opted against playing in a low block from the start, instead they tried to press in our half. Inside three minutes, from 13th to 15th, the teams created chances at both ends. Hanni’s headed shot was saved by our former goalkeeper Ivan Konovalov, before Poloz missed the target from a good position, failing to properly connect with the ball.
This chance made Spartak step up the pressure. Ze Luis got on the end of a promising through ball from Hanni, but scuffled his shot. Next up was Fernando - his strike rippled the back of the net, though it was a bit of good fortune when the ball fell to the Brazilian. Fernando’s last goal came on September 23 last year, against CSKA.
Almost immediately we had a chance to go two up - however Hanni missed from roughly 12 yards out. Fernando’s could have grabbed another on the stroke of half-time, but his free-kick effort was well saved by Konovalov.
Eschenko replaced Glushakov at the break, allowing Zobnin to move into his natural position in midfield.
Rubin started brightly and could have equalised through Poloz, however Maksimenko made a spectacular save to deny the striker. We then created two moments of danger of our own: Fernando missed after a mazy solo run and then Lomovitski hit the post.
14 minutes from time we almost let one in, Bocchetti making a goal-line clearance to bail his teammates out. But the visitors didn’t ease up and got the goal three minutes from time. Like he did during the first game in Kazan, Sorokin was the man to rescue a point for Rubin.