Attendance: 37 276
Oleg Kononov’s first game in charge back on November 25 was the home win over Krylia Sovetov. Our current head coach took over a team 9th in the league table with a negative goal difference. Now we sit fourth, with a +7 difference.
The coaching staff handed a recall to the starting lineup to Luiz Adriano, who started on the left wing, with Ze Luis in the centre forward position. The former could have opened the scoring in the 5th minute already. Ze Luis cleverly intercepted a pass, rounded Ryzhikov and cut the ball back for the Brazilian, only for Luiz to hit the post. Ryzhikov followed it up with a save after Melgarejo found space just outside the box.
The Paraguayan continued to apply himself admirably and won a penalty in the 17th minute. He caught Rabiu napping inside his own box and was subsequently brought down. Ze Luis calmly slotted home the penalty for his 10th goal of the season and 35th for Spartak overall.
Krylia, who are aiming to avoid relegation playoffs, barely threatened Maksimenko’s goal. Their only moment of danger happened on the stroke of half-time, when our lapse gifted the opponents a chance on the counter. However Fernando was on hand to bail out his teammates inside our own box.
In the opening stages of the second half we doubled our advantage. Ayrton breezed past his marker on the left, crossed to the penalty spot region, where Melgarejo met the pass with an emphatic header. It was Lorenzo’s first goal in a while - the Paraguayan had some tough luck in front of goal lately. Interestingly enough, his last goal was against Krylia too, back in November.
The hosts piled men forward after going two down, with not much left to lose. Maksimenko was called into action for the first time in a while, producing a stop with his leg from close range. 8 minutes from time Krylia were dealt a good hand inside our box, after a series of rebounds allowed Burlak to hammer home from point-blank. The hosts continued to put in a large number of crosses until the final whistle, but we stood firm to deny an equaliser.