Lokomotiv's starting lineup did not change much after the first game of the cup, but there was a pleasant surprise. Vitaliy Denisov had gained form after the vexing Asian Cup and was now back on track.
It became clear immediately how vital he is for the team. In the first minutes his tandem with Alan Kasaev terrorized the opponents' right flank. Vitaliy kept making dummy runs creating space for Kasaev, or made his hallmark crosses. Denisov really impressed with his freshness.
On 12 minutes the activity on the left wing showed some results. Kasaev picked up the ball, dribbled it past three defenders in the area but failed to strike.
The winger's bold behaviour made his teammates feel more confident and Lokomotiv started pressing Atletico who could only stage counter-attacks.
Soon Atletico keeper had to work hard in two episodes. First, Oumar Niasse slammed goalwards, next Manuel Fernandes curved a chip shot, but both times the keeper was okay. Just like Ilya Abaev who saved when Dellatorre had a go at the near corner.
Lokomotiv controlled the game throughout the first half, but there were two unpleasant issues that spoilt the overall impression. First, Vedran Corluka got injured and was substituted for Alexander Sheshukov. Second, the Brazilians were so emotional the referee had to stop those who were going to rumble many times. This resulted in an abundance of yellow cards for talking and reckless tackles. Endless stoppages neither made the game exciting.
In the half-time Miodrag Bozovic made some changes. Nemanja Pejcinovic, Yan Tigorev, Maicon, and Roman Pavlyuchenko replaced Jan Durica, Manuel Fernandes, Samedov and Niasse. Thus, two central defs were Pejcinovic and Sheshukov, a rather experimental pair that nevertheless did not allow the opponents create any chance, but for one toe kick by Dellatorre.
On the whole, the second half resembled the first one. Lokomotiv had many opportunities but still failed to capitalize on them. Pavlyuchenko couldn't kick the ball past the keeper, Kasaev hit the post after a set piece. Then football turned into an endless scuffle which was fueled up by a handful of Brazilian fans that made the emotions burst, as Atletico's homegrown talent Guilherme said.
The previous game's scenario could repeat itself here, be it not for the Brazilians' goalkeeper who parried Pejcinovic's close-range header. Again Lokomotiv couldn't finish their efforts.
The total score was 0:0. Lokomotiv are head to head with Atletico Paranaense in the table. The fixture against Elfsborg on February 10th will decide the Marbella Cup's winner.
Lokomotiv - Atletico Paranaense 0:0
Lokomotiv: Abaev, Shishkin, Corluka (Sheshukov, 40), Durica (Pejcinovic, 46), Denisov, Mykhalyk (Tarasov, 60), Fernandes (Tigorev, 46), SMedov (Maicon, Boussoufa (Al. Miranchuk, 70), Kasaev, Niasse (Pavlyuchenko, 46).
Atletico Paranaense: Weverton, Borges, Gustavo, Clenerdon (Zuchi, 59), Natanael, Junio, Dellatorre, Dias, Deivid, Cleo, Badi.
Yellow cards: Dias, 27. Fernandes, 41. Kasaev, 42. Mykhalyk, 45. Deivid, 45. Shishkin, 74. Cleo, 78. Badi, 79.
7 February. Marbella.