Prior to the central fixture of the gameweek the rivals from the top-5, CSKA and Krasnodar, had lost points. Thus a victorious trip to Rostov-on-Don was promising Lokomotiv to widen a gap between them and the Armymen and level with the Bulls.
The lineup fixed several changes. Corluka was absent from the register where the defending central duo was made of Kverkvelia and Hoewedes. Rybus was responsible for the left side, Barinov and Krychowiak covered the midfielders’ backs. Magkeyev remained on the bench. Rostov introduced Hadzikadunic and Normann instead of Chistyakov and Glebov.
Rostov totally owned the start of the game. Lokomotiv was left to defend fiercely, with Guilherme diving all across the goal. On 8 minutes Gilya saved Popov’s long-range attempt, on 17 tipped away a powerful blast by Shomurodov. Between these two episodes our goalkeeper was assisted by the crossbar that stopped another attempt by Popov who touched Kozlov’s cross from the side. By the 22nd minute the statistic was alarming - 70 to 30 in possession, 5 to 1 in attempts, with Rostov’s advantage.
However, the picture started to change. First, Rybus had a reckless go from the corner goalkeeper’s area, then Joao Mario wasted his chance from outside of the box, until on 34 minutes Grzegorz Krychowiak exploded a bombshell. Having received the ball some 30 metres away from the goal the Pole launched a ballistic missile towards Pesyakov who stretched out, touched it but couldn’t save. The ball hit the post, then his head, and ended up in the back of the net.
While Rostov was pulling itself together, Lokomotiv finished the business. First, it was Krychowiak who carried the ball along the edge of the penalty area, didn’t find an opportunity and passed to Zhemaletdinov who rolled it exactly into the corner.
Four minutes later Grzegorz scored again. Rybus crossed the ball to the box where, after two ricochets, it came to Krychowiak who whirled it into the back of the net. 3:0 after the first 45 minutes - who could have thought about that! Lokomotiv had even more chances - in the 45th minute Miranchuk shook the post.
In the first half Lokomotiv were tasked with two objectives: not to concede an early goal and avoid stupid mistakes. Both were reached. Despite having several opportunities right after the break Rostov could only convert them into one penalty effectively executed by Popov.
With every following minute Lokomotiv was playing more and more confidently, and the coaches gradually cemented defence with substitutions. Joao Mario was subbed off for Magkeyev, Idowu replaced Zhemaletdinov. Late into the game Miranchuk had another chance but again shook the woodwork.
Lokomotiv has defeated Rostov, chased down Krasnodar and taken the second line in the table.
TINKOFF Russian Premier League. Gameweek 22.
Rostov - Lokomotiv - 1:3 (0:3)
Goals: Pesyakov, 34 (own goal) (0:1). Zhemaletdinov, 38 (0:2). Krychowiak, 42 (0:3). Popov, 64 (pen.) (1:3)
Rostov: Pesyakov, Kozlov, Chernov, Osipenko, Bayramyan (Saplinov, 87), Yeryomenko, Popov, Hadzikadunic, , Zaynotdinov (Dolgov, 87), Normann, Shomurodov
Lokomotiv: Guilherme, Ignatyev, Kverkvelia, Rybus, Hoewedes, Barinov, Zhemaletdinov (Idowu, 82), Al. Miranchuk, Krychowiak, Joao Mario (Margkeyev, 74), Eder
Bookings: Hadzikadunic, 54. Normann, 86. Barinov, 92.
Referee: Mikhail Vilkov (Nizhniy Novgorod)
March 12, 2020. Rostov-on-Don, Rostov Arena.
15 March 2020 20:58