Next week, Russian clubs will start at the group stage of the Champions League and Europa League. Sportbox.ru analyzes the latest matches of the closest rivals Zenit, Lokomotiv and Spartak.
Championship of England, 3rd round
Chelsea – Aston Villa – 3: 0
The final score does not reflect the essence of what was happening on the field. Chelsea scored an early goal – Mateo Kovacic gave an amazing pass to Romelu Lukaku, and the Belgian competently and clearly implemented the episode. The Blues were in possession of the ball more often, but before the break, the game was not very good for them, while Aston Villa created a whole series of chances to score. If it were not for the brilliant play of the hosts’ goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, the team of Thomas Tuchel would not have seen the third match at zero, and, possibly, victory. The Senegalese became one of the main characters of the meeting, along with Kovacic and Lukaku.
Immediately after the break, the Croat mercilessly watched over the mistake of the defender, who was trying to give the ball to the goalkeeper, and shot the goal point-blank. Chelsea increased the lead, gained important psychological confidence, while the guests, on the contrary, became somewhat sluggish and later were far from being so inventive. The final point already in stoppage time was set by Lukaku, who drove the ball into the near corner from the penalty area.
Returning to London, the striker has scored three goals in three games. Another Chelsea rookie, Saul Niguez, made his Premier League debut in the first half (substituted at half-time). Looked good on the position of the right central defender Trevo Chalob, holding his first meetings for the blue team. On account of the Englishman of Sierra Leonean origin, 4 tackles, 5 removal, interception and blocked shot.
The London club won their third victory in four rounds. Thanks to this, Chelsea have already scored 10 points and are tied for first place with Manchester United.
Opponent of “Spartak”
Polish Championship, 7th round
Shlensk – Legia – 1: 0
The reigning champion of Poland started the new championship poorly. In five rounds Legia scored only 6 points, scoring 3 goals. Last Saturday the army team suffered the third defeat in the championship, losing with a minimum score to one of the competitors. Due to Legia’s participation in the selection for the Champions League, where it went through all four stages and ended the fight with a defeat to Dynamo Zagreb in the playoffs, the Warsaw club’s matches in the national championship were postponed twice. The champion has two games left, but this is definitely not an excuse for 15th place on the border with the relegation zone.
In the meeting with “Šlensk”, the Warsaw team more often controlled the ball, while making a lot of mistakes in passes in the opponent’s half of the field. The hosts from Wroclaw even more often shot on goal (16 versus 12) and created no less threats. Although the guests were the first to be really close to a goal: they twice inflicted dangerous blows with their heads. Central defender Mateusz Veteska shot a little higher, and after an attempt by forward Tomasz Pekhart, the goalkeeper helped out. Soon Peckhart found himself one on one, but could not really break through. The chances were also created by “Shlensk”: its players often struck from long and medium distances, one of which could well have ended in a goal, if not for the goalkeeper Artur Boruts.
The denouement came in the 84th minute and turned out to be funny. The attack of “Šlensk” moved to the right flank, the side referee nervously waved his flag, embarrassing the defending team and, in particular, the Portuguese midfielder Andre Martins. He turned off the episode and let the opponent go behind his back. Victor Garcia Marin sent the ball into the net between Boruc’s legs and brought the victory to the representative of Silesia.
Opponent of Lokomotiv
Championship of France, 5th round
Monaco – Marseille – 0: 2
Argentine specialist Jorge Sampaoli’s team kicked off with an impressive start in Ligue 1, claiming three wins in four matches and one unbeaten game against Nice. The away match against AS Monaco on paper looked like a very difficult test, but in fact it was not. Marseille was simply better and deservedly won. The injured Alexander Golovin could not help the hosts in this meeting, but with the Russian as part of the Monegasques, a lot of problems would surely await.
“Marseille” very easily passed the opponent’s defense with cutting passes, and Bamba Dieng was regularly at the forefront of attacks. Even before the break, the 21-year-old Senegalese hit each of the bars once, but towards the end of the first half, he still realized a one-on-one exit. The debut goal in Ligue 1 was not limited to. In the second half of the meeting, Dieng scored a double. And at first he played unsuccessfully in someone else’s penalty area, making an uncomfortable pass back, but the newcomer of Marseille Amin Harit caught the ball and put it in the leg of the young striker who was already about to turn off the episode.
Monaco didn’t do much. The partners created two chances for Kevin Folland, but in the first case he did not reach the ball, in the second he almost hit the target. The defense of “Marseille” acted reliably on the whole, and the quick attacks seemed to evolve by themselves. Now the southerners share the second place with Angers, 5 points behind PSG, but having a game in reserve compared to the leader.