Anji fell out of the PIRELLI — Russian Cup having lost to Zenit St.Petersburg 3:2. The goals for Anji were scored by Agalarov and D.Ivanov.
Anji Makhachkala — Zenit St.Petersburg — 2:3 (1:1)
Goals: Khusti, 13 (pen.). Agalarov, 22. Danni, 68. Lazovic, 83. D. Ivanov, 90.
Anji: Revishvili, R. Carlos, Tagirbekov, J. Carlos (Lakhiyalov, 14), Gadzhibekov, Agalarov, Bakaev, Akhmedov, A.Ivanov, Golenda, Slavov (D. Ivanov, 64).
Zenit: Zhevnov, Anyujov, Meira, Lukovic, Shirokov, Zyryanov (Semak, 71), Khusti (Danni, 57), Denisov, Bystrov (Ionov, 40), Lazovic.
Suspensions: A.Ivanov, 11.
Referee: Kayumov (Moscow).
1 March. Grozny. Bilimkhanov stadium. 9000 specators (max. capacity 10200).
The beginning of the game saw a penalty, which was scored by Zenit player Khusti. In less than ten minutes Tagirbekov made an attempt on goal from a free-kick, Zhevnov saved the ball, but Agalarov was first to the ball to draw the teams level. Just before the goal Z.Carlos left the pitch with an injury. His substitute was the newly acquired attacker Lakhiyalov, who received a round of applause when coming on.
The guest side went ahead again in the second half thanks to a mistake made by the referee. An obvious hand ball in the Zenit penalty area ended in a counter-attack instead of a penalty. Danni made no mistake to move his team ahead. Zenit scored a third goal in the last ten minutes of the game. Just before the full time whistle, D.Ivanov narrowed the gap. Anji were left with no time to draw the game level.
Luciano Spalleti, head coach of Zenit:
— I have not had even one easy game in the Russian Championship and this game was not an exception. Anji fought until the end. I think that in terms of football, Zenit deserved the victory.
— Do you think that Danni’s appearance on the field was a lucky substitution?
— I think that everyone had a good game. And, of course, such a player like Danni can change a game.
— What happened with Bystrov?
— Everything will be clear after he receives further medical attention.
— Your opinion on Roberto Carlos’s first game.
— Roberto is a very experienced player, who can strengthen Anji’s game. Even though he is not that young now, but he is still a very technical player. Of course, in terms of supporting attacks he has fallen back, but in terms of class he is in good shape.
Gadzhi Gadzhiev, Head coach of Anji:
— Taking into account the situation that we were in, Anji played a good game. Unfortunately we are a bit behind in time in building a new team. If we do not look at several moments of the game, on the whole the team played very well. Zenit scores three goals both in the Russian League and in Europe too.
— This was the third official game of the season for Zenit...
— Of course it is a big advantage for the St.Petersburg side. For us on the other hand this was the first game of the season. Also Zenit have been playing with almost the exact side of three years ago. I think that this explains a lot.
— What can you say about the injured players?
— It is hard for me to say how badly injured Zhao Carlos is at the moment. I hope that he will be back for the game on 12 March. We have also lost Kebe earlier.
— How did Grozny greet you?
— Splendidly. Especially Ramzan Kadyrov. He is a great man!
— Was there a penalty?
— Perhaps the Zenit player was being held, but it is a clearly gaming moment, which one can find numerous amounts of times during a game. When Roberto Carlos was throwing the ball into play, Slavov was held with both hands. No whistle followed.
— Lakhiyalov played for the first time and did a good job at it.
— The thing is that he is a great player. Unfortunately we could not put Shamil in the starting line-up. More over Lakhiyalov joined the team only last night. You may have also noticed that Slavov who started significantly improved his game compared to last season.
— Don’t you think that Golenda does not meet Anji requirements?
— I think that Jan is a good player and will be able to help the team. Also the team needs time. We are working in that direction.