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SPARTAK HELD TO DRAW WITH KUBAN KRASNODAR

Spartak failed to fully capitalise on Zenit’s loss Friday evening as they we held to a 2-2 draw, honours even, with host Kuban Krasnodar in match day eight of the Sogaz Championship of Russia. With the result, the Red-Whites sit sixth in the log jammed table ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Barcelona.

Prior the international break, Spartak manager Unai Emery was quite aware his side was heavily fatigued with a trying schedule with six matches in just over three weeks. However with many of his players returning from duties in international play and in lieu of the Champions League contest against powerhouse Barcelona they would receive no break from their opportunistic hosts.

From the most recent contest Mr. Emery made three changes to his line-up, providing Kim Källström his debut in a Spartak starting grid along with Marek Suchý and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov for Demy De Zeeuw, Rafael Carioca and Yevgeni Makeev.

Spartak took the 1-0 lead a minute shy of the quarter-hour when Artem Dzyuba latched onto a cross from the right wing and the quickly rising Russian international sent a cutting diagonal cross for Ari on the right side of the area. In sumptuous passing display Ari deftly back-heeled the ball to Aiden McGeady who subsequently drilled the offering into the opposite corner of the net. The visitors quickly responded and after seeing two noteworthy chances come up short, squared the at the twenty-sixth minute as the attempted clearance from Juan Manuel Insaurralde was latched onto by Artyom Fidler and from thirty metres the veteran midfielder delivered a booming effort to the top right corner of the net. The hosts were in prime position to take the lead when Juan Manuel Insaurralde was adjudged a penalty but Spartak goalkeeper Andriy Dikan made a sublime stop of Ibrahima Baldé from the spot.

At the restart, Mr. Emery summoned Emmanuel Emenike in for Artem Dzyuba and the move paid rich dividends eight minutes later as the twenty-five year old striker raced onto the end of Dmitry Kombarov long, lofted provision and booming from just inside the area to the roof of the net. However was not in the cards for Spartak as coming sixty-third minute Aras Ozbiliz, after winning a free-kick, curled the ball past goalkeeper Andriy Dikan from twenty-two metres. In the final twenty minutes the Spartak tactician ushered Rafael Carioca and José Manuel Jurado into the proceedings as his side went in search of the winning margin. The final stages saw Emmanuel Emenike send a close range header agonizingly wide and following another brilliant stop by Andriy Dikan on Ibrahima Baldé, the match concluded as a 2-2 draw, honours even.

Prepared by John Davies for Spartak Moscow





 

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