Vorobyov punished the capital’s tired dandies. “Orenburg” ended the unbeaten run of “Spartak”
WAITING FOR A GOAL SPEECH
The trip to Orenburg was Spartak’s first in 2023. They have played all previous games in Moscow, either at home or in Cherkizovo. The rival for Guillermo Abascal’s team was interesting: light, fast, going on the attack in any case, playing himself and letting others play.
Marcel Lichka’s Orenburg is one of the most interesting phenomena in Russian football in recent years. Furthermore, the team plays very well at home: in the last eight games, seven wins and one draw, and the only defeat dates back to the first round. In this match, the hosts did not have a suspended defender Renato Gojkovic. Instead, Mikhail Sivakov appeared in central defense.
Judging by Spartak’s starting lineup, Abascal decided to fight openly. From the first minutes, Tomasz Tavares appeared on the left flank of the defense, who was excellent with the ball, and the killer trio of Quincy Promes – Alexander Sobolev – Anton Zinkovsky went on the attack. So fans had the right to expect spectacular shooting from this game. Despite the “modest” rating, the match certainly lived up to the expectations of neutral spectators.
SIX MINUTES OF VOROBYOV
The atmosphere in Orenburg is very similar to football. On the day of the match, it was about 8-9 degrees, but the bright, friendly sun was shining, and the artificial turf, although unusual for Muscovites, is very even and smooth, which is conducive to combinational football. And the atmosphere in the stands was pleasant. Unlike the huge empty arenas, so welcoming stadiums from the introduction fan–ID visually lost not much.
The players didn’t fail to enjoy the atmosphere. So the hosts covered the opponent several times and ran into the attack with such great forces that the defenders were outnumbered, but for the time being the red and white managed to get back. However, in the 17th minute, Anton Zinkovsky was cut off in his own half and led a counterattack, and Dmitry Vorobyov, who picked up the ball, was perfectly thrown at Yuri Kovalev, who only had to shoot past Alexander Selikhov.
According to the last games, it seems that Spartak players have read enthusiastic articles and posts about themselves and have lost the unbridled hunger that distinguished them in the autumn part of the season. As if they believed in their class and started taking the field with the certainty that victory would come by itself. So even a passed ball didn’t become a lesson for them. Six minutes later, Brian Mansilla won the match against Daniil Denisov (the defender tried to play shoulder to shoulder, but the Argentinian dodged and Denisov landed on the grass) and aimed at the goalkeeper’s line, from where he Vorobyov himself with his heel (!) ferried the quickly flying ball into the net .
The Muscovites behaved so awkwardly and lazily that they clearly needed replacements in the first half. It is unlikely that anyone would be surprised if Abaskal did not release Georgy Jikia and Zinkovsky in the second half. The first stopped twice, looking at the player with the ball, and did not check his opponent, the second not only scored a goal, but also slowed down the attacks with his endless shifting of the ball from left foot to right and back . Just before the final whistle, Jikia pulled his hamstring, which will only add to the defending team’s problems.
AND ABASKAL’S MATCH MANAGEMENT DOESN’T HELP
The red and white mentor made a double substitution at the interval, but different from what one might expect. Danil Prutsev and Daniil Denisov gave way to Christopher Martins and Daniil Khlusevich. Both replacements were clearly aimed at strengthening the attack. Khlusevich is a well-known lover to connect, and the Luxembourger in general near Abaskal came out on the flank of the attack several times.
As expected, these permutations were expected to wreak controlled havoc on the team ahead’s play. Zinvosky in a positional attack began to resort to the left at Quincy Promes, creating an overload here, and the opposite edge was filled with newcomers Hlusevich and Martins. The idea is not bad, but the players lacked ball speed, so the attacks broke against the well-coordinated defense of the opponent. Moreover, Orenburg was much closer to the third goal than Spartak to the first. For example, in the episode when Selikhov kicked the ball from the goal line after hitting Mansilla with his head from close range.
A third of the time, Abascal saw how his new plan did not work out and made two more changes – instead of Zinkovsky and Pavel Maslov, who failed the game (in general, he made everything out of place and miraculously avoided score error), Shamar Nicholson and Alexis Duarte are out. Spartak have switched to playing with a double center forward, but if the team fails, often no substitutions can help. For “Spartak” it was just the day when everything falls out of hand and foot.
A chance to save himself could appear in the middle of the second half, when Khlusevich competently rolled Nicholson to the second pace, but he didn’t actually hit the ball and missed the chance. But forget it, the finish would have been much hotter and Sobolev’s hit on the post would have been much more dramatic. And so Orenburg, even if it wasn’t work problems, defended until the final whistle against four forwards and registered another home win, the eighth in 10 RPL games. Well, Spartak lost in the Premier League for the first time since September, when they got 2:4 in Rostov-on-Don.
RPL. 20 rounds
Orenburg – Spartak – 2:0 (2:0)
goals: Kovalev, 17 – 1:00. Vorobyov, 23 – 2:0.
“Orenburg”: Sysuev, Ektov, Sivakov (Khotulev, 71), Perez, Stamatov, Bashich (Oganesyan, 80), Kaplenko, Vera, Kovalev (Marin, 65), Mansilla (Obukhov, 90+2), Vorobyov (Poluyakhtov, 80).
“Spartak”: Selikhov, Denisov (Khlusevich, 46), Maslov (Duarte, 59), Jikia (Balde, 76), Tavaresh, Litvinov, Prutsev (Martins, 46), Zobnin, Zinkovsky (Nicolson, 59), Promes, Sobolev.
Warnings: Vorobyov, 4. Zinkovsky, 37. Sivakov, 39. Sobolev, 45+4. Litvinov, 55. Sysuev, 90+4.
Judge: Kukuyan (Sochi).