Russia’s Zenit win UEFA Cup
Zenit St Petersburg have won the UEFA Cup. They beat Scottish side Glasgow Rangers 2-0 in a thrilling final in Manchester. Striker Igor Denisov scored the first in the 72nd minute. Konstantin Zyryanov added a second in injury time. It is Zenit’s first maj
Meantime, eight fans have reportedly been arrested, though their nationality has not yet been made public.
Up to ten thousand Russian fans travelled to the UK for the clash, while a hundred thousand Rangers supporters headed south to Manchester.
Earlier in the day, Russian supporters made their presence felt. The streets of Manchester in northern England were packed with Zenit fans who managed to get their visas in time. The visas were issued free due to a special dispensation from the British.
For those who came without match tickets, there was always the big screens dotted around the city. Manchester’s authorities set up special fan zones where the match was shown outdoors.
Meanwhile, all the sport bars in St Petersburg were completely booked up way in advance of the fixture. Cafes and restaurants installed large plasma screens to attract more customers.
Local bookmakers reported a surge in betting, with most of the cash going on a Zenit win.
Russia's Prime Minister was among those watching in Russia. Earlier in the day Vladimir Putin told journalists about his plans for the evening.
“I will definitely watch it. I have an appointment with Constitutional Court Chairman Zorkin later in the day but after that, of course, we'll watch the game. I hope our side wins,” he said.
Zenit St Petersburg are only the second Russian team to have won the prestigious UEFA Cup. In May 2005 CSKA Moscow beat Sporting Lisbon 3-1 to claim the title.