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25 Apr, 2009 16:49

Spartak fit a key to Kazan

Spartak fit a key to Kazan

The most popular Russian football club, Spartak Moscow, torn by recent changes in the team’s management, has quite surprisingly beaten the reigning champions Rubin on the road.

Rubin 0-2 Spartak Moscow

The Muscovites had a terrible start this season. Before the match, they were stuck in the middle of the Premier League table, knocked out of the Russian Cup by cross-town rivals Dynamo, and left without manager Michael Laudrup. While Kazan were leading the pack, with no losses and only one goal conceded in five games. Not surprisingly Spartak were regarded as underdogs in their clash with current leaders Rubin in Kazan.

However, things went different on the pitch. After the evenly-played first half, the Muscovites took control of the game in the second. Rarely appearing this season, Austrian international Martin Stranzl opened the scoring after a well-played corner. Rubin could have equalized a few minutes after, but missed their opportunity. Meanwhile the red-and-whites were more thrifty with their chances, as the Brazilian duo Alex and Welliton made a one-two combination, with the latter scoring after a rendezvous with the Kazan keeper.

Welliton could have netted another, but missed a hundred percent opportunity a few minutes before the final whistle. Spartak didn’t take it hard, though, as they secured a convincing 2-0 lead in this important match-up.

Zenit 4-2 Khimki

Elswhere, Zenit were 4-2 winners at home to Khimki.

Konstantin Zyryanov opened the score just eight minutes in. 20 minutes later, Igor Semshov slot home his first goal of the season, making it 2-0.

However, just before halftime, Khimki pulled one back off a free kick.

17 minutes into the second half, Fatih Tekke beat two defenders on his way to bringing back the two-goal gap for the hosts.

But Khimki didn't give up and in the 82nd minute substitute Aleksander Antipenko made it 3-2 after another free kick.

And two minutes from time Zyryanov put Pavel Pogrebnyak clear on goal, and he put Khimki away.

Dynamo 0-1 Krylya Sovetov

Meanwhile, Dynamo lost 1-0 at home to Krylya Sovetov. Czech Jan Koller netted the only goal there.

Terek 1-1 Saturn

In the only remaining game, Chechen’s Terek tied at 1-1 with Saturn.