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Season review: Russia

Published: Monday 30 November 2009, 18.58CET
While FC Rubin Kazan were turning heads with some thrilling UEFA Champions League displays, they did not take their eye off the ball on the domestic front as they reclaimed their Premier-Liga crown.
Season review: Russia
Rubin have had plenty to celebrate once again ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 30 November 2009, 18.58CET

Season review: Russia

While FC Rubin Kazan were turning heads with some thrilling UEFA Champions League displays, they did not take their eye off the ball on the domestic front as they reclaimed their Premier-Liga crown.

While FC Rubin Kazan were turning heads in Europe with some thrilling UEFA Champions League performances, they did not take their eye off the ball on the domestic front as they reclaimed the Premier-Liga title by eight points from FC Spartak Moskva.

Champions: FC Rubin Kazan
Kurban Berdyev's side clinched the title with a game to spare to prove last season's first crown was no fluke. As if to emphasise the point, the Kazan side scored more and conceded fewer goals than any other Premier-Liga club with Alejandro Domínguez and Aleksandr Bukharov finishing second and third in the top-scorers race respectively.

Cup final: FC Rubin Kazan 0-1 PFC CSKA Moskva
Despite being reduced to ten men following Pavel Mamaev's 13th-minute dismissal, CSKA were still able to win the Russian Cup for the fourth time in five years thanks to Evgeni Aldonin's added-time winner.

Player of the Year: Alejandro Domínguez (Rubin)
If, as expected, the Argentinian attacking midfielder does move on this winter, he will at least be leaving Rubin fans with plenty of golden memories. In his second spell with the club following his return from FC Zenit St. Petersburg, Domínguez scored 16 goals – including one remarkable sequence of seven penalties in seven games – and set up four more, proving the inspiration behind Rubin's success.

One to watch: Georgi Schennikov (CSKA)
The son of four-times race walking world champion Mikhail Schennikov, Georgi was brought into the side by former coach Valeri Gazzaev towards the end of last season and cemented his place aged just 17 at the start of this term. The defender played 25 Premier-Liga games for CSKA and also established himself as a key player for the Russian Under-21 team.

Surprise package: FC Saturn Moskovskaya Oblast
Saturn were 15th after eight games and had only won once, prompting the dismissal of managing director Boris Zhiganov and coach Jürgen Reber. Reserve coach Andrey Gordeev was promoted to the top job and excelled in the role, leading Saturn to an accomplished seventh spot.

Leading scorer: Welliton, FC Spartak Moskva (21)

Number: 0
FC Khimki failed to collect a single point in the second half of the season, losing 15 straight following their 2-0 win at home to FC Amkar Perm on 24 July. Not surprisingly, they finished bottom of the league.

Quote
"This season was harder than last year. We had to prove our success was no accident and that was our aim from the start. We wanted to confirm our reputation as the leaders of Russian football."
Kurban Berdyev, Rubin coach

Last updated: 01/12/09 16.36CET

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