FC Rubin Kazan will head into their UEFA Europa League double-header against Neftçi PFK with high hopes of advancing after a commanding performance against FK Partizan.
Goals either side of half-time from Gökdeniz Karadeniz and Aleksandr Ryazantsev did the damage at the Centralniy Stadion as Kurban Berdyev's team dictated play from start to finish. The result leaves them level on four points with FC Internazionale Milano at the Group H summit, three ahead of Neftçi and Partizan.
Rubin could have been 2-0 up inside the opening five minutes after chances for José Rondón but they bided their time as Partizan settled into their organised game. The visitors got every man behind the ball, soaking up the pressure before looking to pounce on the break – for much of the first half the defensive part of their strategy worked, at least.
Gökdeniz's goal just before the interval left their plans in tatters. Vladimir Stojković looked to have cleared the danger when he parried Roman Eremenko's tame shot but Gökdeniz picked the ball up near the byline and ran unopposed towards the penalty spot before firing low into the net.
Three minutes after the restart it was 2-0 as Roman Eremenko laid Rondón's pass into the path of Ryazantsev, who stabbed the ball into the far corner. Ryazantsev almost turned provider minutes later as his back-heel teed up Oleg Kuzmin but Stojković denied the defender his first goal in two and a half years.
A comeback was never on the cards, with Partizan showing little of the attacking whiles that had brought 12 goals in three games since their 0-0 draw with Neftçi a fortnight ago. They travel to Inter in three weeks needing to end a run of 12 away defeats in the group stage to revive hopes.
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