FC Dynamo Kyiv are on course to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage after a comfortable win against old rivals FC Spartak Moskva at the venue for last season's final, the Luzhniki Stadium.
Spartak went ahead early on but two goals apiece for Ismaël Bangoura and Artem Milevskiy tilted the balance in Dynamo's favour ahead of the Kiev return in a fortnight. It made up for their previous UEFA Champions League visit to the stadium, when a 1-0 defeat helped end the Ukrainian side's 1994/95 campaign in the group stage.
They looked on course for more misery when they fell behind on four minutes tonight when Nikita Bazhenov put Spartak ahead with a cool finish into the top corner. The advantage was nearly doubled soon after but Olexandr Shovkovskiy was equal to Vladimir Bystrov's shot from close range. Dynamo slowly found their rhythm and had the majority of possession but rarely threatened Stipe Pletikosa's goal.
When it came, the equaliser was out of nothing. Mozart's back-pass to Pletikosa was misdirected and Bangoura pounced to tap the ball into an empty net. The visitors were buoyed and Bangoura looked to double his tally after a delicate pass from Milevskiy just missed the target. However, in first-half added time Miloš Ninković's cross found Bangoura, whose shot was parried by Pletikosa only for Milevskiy to escape the marking of Roman Shishkin and turn in the rebound.
Suddenly things looked bleak for Spartak and it got worse soon after the interval when Bangoura pounced on a defensive slip and, one-on-one with Pletikosa, made no mistake. Only a fine reflex save from the Croatian goalkeeper denied Bangoura his hat-trick after the Guinean striker beat three defenders, but Spartak were on the defensive and only a solo run and shot just past the goal from Bystrov lifted the home fans. They were soon down again, however, as five minutes from time it was 4-1 when Bangoura robbed Martin Jiránek and teed up Milevskiy, who put Dynamo ever closer to a third successive group stage campaign.