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Kerzhakov heads Zenit into the ascendancy

Published: Tuesday 17 August 2010, 20.30CET
FC Zenit St. Petersburg 1-0 AJ Auxerre
Aleksandr Kerzhakov's third-minute header gave Luciano Spalletti's side a slender lead to take to France next week.
by Tom Kell
Kerzhakov heads Zenit into the ascendancy
Aleksandr Kerzhakov celebrates scoring Zenit's winner against Auxerre ©AFP

Match statistics

ZenitAuxerre

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target5
 
4
Attempts off target5
 
8
Corners5
 
5
Offsides2
 
1
Fouls committed10
 
13
Yellow cards1
 
3
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Tuesday 17 August 2010, 20.30CET

Kerzhakov heads Zenit into the ascendancy

FC Zenit St. Petersburg 1-0 AJ Auxerre
Aleksandr Kerzhakov's third-minute header gave Luciano Spalletti's side a slender lead to take to France next week.

Aleksandr Kerzhakov's early header gave FC Zenit St. Petersburg a narrow lead to take into the second leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off against AJ Auxerre.

Though Auxerre sporadically threatened an equaliser, a Zenit side containing high-profile summer recruits Bruno Alves and Sergei Semak were good value for their narrow victory, preserving an impressive record of just two defeats in UEFA's main club competitions in their past 27 games at the Petrovsky Stadium thanks to Kerzhakov's third-minute strike. Auxerre must now come from behind on Wednesday week to end an eight-year wait to play in the group stage of UEFA's premier club competition.

Up against a Zenit side unbeaten in 16 Russian Premier League games and seven points clear at the summit, an Auxerre team shorn of the services of midfielder Dariusz Dudka through suspension were on the back foot from the off in Russia. Indeed, they had scarcely got their bearings when Kerzhakov ghosted in to head Danko Lazović's cross low to Olivier Sorin's left and just inside the post.

It was not until the half-hour, though, that Zenit's dominance translated itself into a further threat on Sorin's goal, Roman Shirokov turning Aleksandr Anyukov's delightful chip just over the bar. Kerzhakov's rasping free-kick also ended up behind, though this time Auxerre had Sorin's athleticism to thank as the goalkeeper dived to his left and palmed the ball over.

Five minutes before half-time Jean Fernandez's side found their stride. Anthony Le Tallec finally called Vyacheslav Malafeev into action with a prodded effort from close range before Dennis Oliech went closer still when he dug out a shot from the edge of the area which spun beyond Malafeev only to strike the bar.

Though the visitors' revival was briefly punctuated immediately after the interval, Sorin denying Shirokov from point-blank range, the Ligue 1 side had ridden the storm. Ireneusz Jeleń twice went within a whisker of bringing them back on level terms, firstly lobbing over the advancing Malafeev yet onto the roof of the net before firing a shot straight at the home goalkeeper.

Both teams, however, were reluctant to take too many risks, Zenit content with a slender advantage to take into the return – Alves' late free-kick as close as they came to a more emphatic cushion – and Auxerre relieved to have survived an early bombardment with minimum damage inflicted.

Last updated: 04/01/11 8.54CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2011/matches/round=2000117/match=2002405/postmatch/report/index.html#zenit+edge+auxerre

Lineups

zenit

Zenit

auxerre

Auxerre

16
MalafeevVyacheslav Malafeev (GK)
1
SorinOlivier Sorin (GK)
2
AnyukovAleksandr Anyukov (C)
2
HengbartCédric Hengbart
3
Bruno AlvesBruno Alves
4
GrichtingStéphane Grichting
6
LombaertsNicolas Lombaerts
6
CoulibalyAdama Coulibaly
8
LazovićDanko Lazović
Substitution60
8
Le TallecAnthony Le Tallec
Yellow Card82
10
DannyDanny
Yellow Card33
9
BirsaValter Birsa
Substitution70
11
KerzhakovAleksandr Kerzhakov
Goal3
Substitution78
12
MignotJean-Pascal Mignot
Yellow Card36
14
HubočanTomáš Hubočan
14
OliechDennis Oliech
Substitution90
15
ShirokovRoman Shirokov
17
PedrettiBenoît Pedretti (C)
25
SemakSergei Semak
Substitution90
22
JeleńIreneusz Jeleń
27
DenisovIgor Denisov
29
N'DingaDelvin N'Dinga

Substitutes

30
ZhevnovYuri Zhevnov (GK)
16
RiouRémy Riou (GK)
5
Fernando MeiraFernando Meira
7
ChafniKamel Chafni
9
BukharovAleksandr Bukharov
Substitution78
11
QuerciaJulien Quercia
Substitution90
17
RosinaAlessandro Rosina
18
ContoutRoy Contout
Substitution70
Yellow Card87
18
ZyryanovKonstantin Zyryanov
Substitution90
21
LangilSteeven Langil
23
HusztiSzabolcs Huszti
Substitution60
23
BerthodJérémy Berthod
24
LukovićAleksandar Luković
25
BourgeoisMaxime Bourgeois

Coach

Luciano Spalletti (ITA) Jean Fernandez (FRA)

Referee

Björn Kuipers (NED)

Assistant referees

Sander van Roekel (NED), J.F. Hans Olde Olthof (NED)

Fourth official

Richard Liesveld (NED)

Additional assistant referees

Pol van Boekel (NED), Peter Janssen (NED)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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