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Lombaerts boosts Zenit as Shakhtar slip

Published: Tuesday 1 November 2011, 20.09CET
FC Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 FC Shakhtar Donetsk
A first-half header from centre-back Nicolas Lombaerts has put Zenit in a strong position to qualify, leaving the visitors on the verge of elimination.
by Richard van Poortvliet
from Petrovski Stadion

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Match statistics

ZenitShakhtar Donetsk

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target9
 
1
Attempts off target7
 
2
Corners3
 
5
Offsides0
1
Fouls committed18
 
24
Yellow cards2
 
3
Red cards0
 
0
Possession (%)52
 
48

Standings

Last updated: 21/05/2012 17:36 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Tuesday 1 November 2011, 20.09CET

Lombaerts boosts Zenit as Shakhtar slip

FC Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 FC Shakhtar Donetsk
A first-half header from centre-back Nicolas Lombaerts has put Zenit in a strong position to qualify, leaving the visitors on the verge of elimination.

FC Zenit St Petersburg took a giant stride towards qualifying for the UEFA Champions League round of 16 after a 1-0 win against FC Shakhtar Donetsk.

Neither side were at their fluent best, but a sustained period of first-half pressure from the home team told when Nicolas Lombaerts broke the visitors' resistance with a powerful header in added time. Zenit could have extended their margin of victory further, though once again they found Shakhtar goalkeeper Olexandr Rybka in excellent form, producing a string of world-class saves.

In contrast to the last encounter between the sides − a 2-2 draw a fortnight ago − the opening exchanges were scrappy, with neither team playing with any conviction as the final pass went astray far too often. As the half progressed, Zenit began to increase the tempo.

Soon Luciano Spalletti's men were dominating possession yet, just as he had been in Ukraine, Rybka was putting on a masterclass to keep the Russian league leaders at bay. The 24-year-old produced a trio of stunning saves to deny Aleksandr Bukharov and Konstantin Zryanov twice.

Just as it looked as though Shakhtar had weathered the first-half storm, Rybka's goal was breached, Lombaerts beating Darijo Srna to Zryanov's near-post corner and powering a header into the back of the net.

Shakhtar had been below par, rarely troubling the hosts; they rallied after the break. Willian shot narrowly over yet that was about as close as the Pitmen came as Lombaerts and Tomáš Hubočan dealt expertly with everything that was thrown at them. At the other end, Vyacheslav Malafeev was a virtual spectator.

Zenit were not at their creative best, partly because their main conductor, Danny, was not 100% fit after a knee injury. As a whole the second 45 minutes lacked the intensity of the first. Nevertheless, the Portuguese international was still influential, particularly in the 78th minute when he cut the visitors' defence apart; Bukharov was unable to apply the finishing touch.

Zenit were content to put men behind the ball and protect their lead, with Shakhtar struggling to muster a shot at goal. The Blue and Whites comfortably held on for their ninth successive home win in Europe and now lead FC Porto, in third, by three points.

Last updated: 27/11/12 17.18CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000263/match=2007621/postmatch/report/index.html#lombaerts+boosts+zenit+hand

Quotes

  • Luciano Spalletti

    Read more"Zenit played a perfect, beautiful match. We created some 15 chances and Shakhtar had one shot on goal"

  • Mircea Lucescu

    Read more"Zenit deserved to win, and we have to console ourselves with the fact we were no worse than them in the second half"

Lineups

zenit

Zenit

shakhtar donetsk

Shakhtar Donetsk

16
MalafeevVyacheslav Malafeev (GK)
25
RybkaOlexandr Rybka (GK)
2
AnyukovAleksandr Anyukov (C)
3
HübschmanTomáš Hübschman
4
CriscitoDomenico Criscito
5
KucherOlexandr Kucher
6
LombaertsNicolas Lombaerts
Goal45+1
9
Luiz AdrianoLuiz Adriano
Yellow Card65
Substitution77
9
BukharovAleksandr Bukharov
Substitution81
10
WillianWillian
Yellow Card52
10
DannyDanny
Substitution85
11
EduardoEduardo
14
HubočanTomáš Hubočan
13
ShevchukVyacheslav Shevchuk
15
ShirokovRoman Shirokov
22
MkhitaryanHenrikh Mkhitaryan
18
ZyryanovKonstantin Zyryanov
29
Alex TeixeiraAlex Teixeira
Substitution68
20
FayzulinViktor Fayzulin
33
SrnaDarijo Srna (C)
Yellow Card23
27
DenisovIgor Denisov
Yellow Card74
44
RakitskiyYaroslav Rakitskiy

Substitutes

30
ZhevnovYuri Zhevnov (GK)
30
PyatovAndriy Pyatov (GK)
3
Bruno AlvesBruno Alves
15
StepanenkoTaras Stepanenko
8
LazovićDanko Lazović
Substitution85
Yellow Card90+1
17
SeleznyovYevhen Seleznyov
Substitution77
17
RosinaAlessandro Rosina
20
Douglas CostaDouglas Costa
Substitution68
24
LukovićAleksandar Luković
26
RaţRăzvan Raţ
25
SemakSergei Semak
Substitution81
31
DentinhoDentinho
34
BystrovVladimir Bystrov
38
KryvtsovSerhiy Kryvtsov

Coach

Luciano Spalletti (ITA) Mircea Lucescu (ROU)

Referee

Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)

Assistant referees

Eric Dansault (FRA), Frédéric Cano (FRA)

Fourth official

Hervé Piccirillo (FRA)

Additional assistant referees

Olivier Thual (FRA), Ruddy Buquet (FRA)

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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