Grasshopper-Club 3-1 FC Zenit St. Peterburg
Grasshopper-Club have their sights on the second round of the UEFA Cup after recording a comfortable win in the first leg of their first-round tie with FC Zenit St. Peterburg.
A passionate crowd at the Hard-Turm stadium in Zürich got exactly the start they had hoped for when Mate Baturina was on target to give Grasshoppers the lead after only six minutes. Ricardo Cabanas showed great skill to go past three defenders and into the penalty box, where he flicked the ball on for the on-rushing Baturina, who made no mistake from close range.
It was a cruel blow to a Zenit side who had been content to defend deep and rely on counterattacking opportunities. The Grasshoppers goal forced Zenit to step up the pace and the Russians gradually began to find their feet in midfield as the first half wore on. The visitors restored parity on the half-hour mark when Aleksandr Kerzhakov was quick to react as Fabrice Borer parried a shot from Cabanas.
The Swiss side restored their lead moments before half-time when Antonio Barijho poked the ball through a host of Zenit players and into the net to give his side a much-needed boost.
Nunez on target
Richard Nuñez made it 3-1 eight minutes after the interval thanks to superb approach play by Cabanas. From then on it was one-way traffic, but Zenit keeper Viatcheslav Malefeev prevented further damage to give Zenit hope for the second leg in a fortnight's time.