A second-half goal from Maxym Kalynychenko earned FC Spartak Moskva a share of the spoils in the Russian capital, but it is RC Celta de Vigo who take a narrow advantage into the home leg of their UEFA Cup Round of 32 tie.
Kalynychenko scored in Spartak's last two UEFA Champions League group games to help his side to third place and a UEFA Cup berth, and was on target again as European football returned to the agenda. Trailing to Antonio Núñez's first-half strike, the 28-year-old Ukrainian took responsibility for a free-kick just outside the area midway through the second period and his deflected shot set up an absorbing finale. Battling Celta held on, though, belying their poor domestic form to take the cushion of an away goal into the second leg.
Whatever the match in Spain has in store, the Balaídos is likely to be a lot warmer than the Luzhniki Stadium as the game kicked off in freezing temperatures. Predictably, it was Spartak who settled first and Celta goalkeeper Esteban Suárez had to be alert to deny Roman Pavlyuchenko early on as he and Kalynychenko combined to good effect. Although Martin Stranzl also menaced, the visitors gradually gained a foothold. Núñez was guilty of poor finishing when teed up by Fabián Canobbio midway through the half, yet he made no mistake just before the interval, converting Gustavo López's cross from close range.
Falling behind awoke Spartak from their torpor. Substitutes Nikita Bazhenov - who had the hosts' only true chance before the equaliser - and Denis Boyarintsev injected greater hunger into their team and Kalynychenko finally broke through on 64 minutes. It rocked Celta, who had almost doubled their advantage through Iriney moments before the scores were levelled, yet despite intense Spartak pressure they held firm to leave the tie finely poised.
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