FC Zenit St. Petersburg missed the chance to go top of Group A as 1. FC Nürnberg recorded their first point of the UEFA Cup group stage.
Angelos Charisteas gave the visitors a surprise first-half lead before two goals in four second-half minutes from Pavel Pogrebnyak and substitute Aleksei Ionov put Zenit in front. However, another replacement, Leon Benko, headed Nürnberg level five minutes later to gain a draw for the German side.
Zenit started the brighter, putting the Bundesliga outfit under pressure right from kick-off and nearly went ahead as early as the fourth minute. Pogrebnyak drilled a shot from the edge of the area which Nürnberg goalkeeper Jaromír Blažek tipped over the bar. Radek Šírl then went close for the new Russian champions from 20 metres, yet it was Nürnberg who grabbed the initiative on 25 minutes when Charisteas latched on to Marco Engelhardt's pass to fire into the top corner.
Nürnberg almost doubled their advantage on the half-hour mark but Kamil Čontofalský saved Peer Kluge's shot. Zenit ended the first period as the stronger team, with Blažek being forced to make a series of saves in a frenzied finale. The one-way traffic continued as ten minutes after the break, Dick Advocaat's men missed a great opportunity to restore parity – Pogrebnyak heading wide from six metres.
Zenit's hard work eventually paid off in the 76th minute when Pogrebnyak turned in Konstantin Zyrianov's cross for the equaliser; and three minutes later the hosts were a goal to the good after another Zyrianov pass found Ionov who finished astutely. Zenit's lead was short-lived, though. Benko's 84th-minute header earned Hans Meyer's side their first point of the campaign. Zenit, with five points, stay second in Group A behind Everton FC.