Two goals from Pavel Pogrebnyak sent FC Zenit St. Petersburg into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup after they completed a remarkable comeback against Olympique de Marseille at the Petrovsky Stadium on Wednesday.
The Russian champions were trailing 3-0 in the closing stages of the first leg, but Andrei Arshavin's late away goal in France gave them hope and ultimately proved crucial as Dick Advocaat's men sealed a dramatic 2-0 second-leg success. Pogrebnyak scored his sixth European goal of the season on 39 minutes, then registered a seventh 12 minutes from time to repeat their last 16 elimination of Marseille two years ago.
The visitors began as they had left off in the home leg last Thursday, creating two openings in the first four minutes, but Lorik Cana headed Samir Nasri’s free-kick over before Taye Taiwo steered a Mathieu Valbuena cross wide. Zenit settled, however, and Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda was forced to make a sharp save from Arshavin’s volley on six minutes.
Arshavin was at his inventive best, setting up Konstantin Zyrianov with a canny cutback just before the half hour, only for the midfielder to scoop over with the goal at his mercy. With the French side struggling to contain the Russian international, Zenit opened the scoring, Arshavin's header releasing Pogrebnyak, who kept his composure before steering a low shot past Mandanda.
If the visitors looked vulnerable in defence, they continued to pose a threat on the counterattack. Indeed, having already been denied by Zenit goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev after a superb exchange of passes with Nasri, Valbuena slipped Cissé clear, but the French international's firm shot was directed straight at Malafeev.
The second half was a tighter affair but after Mamadou Niang had rifled a long-range shot narrowly wide, Pogrebnyak struck again for the hosts. Fatih Tekke had only been on the pitch for three minutes when he laid Zyrianov's right-wing cross perfectly into Pogrebnyak's path, and the striker took the ball in his stride before hitting a left-footed shot past Mandanda to take Zenit through on away goals.