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Five-star Zenit progress with a swagger

FC Zenit 5-0 FC Nordsjælland (agg: 6-0)
Roman Shirokov (2), Hulk, Danny and Andrey Arshavin all scored as Luciano Spalletti's side overwhelmed their Danish visitors.

Hulk scored one and provided two assists for Zenit
Hulk scored one and provided two assists for Zenit ©Getty Images

A pair of goals from Roman Shirokov bookended a fine FC Zenit performance, as they put five goals past FC Nordsjælland at the Stadion Petrovski to secure a place in Friday's UEFA Champions League play-off draw.

Following their hard-fought win in Denmark last week, things were rather more straightforward for Luciano Spalletti's men this time around as Hulk, Danny and Andrey Arshavin found the net in between Shirokov's pair to keep alive hopes of a third successive group stage appearance. Things did not go entirely to plan, with Luís Neto sent off in the 72nd minute, but by that time the game was up for Nordsjælland.

It was always going to be tough for Kasper Hjulmand's side to overturn the first-leg deficit and they were swiftly shown that the home side meant business as Shirokov rattled the woodwork from a tight angle after just four minutes. Hulk chipped just over but the Brazilian carved out an opening with a beautiful through ball on 26 minutes which Shirokov calmly rolled past Martin Hansen.

The visitors found it hard to exert pressure and a second Zenit goal always seemed likely. It arrived in the 50th minute as Hulk drove in from the right flank before shooting across the goalkeeper and into the corner from the edge of the box. Hulk's improvised cross then allowed Danny to nod in 12 minutes later, and Arshavin took advantage of some hesitant defending to slot in the fourth shortly after.

Neto was dismissed for handling in his own area but Nicolai Stokholm struck the bar from the resulting spot-kick, and Shirokov rubbed salt into Danish wounds with a fifth goal for last season's Russian league runners-up in injury time.

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