Rostov hold on to get off the mark against PSV

Rostov picked up their first ever point after an absorbing contest in which PSV twice cancelled out Dmitri Poloz goals before Davy Pröpper had a spot kick saved and hit the bar.

Matchday 2 highlights: Rostov 2-2 PSV
Matchday 2 highlights: Rostov 2-2 PSV

Rostov are off the mark in their first UEFA Champions League campaign after a topsy-turvy Group D encounter with PSV Eindhoven ended all-square.

Dmitri Poloz twice put the Russian hosts in front during an action-packed first half but each time the visitors pegged them back, Luuk de Jong making it 2-2 seconds before the interval.

PSV had the better chances after the restart, the best falling to Davy Pröpper, scorer of their first equaliser. The midfielder had a penalty saved by Soslan Dzhanaev and was a whisker away from making amends with a shot from outside the box that struck the bar. It fell into Dzhanaev's arms, however, and he and Rostov held on.

Dmitri Poloz
Dmitri Poloz©AFP/Getty Images

Key player: Dmitri Poloz (Rostov)
Together with strike partner Sardar Azmoun, Poloz proved too hot to handle for the five-man PSV defence, especially in the first half. His finish for the first goal was composed, his second beautifully executed. Supply was more limited in the second period, but by then the 25-year-old Russian international had already done enough to earn a point for his team.

Rostov struggling to fill defensive hole
Both sides were guilty of defensive frailties, and Rostov will be desperately disappointed to have lost a lead not once, but twice in quick succession. The UEFA Champions League is proving to be a tough learning curve for the Russian club, though in their defence – pun intended – they have had the heart literally ripped from them, with Ivan Novoseltsev and Bastos both departing since their campaign began in late July.

PSV cut Rostov's supply line
You could say it was a classic game of two halves. Rostov looked sharper before the break, and probably felt aggrieved not to go into half-time with a lead. However, PSV managed to nullify the supply to the Russians' front men after the restart, and then started attacking with increasing regularity. Pröpper was always dangerous, while substitute Steven Bergwijn was a real handful.

©AFP/Getty Images

Reporters' views

Richard van Poortvliet, Rostov (@UEFAcomRichVP)
Defensive naivety was Rostov's undoing, costing them the opportunity to claim their first win in the group stage. However, it is also refreshing to watch the team from the south of Russia play without fear and restriction. The front pairing of Azmoun and Poloz are a definite positive for coach Ivan Daniliants, and if they could tighten things up at the back, they could cause a surprise or two in their remaining fixtures.

Derek Brookman, PSV (@UEFAcomDerekB)
Rostov were undoubtedly the better side in the first 45 minutes. PSV consistently struggled to deal with the aerial threat of Azmoun, despite operating with three central defenders. The Dutch champions improved considerably after the break, though Pröpper's penalty miss marked the latest in a long line of spot-kick disasters for Phillip Cocu's team, not least Andrés Guardado's failure against Atlético on matchday one. Some serious practice is required!

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©Getty Images
©Getty Images