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Ari strikes twice in Spartak success

FC Spartak Moskva 3-0 MŠK Žilina
A goal in each half from Ari helped Spartak to their second victory in Group F, leaving debutants Žilina without a point.

Ari strikes twice in Spartak success
Ari strikes twice in Spartak success ©UEFA.com

Two goals from Ari and a late strike from Ibson gave FC Spartak Moskva a convincing victory against MŠK Žilina which maintained their 100% start to UEFA Champions League Group F.

Buoyed by a 1-0 win at Olympique de Marseille two weeks ago, the home side were dominant from start to finish, Ari capping his first start in the competition with a goal in each half. The visitors offered little in the way of a attacking football and conceded again a minute from time when Ibson neatly touched in Christian Maidana's cross from the left.

The hosts kicked off hoping to win a group stage match in the competition at the Luzhniki Stadion for the first time in a decade and immediately made their intentions clear. With only 20 seconds gone, Dmitri Kombarov's drive from the edge of the area whizzed just past the post with Zilina goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka beaten.

Spartak continued to mount pressure on the visitors' goal, dominance which was finally rewarded on 34 minutes when Ari's towering header from Alex's well-delivered corner looped into the net. Žilina improved following the half-time introduction of Momodou Ceesay, whose height sporadically troubled the Spartak defence, but he received little by way of support and it was no surprise when Valeri Karpin's team doubled their advantage just after the hour.

Spartak's wingers, Kombarov and Aiden McGeady, had caused the Slovakian side's defence all manner of problems, and it was the former's low left-wing cross which afforded Ari the simple task of increasing the lead at the far post. The game was all but up for Žilina, who conceded again in added time, substitute Ibson putting the gloss on an encouraging performance by touching in a centre from Maidana.

Valery Karpin's side now face a tough double header with Chelsea, the first of those games taking place in the Russian capital, while Žilina go in search of their first points against Marseille.