Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Cherkizovo Report: Lokomotiv 3 Amkar 0

Lokomotiv is on cruise control as they glided to yet another comfortable victory, 3-0 over Amkar tonight, without Captain Corluka patrolling the penalty box or General Cherevchenko pulling the strings from the sidelines. Both were serving suspensions for being sent off against CSKA. Corluka was replaced by Mykhalyk as the only change from our typical Russian league lineup this season.

It was a chilly night at Cherkizovo and there was a small crowd that was announced as 7,000. It was definitely less though. 4,000 perhaps. Despite the great success of the club this year, attendance is still disappointing for a European-caliber team playing exciting football in a city with an official population of about 12,000,000.

The team is good. Where are the fans?
Loko had the advantage in the opening stages and after having a goal disallowed for off-sides, it was only a matter of time before they struck. In the 28th minute, Niasse tore down the right side and laid the ball back to N'Dinga whose smash was saved by the Permian keeper Selikhov, but right back out to Niasse. He crossed it in to Kasaev who back-heeled it to a sliding Kolomeytsev and he guided it in for the first goal. Loko seemed to take their foot off the gas at that point and coasted into the locker room with the lead.

Logashov replaced the apparently-injured Mykhalyk at the half and Loko continued their passive dominance. They seemed to be content with the 1-0 lead, but the introduction of fan favorite Aleksey Miranchuk spiced things up and he had a good shot attempt saved. In the 78th minute, Samedov played Miranchuk into a good position and his shot was again saved, but this time the rebound bounced back to Samedov who made sure we were comfortably 2-0 in front.

Finally in the 86th minute, Miranchuk found his well-deserved goal. Niasse sped towards the goal on a counterattack, drew the defenders, and passed to an open Miranchuk who controlled the ball, wheeled around the goalkeeper, and poked it into the back of the net to seal a 3-0 win for the red and green.

I think what impressed me the most about this victory was how routine it was. There have been many similar wins this season where Loko controlled from beginning to end and defeat never even seemed likely. This never happened last season. The remarkable turnaround continues. The win takes us back up to 2nd place where we stand alone heading into the international break. 2nd in Russia, 1st place in Group H of the Europe League, and alive and kicking in the Russian Cup. It almost seems too good to be true.

Andy Tedrick

Oleg Pashinin: "I think this is a deserved victory against Amkar".

Pashinin: Dopo il primo gol la partita di fila

Oleg Pashinin in the post-game press-conference spoke about the game against Amkar (3:0), resuming it. 

"I'd like to thank with the guys for their character and willpower. We were forced to make some changes during the break. However, they've done everything we agreed. 

After the first goal, we played in a row. It also was good we were able to score other two goals. I think this is a deserved victory."

Lokomotiv - Amkar 3:0.

Vincere la classe

Lokomotiv defeated Amkar in the 11st round of the Russian Premier League and kept the 2nd place in the table. 

The match between Lokomotiv and Amkar ended the 11st round of the RPL. Lokomotiv played the third game in eight days, facing a tough side without the head coach and the captain. As a consequence, Pashinin replaced Cherevchenko, while Mykhalyk took the place of Corluka.

Lokomotiv started attacking since the first minutes and Amkar was forced to defend his goal. Samedov scored the 1:0, but the referee rightly cancelled his goal for offside. However, ten minutes later 'Railroaders' took the lead with the big ex Kolomeytsev, who took advantage by a Kasaev's assist. 

Later Shishkin could have doubled the score, but his shot flew over the bar. At the same time, Lokomotiv continued controlling the ball and to press Amkar in its area. 

In the second half, the homes side wanted to preserve the 1:0 and only in the final minutes was able to close the match. First Samedov and then Miranchuk fixed the final 3:0.

Lokomotiv stayed at the second place in the RPL table. Now there is the break for the national teams, where 16 'Railroaders' will be involved. 

Russian Premier League. 11st week
"Lokomotiv" - "Amkar" - 3:0 (1:0) 
Goals: Kolomeytsev, 27. Samedov, 78. Al Miranchuk, 86 
"Lokomotiv": Guilherme, Pejčinović, Mykhalyk (Logashov, 46), Denisov (Yanbaev, 74) Shishkin, Kasaev, Kolomeytsev, Samedov, Tarasov, N'Dinga (Al Miranchuk, 62), Niasse 
"Amkar": Selikhov, Zanev (Zaytsev, 18), Arzumanyan, Butko, Belorukov, Ogude, Shavaev, Idowu (Jovicic, 64) Balanovich, Prudnikov, Anene (Peev, 46) 
Yellow cards: Ogude, 16. Niasse, 19 
Referee: Sergey Lapochkin (Saint Petersburg) 
October 4. Moscow. Lokomotiv Stadium. 

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Preview Lokomotiv - Amkar.

Локомотив  Амкар
Sunday, October 4th 2015
(Lokomotiv Stadium, Moscow)
18.00 Lokomotiv Moscow Amkar Perm'
Referee: Sergey Lapochkin (Saint Petersburg).
Assistants: Pavel Kulalaev (Volzhsky) and Aleksander Kudryavtsev (Saint Petersburg).
Sub assistants: ? (?) and ? (?).
Inspector: Andrey Butenko (Moscow).
Delegate: Pyotr Barkalov (Moscow).

Lokomotiv - Amkar 0-0
Amkar - Lokomotiv 0-1: 29' Parks. 
Lokomotiv - Amkar 1-1: 84' Izmaylov; 23' Paramonov. 
Amkar - Lokomotiv 3-4: 19' Kushev, 43' Leonchenko (pen.), 45'+1 Kushev; 52' Bilyaletdinov (pen.), 58' Bilyaletdinov (pen.), 75' Izmaylov, 90'+2 Lebedenko.
Lokomotiv - Amkar 0-0
Amkar - Lokomotiv 1-3: 23' Grishin; 9' O'Connor, 55' Shaker, 78' Ivanovic. 
Lokomotiv - Amkar 0-1: 33' Savin. 
Amkar - Lokomotiv 1-0: 52' Grishin. 
Lokomotiv - Amkar 0-1: 56' Peev.
Amkar - Lokomotiv 0-0

Amkar - Lokomotiv 1-1: 63' Sikimich; 67' Sychev (pen.).
Lokomotiv - Amkar 1-0: 90' Sychev.
Lokomotiv - Amkar 2-0: 17' Aliev, 80' Maicon.
Amkar - Lokomotiv 1-2: 22' Topchu; 78' Aliev (pen.), 88' Rodolfo. 
Amkar - Lokomotiv 1-0: 25' Ristic. 
Lokomotiv - Amkar 4-0: 32' Loskov, 40' Glushakov, 48' Sychev, 79' Minchenkov. 
Lokomotiv - Amkar 1-236' Pavlyuchenko; 25' Peev; 90'+4 Picuşceac.
Amkar - Lokomotiv 2-4: 24' Georgiev, 90'+3 Sirakov; 45' Aleksey Miranchuk, 53' N'Doye (pen.), 64' Torbinskiy, 68' Yanbaev. 
Lokomotiv - Amkar 4-0: 7' N'Doye, 39' Maicon, 57' Shishkin, 86' Pavlyuchenko.
Amkar - Lokomotiv 0-0
Lokomotiv - Amkar 3-1: 66' Corluka, 68' Niasse, 77' Corluka; 74' Jovicic.
Amkar - Lokomotiv 1-1: 66' Peev (pen.); 94' Samedov. 

Absents: Corluka (disqualified), Sheshukov (injured).
In doubt: //.

Amkar: 11.
Lokomotiv: 2.

Streaming (available half an hour before the start of the match):

-NTV Nash Futbol. Commentators: Denis Kazanskiy.


Lokomotiv and the race to the title. The game against CSKA was really tough, but 'Railroaders' demonstrated that they could fight until the end for the gold medal as happened under Kuchuk. 

Tomorrow, Amkar will arrive at Lokomotiv Stadium to earn important points for the relegation zone. At the same time, the Cherevchenko's XI must win in order to prepare at 100% the derby against Spartak after the break for the national teams. 

Amkar landed today in Moscow and will prepare the tomorrow's match at Lokomotiv Stadium. The 'Permyaki' are one of the most in form teams in the current RPL and they'll certainly make Lokomotiv in trouble. They drew in Saint Petersburg two rounds ago and defeated Mordoviya in Perm'. Gadzhiev created a good collective and in the last transfers window, they reinforced the team with a skilled midfielder like Izunna or a talented striker like Anene. 

Amkar could recover captain Belorukov, otherwise Zaytsev is ready to replace him. In the midfielder, we should pay attention to Shavaev, who scored two goals in the last 4 rounds. There will be a ballot, instead, for the role of striker. Prudnikov found in Perm' his dimension, while Anene scored the 1:1 in Saint Petersburg. We prefer the Norwegian forward, who did very well with Rabotnicki. 

Cherevchenko, instead, has to face a big problem: Corluka will miss the game. Durica, his natural substitution, has only recently returned training with the team and we guess the Tajik coach won't risk him. As a consequence, one between Mykhalyk and Logashov will play together with Pejcinovic. We prefer the former Anzhi's defender, who played really well against Skenderbeu and could also be useful for the limit. Denisov couldn't be at 100% and Yanbaev should replace him after the goof performance he provided on Thursday. Miranchuk should replace a tired Kolomeytsev, while Skuletic should give a bit of rest to Niasse. Kasaev is expected to return in the starting line-up.

The Gadzhiev's XI plays a very pragmatic football and it won't be easy for 'Railroaders' to defeat such an organized team. However, Lokomotiv has got only a result available: the victory. These three points are very important for Loko, we can't miss this opportunity. 

 Lokomotiv (4-2-3-1)
Shishkin - Logashov  - Pejcinovic - Yanbaev
N'Dinga - Tarasov 
Samedov - Al Miranchuk - Kasaev
Amkar (4-5-1)
Butko Belorukov - Arzumanyan - Zanev 
Idowu - Shavaev - Komolov - Jovicic Balanovich

Thursday, 1 October 2015

The Cherkizovo Report: Lokomotiv 2 Skenderbeu 0

"SER-BI-JA!", shouted one side of the south grandstand. "KO-SO-VO!", shouted the other. Back and forth they went with this chant as the microscopic Albanian contingent of no more than a dozen on the other end of the stadium made their best attempts to whistle their displeasure. Even Guilherme and Corluka walked towards the home fans and motioned at them to stop their taunts. The stadium announcer loudly stated in Russian and in English, "We kindly ask you to refrain from political statements."

As European nights returned to Cherkizovo, politics played a major role. Russia's brotherhood and support of Serbia is well-documented and any match versus an Albanian team is apparently a tailor-made situation to voice their strong opinions.

The worst part of it was yet to come though. Directly below me in sector 6 were four Albanian fans, two men and two women, sitting in the Loko part of the stadium and holding up a pair of Albanian flags. Considering the circumstances, this was idiotic on their part, but certainly not wrong. I sensed trouble and it came. Two men came rushing towards them and didn't attack them, but wrestled away their Albanian flags and dashed off before security could stop them as the fans of the south sector howled and cheered. The Albanians were then escorted out of their seats and taken into the Skenderbeu sector.

Politics and sports don't mix and while a stadium may be a good place to visually display your alliances, it's against the nature of what is happening on the pitch. This is a sad part of the Russian game and it only hurts the innocent people that only want to watch a nice football match. I have plenty of my own political opinions too and I'm happy to discuss them from time to time, but you'll never hear me breathe a word of it at Cherkizovo or any other sporting venue. It's neither the time nor the place.

Security, in orange, escorts Albanian fans out of the Loko sector.
It wasn't a memorable night as far as fan behavior was concerned, but it has to be said that all fans did not participate in this.

Regarding the match, Loko rolled to a relatively easy victory, even without Kasaev and Denisov who were sat to rest minor injuries. It's the kind of win that good teams get and that Loko would have drawn 0-0 or lost last year. After CSKA, playing an unfancied Albanian side was a notable drop off emotionally, but the team stayed just focused enough to cruise to victory against inferior opposition. An announced attendance of 10,300 turned out, but in reality it looked like 6,000-7,000 on this cool, autumn evening.

Loko controlled the first half. Maicon almost headed in a a goal after only minutes. Soon after though, Skenderbeu would have their best chance of the half as a corner found and open Albanian player in front of the goal, but he harmlessly kicked it over bar. Niasse opened up the match in the 35th minute when he headed home a perfect Yanbaev cross to make it 1-0 for the Railwaymen.

The second half was also dominated by Loko, though they only managed one goal in the 73rd minute when a long pass into the penalty box from Logashov was headed by the defender directly back to Samedov whose shot found the back of the net and gave Loko an unassailable 2-0 lead. Loko had plenty of other chances to add to that and Miranchuk, who came on as a halftime substitute, looked particularly dynamic and almost produced some of his Messi-like Russian Cup final magic and Guilherme made an amazing save while running after being out of position, but the result was never really in doubt.

The win, coupled with the 1-1 draw between Besiktas and Sporting in Turkey, puts Loko on top of the group with 6 points. We're sitting pretty, but there's still a lot of work to do though this team has proven yet again that the sky's the limit. But let's only talk about football from now on.

Andy Tedrick

Igor Cherevchenko: "Tonight the three points were more important than the good football".

Игорь Черевченко: Сегодня три очка были важнее красивой игры

Igor Cherevchenko in the post-game press-conference spoke about the game against Skenderbeu (2:0), resuming it. 

"It was a tough game. During the derby against CSKA, we spent many emotions. I can't complain with the physical condition. Skenderbeu had two good chances but they didn't take advantage from them. We, instead, scored two goals. I can say that tonight the three points were more important than the good football."

Lokomotiv - Skenderbeu 2:0.

Вторая победа в Лиге Европы

In the second round of the Europa League group stage Lokomotiv defeated Skenderbeu. 

Despite the cold weather, there was a good attendance at Cherkizovo for the game against Skenderbeu. 

'Railroaders' started the game actively and after only 5 minutes, Loko could have took the lead, but the Albanian players defended well. Before the break, Lokomotiv was able to score the 1:0 thanks to a Niasse's header, who took advantage by a good cross made by Yanbaev

In the second half, the home side kept the possession and the ball with Skenderbeu that preferred attacking on counterattacks. After 57 mins Guilherme made an incredible save that kept the 1:0 for Loko. 

Before the final whistle, Lokomotiv finally scored the 2:0 with Samedov, who confirmed himself as the Europa League top scorer with three goals. 

All Niasse, Miranchuk and Skuletic could have scored also the third goal, but Shehi saved many times his team.

Lokomotiv won the second game in a row in the Europa League and stayed at the first place in the Group H. 

Europa League. Group stage. 2nd week group H.
"Lokomotiv" - "Skenderbeu" - 2:0 (1:0) 
Goals: Niasse, 35 (1:0). Samedov, 73 (2:0)
"Lokomotiv": Guilherme, Pejčinović, Corluka, Logashov, Yanbaev, Fernandes (Al Miranchuk, 46), Kolomeytsev (N'Dinga, 66), Tarasov, Maicon, Niasse (Skuletic, 82) 
"Skenderbeu": Shehi, Jashanica, Nimaga, Abazi (Arapi, 76), Berisha, Latifi (Shkembi, 72), Vangjeli, Radas, Lily, Olayinka (Progny, 87) 
Yellow cards: Berisha, 43 Logashov, 71
Referee: Orel Grinfeeld (ISR)
October 1. Moscow. Lokomotiv Stadium. 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Preview Lokomotiv - Skenderbeu.

Locomotiva Скендербеу 
Thursday, October 1st 2015
(Lokomotiv Stadium, Moscow)
19:00 Lokomotiv Moscow Skenderbeu Korce 

Referee: Orel Grinfeeld (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Danny Krasikow (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Nissan Davidy (ISR) 
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Liran Liany (ISR) 
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Bar Natan (ISR) 
Fourth Official: Dvir Shimon (ISR)
UEFA Referee Observer: Manuel Enrique Mejuto González (ESP)
UEFA Delegate: Michał Listkiewicz (POL)

No precedents in the Europa League.

AbsentsSheshukov (injured).
In doubt: //.

Lokomotiv: 2.
Skenderbeu: 1.

Streaming (available half an hour before the start of the match):

-NTV. Commentators: Aleksey Andronov.


Don't stop this Lokomotiv. This is probably what most of the fans think about the great status of form of the 'Railroaders'.

On Saturday, the Cherevchenko's XI earned a good point at Khimki Arena against CSKA and now red-greens have to play in the second match of the Europa League group stage vs Skenderbeu

First of all, it'd be a big mistake to undervalue the Albanian club. They are the title holders of the Super League and this season they arrived until the play-off of the Champions League, when they were defeated by Dinamo Zagreb. 

Lokomotiv has never faced an Albanian club in its history. In their last home match, 'Railroaders' were defeated 1:4 by Apollon Limassol, while Skenderbeu has won only one of its last nine away matches in the European football against Milsami (1V, 2D, 6L). This game will be the 50th one of Lokomotiv in the UEFA Cup/Europa League. Loko's record: 22 victories, 9 draws, 18 defeats.  

Skenderbeu is a very interesting team that plays the same Lokomotiv's football. They love playing on counterattacks especially in the European competitions. For instance, they played with 5 midfielders against Besiktas and in the whole game they made just only a shot to the opponent's goal. Their head coach is Mirel Josa, who prefers playing a defensive football based on fast actions. The most dangerous player is Bernard Berisha, who takes advantage especially from his speed. The Bulgarian striker Ventsislav Hristov has been a bit disappointing this season, as a consequence he should start on the bench. Skenderbeu should play with a solid 4-5-1 that can contain the Lokomotiv's attacks. Josa could also opt for a more offensive 4-4-2 with the Nigerian forward Olayinka that could take the place of Nimaga. Josa is likely to choose the starting line-up at the end of the tomorrow's training at Lokomotiv Stadium. 

Cherevchenko should confirm the line-up that defeated Sporting in Lisbon, with Fernandes that should take the place of Kolomeytsev. Although Denisov and Kasaev were subbed off during the derby against CSKA, they'll prepare at 100% the game vs Skenderbeu. Boussoufa, instead, will train together with the reserves team after his transfer to Al-Ittihad collapsed.

The game will be tough for both sides. Furthermore, Takaj (Skenderbeu chairman) promised €100000 to his team for a positive result in Moscow against Loko. This surely make the match more interesting. Kick off at 19:00.

Lokomotiv (4-2-3-1)
Shishkin -  Corluka - Pejcinovic - Denisov
N'Dinga - Tarasov
Samedov - Fernandes - Kasaev
Skenderbeu (4-5-1)
Vangjeli - Jashanica - Radas - Arapi
Nimaga - Lilaj - Berisha - Shkembi - Latifi