#FCLMblog ~ From Italy to Russia, the first and the only site about Lokomotiv for the English speaking fans worldwide

Friday, 11 December 2015

Lokomotiv win their first ever European group

Lokomotiv's win over Skenderbeu yesterday coupled with win Besiktas's loss to Sporting clinched the top spot in Group H for the Railwaymen and gave them their first European group win in history after eight tries. 

Here's a look at how Loko has fared in group stages all-time: 

01/02 Champions' League: 3rd
02/03 Champions' League: 2nd (qualified)
02/03 Champions' League second group stage: 4th
03/04 Champions' League: 2nd (qualified) 
05/06 UEFA Cup: 3rd (qualified, 5-team group) 
07/08 UEFA Cup: 5th (5-team group)
11/12 Europa League: 2nd (qualified)
15/16 Europa League: 1st (qualified)

Igor Cherevchenko: "I'm satisfied by the first half of season".

Игорь Черевченко: Я доволен первой половиной сезона

Igor Cherevchenko in the post-game press-conference spoke about the game against Skenderbeu (0:3), resuming it. 

- Although this wasn't an easy win, we played better than Skenderbeu. I'm satisfied by the first half of season. I thank with the players, this is their merit for their work in the camps. Both the technical staff and the guys are satisfied. We didn't follow the game between Sporting and Besiktas, I learnt the result only in the dressing room. Everything was in our hands." 

Skenderbeu - Lokomotiv 0:3.

«Локомотив» - в плей-офф Лиги Европы!

Lokomotiv defeated Skenderbeu in the sixth week of the Europa League group stage and qualified to the next round. 

'Railroaders' flew in Albania with the conviction that everything was in their hands. Just one point was enough to qualify to the next round, however Lokomotiv pointed to the victory.  

Cherevchenko made some changes in the starting line-up relying on the unusual couple of defenders made up by Mykhalyk and Pejcinovic

The first opportunity was for Skenderbeu, but Berisha's shot was saved by Guilherme. Some minutes later, Niasse could have given Lokomotiv the lead, but he missed an enormous chance one-on-one Shehi. Luckily the Albanian goalkeeper could have done nothing on a Tarasov's powerful shot - 0:1.

In the second half, 'Railroaders' tried to handle the vantage, without conceding many spaces to Skenderbeu. 

Everything was decided in the last minutes, when Niasse finally scored his 13rd goal of the season and Samedov took advantage from a Skenderbeu defense's sleep. 

Lokomotiv ended the group stage at the first place thanks to the defeat of Besiktas in Lisbon against Sporting, which is the second team qualified to the 1/32. 

Europa League. Group stage. 6th round Group H
"Skenderbeu" - "Lokomotiv" - 0:3 (0:1) 
Goals: Tarasov, 18 (0:1). Niasse, 89 (0:2). Samedov, 90 (0:3)
"Skenderbeu": Shehi, Jashanica, Ademir, Radas, Abazi, Latifi (Progni, 72), Esquerdinha (Djair, 82), Lilaj, Salihi, Berisha, Olayinka 
"Lokomotiv": Guilherme, Pejčinović, Mykhalyk (Durica, 82) Denisov, Shishkin, Kasaev (Maicon, 76), Kolomeytsev, Samedov, Tarasov, N'Dinga, Niasse (Al Miranchuk, 90) 
Yellow cards: Shishkin, 5. Olayinka, 33 Samedov, 35. Tarasov, 50. Niasse, 77 
Referee: Mario Strahonya (CRO) 
10 December. Elbasan (Albania). Elbasan Stadium

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Preview Skenderbeu - Lokomotiv.

Скендербеу Locomotiva  
Thursday, December 10th 2015
(Elbasan Stadium, Elbasan)
21:05 Skenderbeu Korce Lokomotiv Moscow 

Referee: Marijo Strahonja (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivica Modrić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Dario Vrabec (CRO)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Fran Jović (CRO)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Mario Zebec (CRO)
Fourth Official: Hrvoje Radić (CRO)
UEFA Referee Observer: Ioannis Tsachilidis (GRE) 
UEFA Delegate: Targo Kaldoja (EST)

Lokomotiv - Skenderbeu 2-0: 35' Niasse, 73' Samedov.

AbsentsCorluka (disqualified).
In doubt: Shishkin (injured), Grigorjev (injured).

Skenderbeu: 2.
Lokomotiv: 3.

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

-NTV. Commentators: Roman Naguchev and Kirill Dementiev.


Two months ago I said: "Don't stop this Lokomotiv". I was wrong. 'Railroaders' are in an awful form and they seriously risk to be eliminated from Europa League. It's not a coincidence, but the game against Skenderbeu will be crucial. 

The Albanian team is currently at the second place in the Super League, which is lead by Partizan Tirana. Despite the defeat against Besiktas, Josa and his men will do everything in order to gift their fans a last joy in the final game of group H. Josa should rely on a classic 4-4-2 characterized by two very good striker as Salihi and Olayinka, who is on the verge to join Belgian side Gent for around $1M. Cherevchenko should also pay attention to Berisha, who was one of the best players on the field in the first leg thanks to his speed and his dribbling. 

Lokomotiv shouldn't undervalue the opponent. That's for sure. Although 'Railroaders' need just one point to qualify to the next round, they must play for a victory. The two draws in a row against Dinamo and Ural demonstrated how the team is tired and still not ready to fight for the title. However, Loko must continue its run in Europa League. Shishkin is doubtful, but he flew in Albania with his teammates. If he can't take part in the game, Yanbaev will replace him. Corluka is disqualified and Durica should take his place. Fernandes should start instead of Kolomeytsev with Tarasov that should couple with N'Dinga. Maicon should be confirmed left winger with Kasaev, who was really disappointing against Ural, on the bench. 

Cherevchenko said: "The third place in RPL is a good result, I don't want to complain with the team. The game against Skenderbeu will be a real battle and we're ready to fight. Everything is in our hands."

Around 80 red-greens fans will support the team in Albania. Kick off at 21:05.

Skenderbeu (4-4-2)
Vangjeli - Radas - Jashanica - Abazi
Latifi - Esquerdinha - Lilaj - Berisha 
Salihi - Olayinka 
Lokomotiv (4-2-3-1)
Shishkin -  Mykhalyk - Durica - Denisov
N'Dinga - Tarasov
Samedov - Fernandes - Maicon

Monday, 7 December 2015

Aleksey Miranchuk has won the Young Player of the Year award.

Aleksei Aleksei Miranchuk - il miglior giovane dell'anno

Lokomotiv's midfielder Aleksey Miranchuk has won the Young Player of the Year award of 2015.

He took the first place with 214 votes. Zobnin (145) and Morozov (76), both from Dinamo, were respectively second and third. 

The award is based on the votes of head coaches, managers and journalists. It gives a prize to the best Russian player not older than 20 years old. 

Congratulations, Lesha! 

Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Cherkizovo Report: Lokomotiv 2 Ural 2

Today was the last Russian League game of the year and it presented another great opportunity for Lokomotiv to climb closer to the top of the Russian table as CSKA and Zenit had both dropped points the previous day. Loko, CSKA, and Zenit have all looked like exhausted teams recently and the winter break is coming at a good time for us all. Going into the break on a high note and with some confidence was of the utmost importance tonight but unfortunately, only a hard fought point was won and our defensive frailties were exposed again in a 2-2 draw with Ural.

The small crowd was stunned after only two minutes when a perfect cross from Kulakov found Sapeta who neatly deflected past Guilherme to give the visitors a shock 1-0 lead. It didn't last for long, however. In the 18th minute, Yanbaev played a ball into Niasse who squeezed past two defenders then laid it back to Miranchuk who fired home, leveling the score. Niasse could have put us ahead, but failed to reach the ball in time when it was parried into his path by the goalkeeper. Shortly after, Ural struck back when a long, looping pass from Fidler found Manucharyan who ran clear of our defense in the same way Sporting tore us apart and blasted a shot which rattled off the post and into the goal. Loko had a chance to go into the half on equal terms, but Mykhalyk somehow missed a header from point blank range.

The second half was all Lokomotiv as Ural barely managed to get the ball out of their own half. Despite this pressure, there weren't many good chances for the Railwaymen and it was only in the 80th minute that we leveled the score. Substitute Maicon's shot was saved by Zhevnov, but it bounced right to Niasse who tapped it in. With ten minutes left to play, plenty of time, Loko irritatingly changed their approach and started launching long balls down the field instead of building up their attack which had been working leading up to the goal. This ensured that the remaining time would be uneventful and the match ended at 2-2.

Loko remained in 3rd place and even though it seems like we've missed a lot of opportunities, before the season I didn't expect us to be ranked so high.  To put things into perspective, in July a made a list of four goals for Lokomotiv and I decided that they would successful if they accomplished two.

1. Win the Super Cup (failed, but so close!)
2. Top 5 in the league (accomplished, 3rd place)
3. Alive in the Russian Cup (failed)
4. Qualify from our Europa League group (pending, but with a great chance)

So even though we've fallen on hard times recently, our autumn campaign has been pretty successful. One match remains in Albania next Thursday versus Skenderbeu. If Loko can earn just a single point and advance from their group, we'll have a lot to look forward to in the spring after the long three month winter break.

Andy Tedrick

Friday, 4 December 2015

Igor Cherevchenko: "A draw was the right result".

Igor Cherevchenko: Draw - un risultato giusto

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

- 2:2 was the right result. It was an interesting game for fans. The goals we suffered were at the begin of the match and at the end of the first half. I thank with the guys, they didn't give up. We created good chances, but we didn't realize them. 

Now, we have to think to the next game. The match against Skenderbeu is on December 10th and will decide whether we qualify or not. We have to miss this game and to think to the one in Albania. 

- Of course, you waited many goals from Niasse this season. What do you think about the fact he's making so many assists?
- The main thing is that he brings benefit to the team. A goal is the result of a teamwork. It doesn't matter who makes the assists - it just has to bring benefits.  

Lokomotiv - Ural 2:2.

Боевая ничья

Lokomotiv earned only a point against Ural in the 18th round of the Russian Premier League.

In the last home game in 2015, Lokomotiv hosted Ural. The first minutes were really tough. The Ekaterinburg club took immediately the lead with Sapeta, who took advantage from a good cross made by Ukrainian right back Kulakov.  

'Railroaders' answered a few minutes later with Aleksey Miranchuk, who scored his third goal of the season. Everything started again with Niasse, who won a couple of contrasts in the Ural's area. 

Lokomotiv could have doubled the score, but Samedov and Niasse were stopped by Zhevnov and Fidler. Despite the good chances, the home side suffered again a goal with Manucharyan that beat Guilherme after a good Fidler's solo-action. 

The Cherevchenko's XI wanted as soon as possible to equalize the score, but Mykhalyk missed a good opportunity before the break. 

In the second half, Lokomotiv started playing more offensively, but none of the red-greens players was accurate. 

Only 10 minutes before the final whistle, Niasse scored the 2-2 with an easy tap-in. 

Lokomotiv stayed at the third place in the table and now is waited by the Thursday's game against Skenderbeu in Europa League. 

Russian Premier League. 18th round
"Lokomotiv" - "Ural" - 2:2 (1:2) 
Goals: Sapeta, 2 (0:1). Al Miranchuk, 17 (1:1). Manucharyan, 38 (1:2). Niasse, 80 (2:2)
"Lokomotiv": Guilherme, Denisov, Corluka, Mykhalyk, Yanbaev, Kolomeytsev, N'Dinga (Skuletic, 70), Samedov, Kasaev (Maicon, 65), Al Miranchuk, Niasse
"Ural": Zhevnov, Martynovich, Dantsev, Manucharyan (Burmistrov, 66), Podberyozkin (Stavpets, 82), Kulakov (Khozin, 51), Acevedo, Fontanello, Sapeta, Fidler, Emelyanov 
Yellow cards: Yanbaev, 54. Skuletic, 75 
Referee: Sergey Ivanov (Rostov-on-Don) 
4 December. Moscow. Lokomotiv Stadium