International

Zenit refocus on domestic title after Europa League defeat

2019-03-08 13:15
Soccer
Soccer

Moscow - Zenit Saint Petersburg are out to consolidate their Russian Premiership lead against lowly Ufa on Sunday following their midweek Europa League defeat to Villarreal.

Zenit, beaten 3-1 by Villarreal in the last 16 first leg tie, are four points clear of Krasnodar but their manager Sergei Semak warned his men not to take 15th-placed Ufa lightly.

"It's a pity we failed to achieve a positive result in the Europa League but now we need to prepare for the Premier League match," Semak said.

"We've won our last four meetings with Ufa and I hope we will continue going this way. But we should stay concentrated as Ufa may be very dangerous as they have absolutely nothing to lose."

Krasnodar, who also suffered a 2-1 Europa League defeat at the hands of another Spanish top flight side Valencia on Thursday, will try to bounce back in Monday's match with 12th-placed Orenburg.

Krasnodar head coach Murad Musayev said he was happy that his team kept alive their chances to progress in Europe.

"We've committed too many mistakes in the first half allowing Valencia to score two deserved goals," he said.

"Luckily, after the break we managed to put our play in order and to score a goal which keeps our chances alive.

"Now we need to focus on the match with Orenburg. The win on Monday will boost our morale and will help us to stay in the title race."

Third-placed CSKA Moscow, who were unexpectedly defeated 2-0 by Arsenal Tula last time out, will have their title credentials tested again Saturday when they host former two-time champions Rubin Kazan.

CSKA manager Viktor Gancharenko blamed his team's  non-compliance with the plan for the defeat adding his side now need to grab all three points to stay in contention for the national title.

"We played terribly and lost our previous match deservedly," he told CSKA's official website. "We have not looked so bad for a long time.

"But I hope we can improve the situation quickly. Now we need to win the upcoming match. I know it will not be easy but we must do it if we want to keep our chances for the title alive."

Fixtures (all SA time)

Saturday

Samara v Yenisei Krasnoyarsk (13:00), CSKA Moscow v Rubin Kazan (15:30)

Sunday

Rostov v Arsenal Tula (13:00), Zenit St Petersburg v Ufa (15:30), Dynamo Moscow v Spartak Moscow (18:00), Anzhi Makhachkala v Lokomotiv Moscow (20:00)

Monday

Akhmat Grozny v Ural Yekaterinburg (16:30), Krasnodar v Orenburg (18:30)

Read more on:    zenit st petersburg  |  sergei semak  |  soccer

 

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