For Zenit it is alarming before the Champions League. The team has serious problems in the center of defense

Football

For Zenit it is alarming before the Champions League. The team has serious problems in the center of defense

Let no one be confused by the first place of Zenit in the RPL. The team scored 10 goals in three rounds – the best result among all, but also conceded five – only “Akhmat” has so many in the top 10. At the same time, the pair Yaroslav RakitskiyDeyan Lovren , which became the main one last season and did not seem to be helpless, came out from the first round in the center . Now something is broken.

Publicly, Sergei Semak admitted his defensive problems after the game with Krasnodar. Zenit missed two, and could have more. Yes, everything was blocked by goals scored, but such a game in defense will definitely be reflected in the distance.

– Of course, what we miss is bad. But we also score a lot – that’s good. The team scores a lot – the fans like it, and we will work on mistakes in defense. We are not satisfied with this situation, – said the head coach at a press conference.

Dejan Lovren did not undergo training with Zenit due to participation in Euro 2020, where he played two matches. And he only came to the game for the Super Bowl, which he missed. The area of ​​the 32-year-old Croat is the most problematic so far – including because of him, the team missed twice from Krasnodar. The first goal of Cordoba – the ball went through Lovren and ended up at the feet of the Colombian. He had a few seconds to turn and hit. But instead of returning to the center and helping Rakitskiy in the fight against the attacker, the Croat slowly ran in their direction, watching what was happening. If Lovren had not turned off, the goal could have been avoided.

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Deyan also just watched the second goal of Krasnodar. After the first blow and the rescue of Kerzhakov, the defender raised his hand up instead of finishing the episode. A second later he switched on, but it was already too late – an obvious loss of concentration.

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In other matches, there were also shortcomings, some of which the opponents did not take advantage of due to lack of skill. But, for example, in Khimki Lovren “slept” the finishing move from Kukharchuk, and in Rostov he brought a penalty kick. In general, against Rostov and Khimki, the Petersburgers scored four expected goals at their gates – too many for the defense level of the country’s champions. It is clear that this is not Lovren’s fault alone. But there is a feeling that Rakitsky does not feel very comfortable with him either.

The rights to the video belong to the National Sports TV Channel LLC. You can watch the video on the Match Premier Twitter account .

Although in this story there may be personal grievances, because last season the Croat was entrusted to beat free throws, taking this right from Yaroslav. Surely it is difficult for him to accept it. And in a pre-season interview with “Championship” he said that he was very comfortable playing at the training camp with Dmitry Chistyakov. It is unlikely that this was a direct message to the coaching staff, but it can be noted as a detail. On the other hand, the player’s desire is not so important if the team wins. So far, Zenit is winning. But this is in the RPL, and the level will be assessed by the Champions League.

I don’t think Semak is ready to use Chistyakov in important matches right now. The pair Rakitskiy – Lovren will remain the main one for him in the season. And here there are two options: either the coaching staff will figure out how to avoid mistakes in the center of defense, or one of the two defenders will be terribly zaite by the winter. In addition, there is no understanding with Rakitskiy about the next season: he wants to stay, but the club does not offer a new contract.

So we are expecting an interesting autumn in St. Petersburg. At least in the attack, everything is fine now.

 

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