One of the central matches of the third round, which was played in Petrovsky Park, was resonant. An opportunity arose involuntarily for an indicative comparison. Exactly at the same time, only in Kazan, Rubin won its third match in the championship – and also with an effort of will – but not a single comment in the sense that now he would play for the championship was heard. But they started talking about Dynamo in just such a tone. Some of the authoritative speakers, however, formulate a little more delicately: three, the Champions League zone – but there are enough of those who are sure that the blue and white are ready to encroach on gold. Are you really ready?
To be honest, this is not obvious yet. And three victories in a row is a rather emotional argument. Football historians have already informed us that Dynamo has not had such a start since 2003. However, this comparison hints at the non-triviality of the current state of affairs only from one side. On the other hand, Dynamo, 18 years old, turned out to be quite ordinary in the end: they finished in sixth place. So a brisk start does not actually guarantee any fight for the championship.
And it’s not just historical analogies that matter. If you look around today with a cool head, reasons for doubt will also be found without difficulty.
Here is the most obvious one: Dynamo has the most penalties in the league so far. Three goals were scored by blue and white from 11 meters. From the game – four goals. About one of them – the victorious Ufa from the last round – its author Sebastian Shimanski honestly said that he had scored with his head only once in his life, thereby emphasizing its atypicality. Thus, there are only three logical, well-grounded, prepared game goals. For three rounds. Is that enough for a champion title contender?
As for the penalty spot, two out of three turned out to be, let’s say, borderline. The first penalty kick against Ufa, as they say, even caused a methodological split within the Expert and Referee Commission, one half of which, foreigners, supported the referee’s decision, and the other half, Russians, agreed that there was no reason to commit a foul.
A penalty was not immediately awarded in Sunday’s match against CSKA. Referee Vladislav Bezborodov at first considered the contact playable and did not record any violations – and only after the intervention of the VAR changed his mind. This penalty is one of those that are now called television, that is, a little artificial: when viewing a frame-by-frame, some kind of crime can be seen, but in the natural dynamics everything looks quite innocent. Perhaps here we are dealing with another kind of luck – something like hitting Shimansky’s head. And it is very difficult to put luck on the stream.
True, some expansion of the attacking arsenal at Dynamo did take place. This refers to the long-range strike option, which appeared with the arrival of Denis Makarov. How important this art is becoming in modern football, we could see at Euro 2020 – in particular, in a bitter match for us with Denmark. And the meeting between the blue and white and CSKA confirmed the trend once again: the decisive goal became possible thanks to the long-range volley of the Dynamo newcomer.
However, Dynamo’s readiness to fully participate in the gold race is still controversial, and it’s not just about the attack. The team’s defense doesn’t look perfect either. In particular, Chidera Ejuke dealt with her surprisingly easily. And a week ago, you can recall, the Ufa team twice punched it in the minority. Frankly speaking, while the status newcomers have not given the expected increase in reliability. So, today it is not very clear why Fabian Balbuena is so much better than Roman Evgeniev that he is now forced to play matches on the bench: the Paraguayan is not perfect in choosing a position, he loses in single combats, and is mistaken with the start of attacks. And although Sandro Schwartz supported his newcomer after Sunday’s match, it was more like pedagogical therapy than a balanced assessment.
It is impossible not to notice the game differences that occur in every Dynamo round. Of course, the bright sides outweigh emotionally – with a high tempo, with a friendly movement, with solo numbers of youth. Hence, in fact, the talk about the championship. However, there are still enough minutes of frankly colorless, like in the first Sunday half, when the army team, who had not yet fully formed themselves, did not allow Dynamo to raise their heads at all.
In general, in its current state, Dynamo is hardly ready for a full-fledged participation in the gold race. It, this participation, will become possible only at high rates of ripening of the team right in the course of the season. And here there are no rules, each case is individual. True, there are certainly encouraging symptoms. If in the previous championship, for example, game irregularities often led to the loss of points, now this can be avoided. Such a healthy tournament practicality testifies just to that very growing up. Although, in general, there is still a very long segment of this path ahead.