Alan Gatagov Anzhi

Bittersweet Revenge at Anzhi-Arena

2:28 PMAleks Vee

"Dan Petrescu has most certainly done it again", to coin a phrase. The Blue-and-Whites not only extended their unbeaten streak to 11 games, but also drew with the team that knocked them out of the Russian Cup after a faux last-minute penalty led Anzhi to the semi-finals. The former Chelsea star-turned-manager must have tuned in to the GoalChatter Radio Show - the king of bookings, Artur Yusupov, and forward Aleksandr Kokorin were out of the starting line-up, replaced by Aleksandr Sapeta and Pavel Ignatovich, the latter of which joined veteran striker Kevin Kuranyi in the attack. Hiddink's Anzhi had a vital change as well, with Samuel Eto'O back in the starting 11. Not surprisingly, the home team dominated possession in the first half, controlling the ball and showing off their technical prowess. Hiddink's team definitely got out of their slump, if today's game is anything to go by. Neither side tested the other's net in the first half hour, although Anzhi's Boussoufa nearly opened the score from a free kick that bounced off the crossbar. One of the few attacks by the Moscovites became the turning point of the match when Vladimir Granat fed the ball into the box for Ignatovich, whose shot was blocked in close range by former Dynamo keeper Vladimir Gabulov. The RPL's own David Beckham, Christian Noboa, was quick on the rebound, putting his team ahead and scoring his 5th goal of the season. Yet the celebration lasted a mere 4 minutes as Zhirkov's delivery and a back-heel pass by Eto'O gave Boussoufa a one-touch finish from close range .

The game had certainly picked up the pace before halftime, and both teams carried through the momentum to the second half. Hiddink's side were desperate for more goals, and a corner kick led to a goal by Jucilei. No pretending from the home team could hide a most evident handball assist, however. The goal was disallowed, and Boussoufa promptly sent off. Yet Anzhi is a formidable team even with a player down, so it wasn't long before Yuri Zhirkov got his team the 2-1 lead. Dan Petrescu produced multiple substitutions, but it would take time for any of them to have an impact - Eto'O picked up a nice pass from Ahmedov and sent the ball flying in to the far post. The Moscovites were two goals down and had a little over 20 minutes to conjure up a storm. The tide began to turn when the subbed-in Gatagov received a cross from Dzsudzsak. Gadzhibekov failed to mark the midfielder, giving the latter a far post finish. The Moscovites kept up the pressure, and, in true sporting fashion, saved the best for last. The enigmatic Kevin Kuranyi got the header he'd been waiting for and saved the day for the Blue-and-Whites. Anzhi lost to Dynamo for the first time since April of last year in a game that was aptly described as "exciting" and "dramatic" by both managers.

A draw is as good as a win at Anzhi-Arena, but a team like Dynamo should not have to resort to scrambling from rock-bottom to salvage a point. "I didn't like that we conceded goals in key moments," Petrescu said in a post-match interview. "[We conceded] after scoring the first goal, and then after the opposition had a player sent off." The manager pinpointed "lack of concentration" as the Moscovites' key issue, although it was evident that excluding the veteran keeper Roman Berezovsky from the starting 11 was a major factor as well. Though clearly not satisfied with a draw, Guus Hiddink rightly commended his players' efforts and joined a growing list of managers in acknowledging the level that Dynamo has reached in the current season.

The match proved to be only one of this week's most heated fixtures - the Moscow derby had its own share of drama as CSKA managed to eke out a draw against Spartak after being 2 goals down.

Russian Premier League - 25th Matchweek
Sunday, April 21, 2013, 10:30AM EST

Anzhi Makhachkala vs Dynamo Moscow - 3:3 (1:1)
Venue: Anzhi-Arena
Referee: Sergey Lapochkin
Goals:
0:1 (37') Christian Noboa
1:1 (41') Mbark Boussoufa (Asst. Samuel Eto'O)
2:1 (51') Yuri Zhirkov
3:1 (67') Samuel Eto'O (Asst. Ahmedov)
3:2 (73') Alan Gatagov (Asst. Balazs Dzsudzsak)
3:3 (88') Kevin Kuranyi (Asst. Aleksandr Sapeta)

Full Time Stats:
Goals: 3:3
Shots (on target): 11 (6) : 16 (6)
Possession (%): 49:51
Corners: 5:2
Offsides: 1:3
Substitutions: 1:3
Fouls: 10:15
Yellow cards: 2:4
Red cards: 1:0

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