Monday, August 31, 2009

Pelizzoli leaves Lokomotiv, Piliev follows him.

Finally, after months & months of speculation, Pelizzoli officially left Lokomotiv in order to join Italian Serie B outfit Albinoleffe. The former Atalanta, Triestina, Roma and Reggina stopper will join the Bergamo based team on a loan till the end of the year. The agreement includes also an option to make the move permanent at the end of the loan.

In his two and a half year stay in Moscow, the two-capped Italian keeper played only 20 times, the majority of them coming under the leadership of Byshovets. This is due to the fact that during Rakhimov's tenure Pelizzoli was the third choice keeper behind the poor Levents and Marek Cech. All the best Ivan!! To be sincere I feel sorry for the keeper. For sure he was the best keeper of the three listed above. He deserved better. I just hope that he succeed in relaunching again his carrer, Goodluck!

Piliev follows Pelizzoli

On the same day, Lokomotiv Moscow youngster Nika Piliev saw out his contract and after deciding against to renew his contract with the Railwaymen, he moved on and joined our arch-rivals CSKA Moscow. To be sincere I am a little bit disappointed that we had let a real gem of player leave. To make matters worse he left for free and joined our arch-nemesis. Anyways, all the best, even though I just hope that the 18 year old doesn't turn out to be a coup similar to that of Ignashevich!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Four minute blitz gives Lokomotiv 3 points

Today, in the 2oth round of the Russian Premier Liga, Lokomotiv faced Kuban. Despite dominating from first to last, Lokomotiv had to wait till the last 20 minutes to secure the three points against the troubled side from Krasnodar. From the beginning I actually noticed that today Lokomotiv were lacking something very important, that is motivation. The real reason I don't know. Maybe they were still after shock after the departure of Captain Diniyar? Maybe because they thought that Kuban will not posing any threat? Anyways I felt that in the first half Lokomotiv had not the right attitude. Actually I hoped that in the break Semin find some words in order to motivate them. Although I must say that in the second half Lokomotiv came out a little bit more aggresively than before, still I felt that half of the team weren't giving the hundred percent. Thankfully the wake-up call suddenly arrived as Kuban shocked the hosts with a well-worked goal. This seemed to had fired Lokomotiv as within only ten minutes from the opening goal, Lokomotiv were 3-1 up.

For the match with Kuban, Semin opted to make 4 changes from last match against Zenit. Guilherme started in goal while Kocis played in an unusual position of right back. On the other hand Yanbaev started on the left flank, thus meaning that there was no place for Kuzmin. Asatiani and Sennikov partnered each other in the centre. Dujmovic and Glushakov protected the back four while the void left by Bilyaletdinov was filled by Gatagov. Odemwingie started on the right flank while Wagner assisted Sychev in attack. Furthermore the loss of Bilya meant that Semin had to choose a new captain. Despite reports appearing in stated that Rodolfo was appointed as new Loko captain, today Sychev captained the team. However it is not clear if Sychev was appointed captain or he was standing in as a captain due to Rodolfo's absence. Time will tell.

With regards to the match, from the beginning it was clear that Lokomotiv were superior from their opponents. However somewhat despite dominating possesion, the final ball was lacking. Actually it took Lokomotiv 40 minutes Lokomotiv to threaten the posts of Karyukin (who earlier replaced the injured Stepanov) through Odemwingie, Glushakov and Sychev. Still however the score was 0-0 at the end of the first half.

As I had already stated, the second half started with a more aggressive note from the home side. For sure we couldn't afford to loose points against Kuban. Semin knew that but not the same can be said to the whole squad. Actually Semin seemed to had cleared the concept as Lokomotiv nearly opened the scores. After good work by Gatagov on the left, the ball fell into the path of Sychev whose shot from 10 metres out skimmed the crossbar. This showed things to come as soon Lokomotiv appealed for penalty for a hands of Khagush. Despite Khagush does seemed to change the direction of the ball with his hand, I felt that awarding Lokomotiv a penalty for such violation would have been harsh, very harsh. On the hour mark, Kuban silenced the Lokomotiv staidum. A fast counterattack saw Okuduwa's cross being met perfectly by Tlisov, who with a good header gave Guilherme no chance. One-up for Kuban and all to play for Lokomotiv. As Kuban scored, Lokomotiv seemed to have finally found the motivation. Soon they started to press Kuban and within 2 minutes Odemwingie came close by hitting the upright. At that moment I felt that today wasn't out day. Fortunately I was wrong. A good run by Yanbaev, followed by a good cross was turned into the net in style by Sychev. Giving no time to Kuban to settle, Lokomotiv hit again. Wagner floated in a an inviting freekick which was turned inside by Odemwingie for his third goal of the campaign. Barely a minute had passed and Lokomotiv made them 3. Picking the ball from the right flank, Kocis ran to the centre and from 25 metres out he let a shot to the right bottom of the net which gave the keeper no chance. 3-1 was the score and all over was for Kuban. However not the same was for Lokomotiv as Wagner made them 4 by cooly slotting in after a good cross of Sychev much to delight of the home crowd.

The match was refereed by Vyacheslav Popov

Guilherme - 7 - Done what required. No chance with the goal.

Kocis - 7 - Could have protected better the right flank for the Kuban's goal; however made amends by scoring a very nice goal from 25 metres.
Asatiani - 7 - Composed as ever. Brought bags of confidence in the Lokomotiv defence.
Sennikov - 6.5 - Used his experience to keep the Kuban striker quiet.
Yanbaev - 7 - Lost the man for the goal but as his counterpart on the right flank made amends by providing the assist for the goal of the draw. Ran tirelessly all night.

Dujmovic - 6.5 - Failed to stamp his authority as usual
Glushakov - 6.5 - Quiet game from the midfielder. However on some occasions delighted the crowd with fine dribbling.
Odemwingie - 7.5 - The Nigerian seems to finding his feet again. Scored a goal which hopefully will do wonders to his confidence
Wagner - 8 - Kept his cool for scoring the fourth and provided the second. An important acquisition for Lokomotiv. Clear that his technique is superior, possibly even than that of Bilyletdinov.
Gatagov - 6.5 - Quiet game from the youngster. Maybe a little young to be consistent. Still however a hot prospect.

Sychev - 8 - What more could you ask from the captain on the day? An assist and a goal. Never stopped going even when Lokomotiv were 3-1 up. Amazing work rate and for sure an example to others. Will make a good captain and I just really hope that he did enough to impress Hiddink who was present for the match.

Minchekov - N/A - No time to impress.
Kambolov - N/A - Same as Minchekov.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fininho leaves Lokomotiv

After seeing his contract with Lokomotiv ending, Fininho decided to not to renew his ties with Lokomotiv in order to return to Brazil. Vinícius Aparecido Pereira de Santana Campos, Fininho in short, joined Campeonato Brasileiro Série A side Sport Clube do Recife with a contract till the end of this year. The versatile left wing back is expected to battle with club captain Durval for a place in the first eleven.

Recall that Fininho joined Lokomotiv in the summer of 2006. During his 3 year stint with the capital club, the Brazilian made 43 appearances for the club. However even if sometimes he played in rather offensive position he failed to score a single goal for the club. Previously he played Corinthians, Juventude and Figuerense.

From this blog I would like to thank Fininho for his service at the club and I wish him health and luck in the future. All the best!!

Lokomotiv interested in Aliev again?

According to, Lokomotiv are interested again in the services of Dynamo Kiev midfielder Olexandr Aliev. This summer, this is minimally the 3rd time that I am writing that Loko are interested in the Ukranian midfielder. As you may have already know Aliev may be interested in joining the Railwaymen due to Semin. However the price of 16-18 million euros could prove a real stumbling block. But, according to the same portal Lokomotiv are looking to generate funds by selling Pelizzoli, Durica and Kocis. Recall that Lokomotiv generated over 10 million euros from the sale of Bilyaletdinov

Kocis rejects move to Turkey

According to reports, Lokomotiv fringe player Rezvan Kocic has rejected a move to Turkish club Sivasspor. Personally it will be in the best of his career if he move because it's clear that there is no place for him at Lokomotiv.

Durica looking to move

On the other hand, Slovakian international defender Jan Durica is looking to leave Lokomotiv , in less than 6 months he joined the club. The main reason behind his desire is that he wants first team practice, something impossible with Asatiani and Rodolfo infront of him in the pecking order. Moreover he fears that if he stays at Lokomotiv he will be risking his place in the national side. According to Sport-Express Panathinaikos are interested in the former Saturn Moskovskaya lad.

Rodolfo the new Loko captain

After the transfer of captain Diniyar Bilyaletdinov from Lokomotiv to Everton, Head Coach Yury Semin had to appoint another player as a captain. According to, Semin chose Brazilian defender Rodolfo as the man to replace Diniyar.

To be sincere I am really pleased with this decision. Beside that Rodolfo is one of the most skillful players in the Russian Premier Liga, the man is a good leader and plays for the team. The fact that during the match against Krylya played with an injury justifies this. Moreover during the absence of Bilyaletdinov, the armband was given to Rodolfo and in my view he did very well. His style resembled that of Lucio's with the Brazilian shirt. All the best Rodolfo and Congratulations!! You are the real warrior!!

Further on, I believe that the vice-captain should be one of Sychev, Asatiani or Torbisnky. Alhough I believe that all of them will make good vice-captains, I prefer Sychev because on field he always gives his all, especially in recent matches. This doesn't mean that Torbinsky & Asatiani does not. What I mean is that when things get difficult, Sychev is the least one expected to give up.

Sani Kaita joins Lokomotiv

*First of all I wish to inform all the blog followers that yesterday I weren't able to post any new posts because I wasn't at home all day, my apologies.*

Yesterday, Lokomotiv officially unveiled Nigerian Sani Kaita as their new player. The terms are the same of those of the previous post, that is Kaita will firstly join Lokomotiv on loan. Before joining Lokomotiv, Kaita played for Kano Pillars, Sparta Rotterdam, AS Monaco and very recently for Kuban. Actually this season Kaita starred 17 times for the Krasnodar outfit. The Nigerian midfielder will play with the number 18.

To be sincere I never watched this young lad, 23, in action; thus I can't comment either on his abilities or if he is what's Lokomotiv need. However, for sure we needed a defensive midfielder because apart of Charles & Dujmovic we have no defensive midfielders. For sure the competition will help the whole team. Just can't wait to see him in action. The only thing that I can say is that according to former Kuban Krasnodar mentor Sergey Ovchinnikov, Kaita is one of the best defensive midfielders in the RPL and thus it should be a good signing for the Railwaymen. Hope so!! All the best Kaita!! Hope that you do well and join Lokomotiv permanently, Good luck!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sani Kaita close to joining Lokomotiv

According to Lokomotiv official website, Lokomotiv are close to signing Nigerian defensive midfielder on loan from A.S. Monaco. The agreement between the two clubs state that Kaita will stay at Loko till the end of the season. Furthermore if he does impress the management, the Railwaymen have an option to make the transfer permanent at the end of the loan deal. Despite yet to me made official, today Kaita undergone the medical check-up.

Recall that Kaita passed the last 6 months at Premier Liga outfit Kuban Krasnodar in which he made 16 appearances for the relegation battlers. Moreover he has 8 caps under his belt for the national side.

Goodbye, Captain Diniyar. . . .

After that Lokomotiv seemed to have found their game again, this was the sort of news least wanted. Just a week ago I wrote a post which carried the title "Bilyaletdinov: As long as I will stay in Russia, I will play only for Lokomotiv!" in which I showed my hope that the day that Bilyaletdinov leave Lokomotiv for a "bigger" club will never arrive. Barely a week had passed and that day did arrived. Today, after hours of pure speculation Bilyaletdinov left Lokomotiv and signed for Everton for 5 years. My day couldn't kicked off worst. Watching the official announcement on Everton website was something I just couldn't get over it. For sure I wouldn't have imagined just a week ago. After the signing of Wagner I was really looking forward to watching Bilyaletdinov, Wagner and Torbinsky playing together. A dream which however will never come true.

However I must say that I am really happy for the lad; because for sure he deserve such transfer after he what he did for Loko. I barely seen him giving less than 100% in every match. When things got tough he was one of those who show his determination and give us fans hope. Forsure his workrate and leadership will be sorely missed at Lokomotiv. These are some of the few reasons that I couldn't but just be disappointed for losing our talismanic captain. Currently I am blaming Manchester City for the loss of Bilyaletdinov. If those cunts wouldn't have paid over £24 million for an above average defender like Lescott, Everton would never had the funds available to approach let alone sign Diniyar. Actually reports state that Everton paid £10million for the pacey left winger. However as I already stated I doesn't want to be egoist and thus I am very happy for him and I admit that from then on I will start following Everton a little more. I am sure Everton fans will treat you the way we did who personally are one of the most sportmanship fans in England. Applausing a team who beat your team 6-1 at your own home is something very unusual. However such thing happened at Goodisoon Park after Everton's 6-1 trashing to Arsenal.

Bilyaletdinov who have been at Lokomotiv since 2004, appeared 150 times for Lokomotiv, scoring 31 goals in the process. All the best Captain Diniyar!! Lokomotiv fans will never ever forget you!! Hope that someday you'll be back, just hope so. Goodbye, Captain Diniyar. . . .

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bilyaletdinov on the move?

To be sincere I was a little let down with the way Manchester City tried to lure Lescott to the City of Manchester Stadium. Even though Moyes repeated over and over again that he is not interested into allowing the English international to leave Goodisoon Park. However despite this, Hughes continued to pursue the centre back, in a way that City literally unsettled the Everton centre back. The persistant talking may have influenced the Toffees performances on field. Actually Everton suffered two defeats to date; a 6-1 trashing to Arsenal and 1-0 loose to newly promoted Burnley.

Unfortunately Moyes had to surrender and to much of my annoyance, the deal was finalised today. In order to add insult to injury, Everton will use the £ 24million they earned from Lescott's trasnfer to streghten their squad and according to reports emanicipating from Russia, Everton set their sights on our captain, Bilyaletdinov. From that second I tried to picture our Loko without our talismanic captain. Just upsetting. Honeslty I don't want to be egoist and hoping that Bilya rest forever at Lokomotiv if he has the ability to play abroad, but I just couldn't get through to the fact that after Loko seemed that they have finally found their feet, we have to deal with such a blow of losing Bilya. However even if I will be literally upset if he does leave, I will be just happy for him. For sure he deserves it. I just only hope that he won't ever kiss Everton's badge. There is already Loko in his heart, and I hope that even though he may leave Moscow and maybe never wear the red-green colour again, I wish that he carries Loko in his heart wherever he goes, forever. . .

According to the reports Lokomotiv are holding out for a fee of £9 million. Moreover, reports have even claimed that a delegation associated with the Liverpool outfit will fly to Hamburg in the next 24 hours to attempt to complete a deal for the Lokomotiv Moscow winger. As Bilyaletdinov does not yet possess a UK visa, it is believed that Everton have to travel to Germany to allow the Russian international to complete a medical.



In a press release released just minutes ago, Lokomotiv Moscow reporter Maria Ustilimova stated that the reports emanicipating from England that Bilyaletdinov is undergoing a medical in Hamburg are not true at the team being. According to her, today, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is enjoying his day off as the rest of the team.


Lokomotiv interested in Sani Kaita

According to Lokomotiv president Nikolay Naumov, Lokomotiv are very close to sign AS Monaco defensive midfielder Sani Kaita. Recall that currently Sani Kaita is on loan at Russian Premier Liga outift Kuban. Neverthless, according the Naumov, Lokomotiv can enter into negotiations with Monaco to bring the Nigerian to Moscow since there are no agreements between the Canaries and Monaco which doesn't allow the player to move to any other club during the period of the loan, which lasts till the end of the current year. If the transfer does take place it is expected that Sani will first join Lokomotiv on loan. However the agreement will include an option to make the transfer permanent at the end of the loan.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lokomotiv & Zenit share the spoils

In a very entertaining match, Lokomotiv failed to make them 4 on the trot and had to content with a one-all draw with Zenit. In an unusual manner, Lokomotiv played better than the home side, especially in the second half were Lokomotiv administrated the game and thus restricting the home side to their area. Unusually because few are those teams who take the game in the Zenit area at the Petrovskiy. For sure I couldn't not mention the intimidating atmosphere present at the stadium which seemed to intimidate more the men in blue rather than those in red and green. Despite it is a positive result for the Loko, I feel a little bit agrieved that we weren't able to take the whole 3 points; we deserved them. Apart of a clear penalty call called down by the ref Sukhina, Lokomotiv had other two-three clear chances to bury the match, in contrast to the one-two clear chances for the former-capital outfit. With regards to the starting line-up, Semin made only one change from last match. Wagner took the place of Glushakov and started the match behind Sychev. Bilyaletdinov and Odemwingie played on the flanks. Dujmovic and Charles shielded the back four while the four back line was the one we become accustomed to, that is YARK (Yanbaev, Asatiani, Rodolfo & Kuzmin). In goalie started Guilherme who seem to have cemented himself as the first keeper. Good for him and Lokomotiv!!

From the first minutes of the encounter, Lokomotiv took the initiative into their hands; and actually it doesn't took us much to break the deadlock. A short corner by Sychev was followed by a very long shot (nearly from the corner flag) by Odemwingie. Despite looking an routine safe for Malafeev, the Russian international keeper made a mess of the situation. Malafeev didn't only failed to catch the ball, but unfortunately for him the ball fell into the feet of Wagner who in open goal made no mistake. One up for Lokomotiv and unhappy times for the Zenit keeper. Jeering started to be heared from the stands and for sure this compouded misery for the Zenit custodian. Not a nice way to treat a man who made over 200 appearances for the club. Even though he is at fault for the goal, it was an outrageous response by the home crowd. Something to condemn!! Back to the chronicle, after the goal Lokomotiv continued to attack rather than calming down a bit. A good one-two between Charles and Sychev nearly earned the second goal for Lokomotiv, however this time round Malafeev dealt with the situation well. From this point Zenit upped their game and started to enter into the match. On 20 minutes Zenit came close to bring the score level as Kornilenko broke through only to be reached by Asatiani who in a goal-saving tackle put the ball out for a corner. From the corner Zenit threatened the goal yet again. A well taken corner found Semshov, whom all alone struck a good shot at the corner. However Rodolfo, from ground put his body infront of the ball and thus stopped Zenit from scoring. Good one by the Brazilian, who today showed why he is thoughted to be one the best defenders in Russia! Zenit protested for a possible hands ball but replays showed that Rodolfo used his body rather than his hands and thus a good decision by the Sukhina. As the minutes passed by and Zenit seemed to take the game to Lokomotiv, they drew level. Yanbaev lost he ball on the right to Huszti, whose cross was met a diving header of Tekke who gave Guilherme no chance. One-all was the score and that was the score at the end of the half time.

The second half started the way as the first half; that is with Lokomotiv on the offense. The first chance fell to Wagner whose well struck freekick was catched by Malafeev. After some ten minutes of action-less football, the visitors took again the command of the match. First Sychev had a penalty-call called down. Replays showed that Kim made no contact with the ball and thus the penalty might have stood. Soon after, Sychev bursted again into the area with a great run which was a followed by a good cross whose Wagner failed to connect with from 5 meters out. Pity! Within minutes Loko came close again. This time Sychev let Gatagov free, whom in front on the keeper, albeit a little bit angled, failed to hit the back of net. Soon after another promosing move paid no dividends as Gatagov failed to hit the ball after Bilyaletdinov skipped past 3 men. On the other end, Rosina won the ball from the feet of Kuzmin and with only Rodolfo separating him from the keeper I was resigned that this time we won't be lucky. However Rodolfo, again showed his defensive skilled and took the ball from Rosina's feet without even touching him. Amazing stuff! However I must say that Rosina can be a great man for Zenit if he is utilised well. His superior technique is evident. As the match reached its conclusion, Zenit scared the visitors. A good cross from the right was met by the head of Huszti, who from just 2 metres out put the ball above the crossbar. 1-1 was the score at the final whistle. Fair enough.

Player Ratings:
Guilherme - 7 - Some good stops from the keeper. No fault for the goal. Undoubtly the best keeper of the pack.

Yanbaev - 5.5 - Did well, however lost the ball which led to the equalising goal. Could have cleared the ball rather than trying to get out with it.
Asatiani - 7 - Strong presence at the back. Made some good blocks and tackles. Confident display by the Georgian
Rodolfo - 8 - An amazing outing by the Brazilian. Let nothing getting past him and saved his team in two clear chances. Will I be too much pretentious if I say that he may deserve a call up to the national set-up? Personally he is much way better than Luisao!
Kuzmin - 7 - Full of composure and combined well with Bilyaletdinov. Didn't gave an inch of space to Semshov.

Dujmovic - 7.5 - Ran the midfield for Lokomotiv. Full of action. I wonder if he does tire out someday. Just what Lokomotiv lacked for the past two years.
Charles - 6.5 - Combined well with Dujmovic and won some good balls. However his overall good game was marred by simple misplaced passes. However a champion in first touch!
Odemwingie - 6.5 - Quiet game from the Nigerian. Shot about 3-4 times from distance with little results. Could have dealt with the situation better. However his stining shot let to the Loko opener.
Bilyaletdinov - 7 - Seemed frustated in the first half and was booked for kicking the ball away. Grew immensly in the second half and made a lot of dirty work. Ran a lot.
Wagner - 7.5 - Scored the goal on his first start with Lokomotiv. Apart of being at the right time and place for the goal, Wagner combined well with the rest of the team. His set-pieces were all well taken and he seems to be in a higher level in terms of skill. A good signing!!

Sychev - 7.5 - Sychev is just in good form. Despite not hitting the back of the net he was a constant threat throughout all match. Played some good balls and should have been awarded a penalty.

Gatagov - 6.5 - Had two chances to score, one of them clear. Played well.
Torbinsky - 6.5 - The man is back, and he seems to be more aggresive than ever. Booked in less than 5 times on field. Odemwingie is the one risking his place. Linked up well with Sychooov.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Zenit - Lokomotiv

After a good win last weekend against arch-rivals CSKA, Lokomotiv will be looking to get another one over Zenit in an anticipated match. While Lokomotiv seem to have steadied the "train", Zenit continue to show indifferent showings. Actually after winning against Amkar, Zenit couldn't escape with a draw and recorded a 4-3 loss against Portugese outfit Nacional on their debut in the Europa League. Although I was somewhat disappointed with Zenit's result (also with that of Amkar & Dynamo) I believe that their match in mid-week could only be to our advantage. Fielding the first eleven, for sure Lokomotiv will expected to be a little more fresher physically than their counterparts.

As I have already deduced, the upcoming Petersburg - Moscow derby will be very important to both sets of teams. Apart of the usual Lokomotiv-Zenit rivalry, the tomorrow derby will have an extra significance. With only one point separating the two teams I expect an evenly match were both Lokomotiv and Zenit will be looking to improve their 6th and 7th place respectively. Furthermore, with both teams still dreaming of winning the championship, I believe that this encounter will decide who will still have an unlikey chance to claim the league. Losing means the end of the championship dream.

According to, Russian international midfielder Igor Denisov will skip the match due to injury he picked in the match with Nacional. However in any case he would have skipped the match because he is disqualified due to fact of the amount of yellow cards he picked. On the other camp, Semin has a full squad at his disposal. Moreover he can also count on the return of Torbinsky who is expected to play a part in the match.

The full squad which went to the former Russian capital city is:
Goalkeepers: Guilherme, Cech
Defenders: Asatiani, Rodolfo, Sennikov, Yanbaev, Durica, Kuzmin, Pavlov
Midfielders: Bilyaletdinov, Dujmovic, Glushakov, Charles, Torbinsky, Gatagov, Mudjiri, Kocsis, Wagner

Friday, August 21, 2009

Former Lokomotiv pillar hangs up his boots

Today, one of the pillars of the golden era of Lokomotiv Moscow (2000-2005), Sergey Gurenko, decided to hang up his boots thus bringing to an end a glittering career which spanned over 20 years. Despite being a midst of the Belarusian football season, Gurenko decided to retire so he could focus completly on his managing post at Dynamo Kiev. The whole cycle started when Dynamo Minsk parted company with former Lokomotiv specialist Slavoljub Muslin. Soon Gurenko entered the fray and was tought to be the frontrunner to take over the vacant post. However at that time Sergey showed his wish to continue his playing career and thus was appointed as a playing coach while relatively unknown Kirill Alshevskiy was appointed as head coach of Dynamo Minsk. However barely three weeks have passed and Sergey went against his initial decision and decided to retire, thus taking over the Alshevskiy as head coach in the process.

Sergey Gurenko, a very versatile defender who was able to play on either right and left flank and even as a defensive midfielder started his career with hometown club Neman Grodno. After making neraly 200 appearances for them over 6 years, Gurenko left Belarus for a completly new adventure with Lokomotiv Moscow. In four years Gurenko cemented his place at Lokomotiv and his consistent solid performances not only led him to be acknowledged as the Belarusian Player of the Year (1999) but also earned him a dream move to A.S. Roma. After failing to establish himself in the Italian capital, making only 7 appearances in a season, Gurenko moved to Spain for Real Zaragoza. Unfortunately he failed to adapt in Spain and thus after a year left the Spanish Penisula to return to Italia with Parma. His journeyman-like career continued with a yet another transfer, this time to Piacenza. After only a season with the Italian outfit, Gurenko decided to turn back to the club where he made his name; Lokomotiv Moscow. During his five year stint in the capital, Gurenko not only won the only league of his career but his never say die attitude and impressing leadership skills made him a huge fan favourite. Actually last year, despite being 35 years of age was chosen as the player of the year by the Lokomotiv fans. At the turn of the year, Gurenko decided to return to his homeland and joined Dynamo Minsk, a transfer which proved to be the last of his playing career. In his last year Gurenko wore the light blue shirt 15 times. Recall that Gurenko made over 250 league appearances for Lokomotiv.

Furthermore Gurenko had the honour to captain his national side on some occasions. After making 80 appeareances for Belarus and becoming the most capped player of all time, in late 2005 Gurenko announced his retirement from international football. Moreover on July 2006, Gurenko passed the milestone of 500 games at the highest level and thus listing his name in the elite club of Sergey Alenikov.
Lokomotiv will never forget you!!

All the best for the future Gurenko!!!

Torbinsky back in the fold

After being absent for a long period due to a grave injury, Dmitry Torbinsky is ready to put on the red-green shirt again. It is expected that the former Spartak man will a play a bit part in the upcoming fixture against Zenit. Recall that Torbinsky have been out from May and his return was scheduled to take place in September.

Kocis off to Italy?

Meanwhile Lokomotiv president Nikolay Naumov confirmed that Italian Serie A outfit Catania are interested in Rezvan Kocis. Recall that his contract expires at the end of this year.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Duo remain at Lokomotiv

Former Italian international Ivan Pelizzoli and Swiss international Eldin Jakupovic, both of them goalkeepers are expected to stay at Lokomotiv since according to club president Naumov no club made any formal proposals for them.
Despite not making an appearance for Lokomotiv for more than a year, Pelizzoli still trains with the main squad. On the other hand Jakupovic, who passed the last year on loan at Swiss outfit Grasshoppers is training with the youths of Lokomotiv.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bilyaletdinov: "As long as I will stay in Russia, I will play only for Lokomotiv!"

In an interview with Lokomotiv Moscow captain, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov showed his loyalty and love for his club by stating that he will never play for another Russian team if not for Lokomotiv Moscow. In a football word which is developing into a one with little or even in some cases zero loyalty and were money and fame counts such words really boost the whole team and trigger a great deal of satisfaction amongst the fans, as it does with myself. Being a fan who prefer loyal players rather than big names or highly skilled world class players; who is satisfied to see his team losing but knowing that they gave their best; who doesn't hide out his red-green love even if sometimes I am literally ridiculed continously by my own friends for siding with a unknown Russian club; such words from our captain JUST THRILL ME. We Loko fans are proud for having a captain like you Diniyar =]. However I concede that Bilyaletdinov is right if he aim that someday he go to play abroad. Playing in a stronger league is different than playing in Russia and for sure it helps you to grow as a player. So I won't blame him if someday Bilyaletdinov does leave the team for a bigger club. I just hope that if that day arrive [HOPE NOT], at least Lokomotiv and the fans stay in his heart. . .forever. Thanks Bilya!! Football is not just about winning trophies and being declared the best of the world, it is much more...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Goal at death gives Loko a long awaited victory!!

Lokomotiv 2, CSKA 1. No matter how, no matter if Loko were fortunate, no matter anything, a win is a win. And that's what Lokomotiv achieved today!! A goal at death, precisely in the 90th minute brought to an end a 3-year-wait victory over CSKA! To be sincere after Dzagoev's goal I gave up and hoped that Lokomtiv hold on for a draw rather than search for a win. Merit to their new man Mark Gonzalez seemed to be playing with fire in his belly; he literally terrorised Kuzmin in terms of speed. Actually he supplied Dzagoev for the goal. This prompted Semin to move Yanbaev on the right flank; a move which paid dividends as the Chilean found it a little bit more difficult to use his speed. Good work by the former Kuban man! With the time ticking, I was resigned or at least hoping for a draw; especially after Sychev spilled a chance in front of goal. However the unthinkable happened! A brilliant ball by Gatagov let Sychev free, who from a quite tight angle sent the Loko fans into raptures!! Ole, a victory!!

Following last week's great performance in Samara, Semin decided to field the same starting eleven. The only change was that Yanbaev and Kuzmin altered their flank, that is Kuzmin started on the right and Yanbaev on left. I believe that Semin played Renat on the left in order to neutralise Krasic's speed. If at time Yanbaev found it difficult to stop Krasic, I wonder what Kuzmin would have done. Rodolfo and Asatiani completed the back four while Guiherme started in goal. Dujmovic and Charles protected the back four while Odemwingie, Bilyeltdinov and Glushakov made the five-men midfield. As we became accustomed to, Sychev started up front.

As the match went underway, it seemed that both teams decided to study each other, hold back and try to avoid to commit any errors. Lokomotiv started well and looked that they will continue what they left in Samara. On the quarter mark Sychev gave the fan an illusion of goal; however the ball only hit the side netting. Another thing I noticed in the opening minutes of the game was that the backline were playing with too much confidence. It's good to play confidentially, but however one have to be a little bit cautious. Actually on the 19 minute Lokomotiv nearly paid their price for the self-assurance. A misplaced back pass nearly resulted as an assist to Vagner Love. However thanks to a double tackle by the keeper Guilherme, first on the same Vagner and then on Schennikov saved Lokomotiv. Good play by the 200cm keeper. The hosts responded through a Sychev's shot and a long shot from the aggressive Dujmovic. As minutes passed by the match started to become more and more aggressive. With such rythym I predicted that the match won't end with 22 players on pitch. Lokomotiv were risking the most!! With 5 minutes remaining, Lokomotiv turned their superiority into a goal. After some good work by Sychev on the left, Dima passed the ball to Yanbaev who after skipping a player sent in an inviting cross into the area. The ball was headed down by Glushakov into the path of Bilya who from a real good position volleyed home to open the score and thus Lokomotiv went into the break one-nil up.

The second half started in a by-far less aggressive fashion. While CSKA started to take the iniative, Lokomotiv seemed happy to sit back and play the ball. However as the match progressed on, Lokomotiv's passing started to be a little more scrappy, in certain cases really dreadful. At least, for Lokomotiv's luck, CSKA didn't pounced on any error. However it was clear that now Lokomotiv were playing with fire. CSKA were finding too much space and personally I believed that a goal was a question of when rather than if. After both Vagner Love and Dzagoev came close to score, CSKA had a penalty call rightly ignored. Vagner Love bursted with velocity into the area only to be stopped by a tackle from Yanbaev. Replays showed that Yanbaev connected with the ball and thus it was never a penalty. Good piece of refeering! On the 60th minute Ziko introduced their new man Mark Gonzalez. Within two minutes the debutant provided the assist. A good run on the left was followed by a good cross which fell pinpointly at the feet of Dzagoev, who showed great agility to turn the ball past Guilherme. 1-1 was the score and wide open was the match! After five minutes Semin made the first change for Lokomotiv; Gatagov coming on for the tired Glushakov. Soon Wagner followed the youngster on the pitch, replacing Odemwingie in the progress. When a draw looked more than certain, Lokomotiv notched the winner. Although replays showed that Sychev's position was a little bit dubious, the goal stood and celebrations could go underway. 3 points for Loko and 3 wins on the trot! Go Loko!!

Player Ratings:
Guilherme - 7 - Good performance by the keeper, the undisputable Loko no. 1. Need to improve a little bit his kicking though.

Kuzmin - 6.5 - Started on the right and controlled the left flank well till the introduction of Mark Gonzalez. Was completly terrorised by the Chilean. Linked-up well at most times.
Asatiani - 6.5 - Mixed performance by the Georgian. Great tackles and misplaced passes. Need to be more concentrated thoughout all match.
Rodolfo - 7 - Strong throughout all match. Made some great tackles. Lucky to him, his missed header doesn't made Loko pay
Yanbaev - 7.5 - A really great performance from the right/left back. Linked up well, made some good runs and did let nothing get past behind him. Totally neutralised both Krasic and Speedy Gonzalez.

Dujmovic - 6.5 - put some strong tackles. Doesn't stayed back from putting heavy tackles. Nearly gifted CSKA the opener with a misplaced back pass.
Charles - 7 - Won some great balls and did his work well. His first touch is literally impressing.
Odemwingie - 6.5 - Some great runs which however with little end product. Could have played better the ball before the CSKA draw
Glushakov - 6.5 - A little bittle anonymous in the second half. Made his usual dirty work. Jaded in the end
Bilyaletdinov - 7 - Took his goal very well but wasn't influencing as usual.

Sychev - 7.5 - Clinched the victory for Lokomotiv. Tracked back whenever needed. Good match by the Sychov.

Gatagov - 6.5 - Assisted Sychev for the goal
Wagner - N/A - no time to impress, although managed a good one-two with Gatagov.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Derby Time - Huh for a change!

Tomorrow, at 14.00 C.E.T. Lokomotiv and CSKA will cross the swords in yet another derby. 5 Moscow teams means a derby week in, week out; moreover matches against the currently troubled side from St. Petersburg always result in another highly anticipated match. Actually after CSKA, Lokomotiv will tak on Zenit, in St. Petersburg.

Although many football lovers are ecstatic about the return of their beloved so called best of the world, the English Premier League, currently I really don't care about it's proceedings, especially with the derby bearing in my mind. Never the Russian Premier League had been so intensive. Just ten points divide the first eight teams. 3 matches without triumph means you are risking to loose out a place in Europe. This means that a win against CSKA will open our chances for a place in the Champions League! On the other hand a loss will for sure harm considerably Loko. However the recent results and performances really give me sheer of optimism, something which didn't happened for ages!! It's Semin "touch" anyways!!

For every man with red-green blood as me the upcoming derby is really huge. Lokomotiv doesn't beat CSKA for nearly 3 whole years!! Actually the last time Lokomotiv recorded a victory over the horses was in September 2006!! Moreover this derby, I mean this big derby will be the first after the return of our beloved Semin. An encounter against Dynamo is also a derby, but however not on the same scale as that with CSKA. I am just hoping that Semin masterminds a good victory over the Ziku-Zikettu side.

Furthermore, there is the possibility that new boy Wagner will make his debut for Lokomotiv; just 4 days after his arrival in Moscow. Interestingly enough, Lokomotiv director Victor Tischenko admitted that the capital club had been following the Brazilian wizard for three whole years!! This absolutely strengthtened my feeling that Wagner will be a huge player for our side!! Can't wait to see him on the pitch!!

I just hope that at this time tomorrow I will be celebrating a sweet derby victory!! Comon Guys!! You can DO IT!!! Forza LOKO!!

Nika Piliev to leave Loko

According to, 18 year old attacking midfielder, Nika Piliev, who recently debuted for Lokomotiv in the encounter against Terek may leave the club at the end of his contract, that is at the begining of October. According to the same website Piliev can continue his career in Armenia with Pyunik Yerevan.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fininho will leave Lokomotiv

According to Head Coach Yury Semin, Fininho will not renew his ties will Lokomotiv and thus will leave the club shortly, due to the fact that his contract has come to an end. Such move has yet to be made official by the club. Fininho is expected to move back to his home nation.

Yanbaev signs on till 2013

Lokomotiv Moscow right-back Renat Yanbaev has re-newed his contract with the Railwayment. The terms of the new agreement state that Yanbaev will remain with Lokomotiv till 2013.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wágner presented to the media

Today, Lokomotiv Moscow finally presented their new man, Wágner. The Brazilian signed for Lokomotiv for 4 and a half years. It is good to bear in mind that the former Cruzeiro wizard was signed for €6million. As you can see in the photo Wágner chose the number 13. Immediately after the presentation, Wágner was interviewed by the official website of Lokomotiv. In summary, the midfielder was asked:

Wagner, first of all welcome to Loko! Did you heard of Lokomotiv before? Have you consulted some one before joining the club?
"I know that Lokomotiv is a club with rich tradition, and made its name both in Russia and Europe. Before joining Lokomotiv I consulted Charles (Wágner's former team mate at Cruzeiro), who gave me a detailed overview of life in Moscow.
What do you think of Moscow?
"Unfortunately I arrived yesterday and I hadn't enough time to visit the entire capital. Yesterday I went to the Red Square and then I went to watch the exhibition match between Russia and Argentina. I couldn't miss it for sure! Of course being a Brazilian I sided with Russia!! Furthermore I was impressed by the Lokomotiv Stadium, particularly the playing surface which really pleased me.
Which is your favourite position?
"My favourite position is to play either behind the striker or on the left flank. My style of play is that of supplying ball to my team mates."
Next Sunday Lokomotiv will play against CSKA. Do you know Vágner Love?
"Yes I know him. In addition in 2007 we played together for the Brazilian National Team against Norway."
Why did you choose the number 13?
I'm not superstitious; for me the number 13 is just like any other number. Actually I choose the number 13 for two logical reasons. 13 is day on which I signed with Lokomotiv (13 August) and 13 is the year in which my contract will come to an end (2013)
What do you think of the Lokomotiv fans?
"First of all I would like to say that it's my pleasure to be here in Lokomotiv. I want to bring my new fans lots of success. Hope that they enjoy my football and they come to the stadium week in, week out!"


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rodolfo - a true fighter

I just couldn't but not leave this post. Given that I worship all those players who give their all for Red-Green shirt, what Rodolfo has done was impossible not to blog it. According to Lokomotiv physio Alexandr Yardoshvili, Rodolfo played over 60 minutes with an injured shoulder during last encounter against "the Soviet Wings of Samara". Although the pain was temporarily slightly healed, the knock was too strong to be completly cured on field. Despite the pain, Rodolfo doesn't called to be substituted and managed to continue playing the whole match. A true fighter and an example to everyone!! A true Railwayman!! Get Well Soon Rodolfo!!

Gatagov gets his reward

Unsurprisingly, Gatagov's recent performances for Lokomotiv didn't went unnoticed and he was called for the first time by Igor Korneev to make part of the Russian Under-21 set-up which will face the Italian Under-21 nationals tomorrow in an exhibition match. The match will be played in Saint Petersburg at 15.00, C.E.T.
Gatagov, 18, made his debut for Lokomotiv on May 16, 2009 in a game against Terek Grozny, which was also Maminov's first game in charge of Lokomotiv. From then on he never looked back and his performances continued to strengthen day by day. In 8 games for Lokomotiv Gatagov scored a goal and provided 3 assists. Well done Alan!!

Milanovic emulates Gatagov

On the other hand, the leader of the Lokomotiv-youth squad, Milan Milanovic was also called to represent his respective Under-21 side, that is of Serbia. After the match against Krylya Sovetov, Milanovic left Moscow in order to join his team mates to prepare for their friendly against Israel. As admitted by himself, this is a great achievement for Milanovic since the majority of the squad are between 2 and 3 years older than him. Recall that Milanovic joined Lokomotiv in January, 2008 at the age of 16 years. Well done Milan!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lokomotiv rips Samara off their wings

In a one-match sided match Lokomotiv continued their recent positive run and with little difficulty downed Krylya Sovetov by three goals to one. An auto-goal by Shishkin in at the end of first half paved the win for an easy victory for the visitors. Sychev doubled the lead (thus scoring the first goal in action) and within minutes Gatagov virtually secured the three points for the men in red. Recall that this was Gatagov first ever goal for Lokomotiv. Despite Krylya clawed one back deep in stoppage time the match was over and lost for them. Semin played the usual 4-2-3-1 formation and made a two changes from last week's encounter. Charles was favoured over Gatagov while Kuzmin returned from suspension. Guilherme started between the sticks while Yanbaev, Asatiani, Rodolfo and Kuzmin completed the back four. Dujmovic and Charles protected the back four while Bilyaletdinov, Odemwingie and Glushakov completed the midfield, with the latter two starting on the flanks, right and left respectively. Sychev started up front.

The match started with a pacey way. Despite that in the first minutes it seemed that Krylya were going to be the more dangerous within minutes Lokomotiv took full control of the match and started passing the ball around in a pleasant way. Odemwingie seemed to be playing with fire in his belly as he got passed past the Krylyski defenders with relative ease. Actually on the quarter mark Odemwingie picked up a ball on the right and after squezzing past two defenders he curled a shoot which skimmed the post. Within minutes Odemwingie came close again. Although Lokomotiv were dominating possesion, the final pass was lacking. On the 40th minute Lokomotiv opened the score. A cross from the right by the mighty Dujmovic directed to Sychev was turned in the net by the unfortunate Shiskin. To be sincere I pieted the young Krylya lad but that's football. 1-0 was the score at half time.

After a strong first half Lokomotiv came out to continue were they left. Although they continuted to administer the game, however I felt that the team was taking Krylya a little bit lightly. Hope I was wrong though. Actually it was Krylya who created the first chance of the match. A 25 metre pilediver from a Kalachev's freekick was turned around the post by Guilherme, albeit with some difficulty. After some minutes Koller was brought on field and it was clear that this was the waking up call for Lokomotiv. On his first seconds on pitch Koller created havoc within the Lokomotiv defence. Semin responded by replacing Gatagov with the tiring Glushakov and the wily old Russian got it tremendously right! On his first run, Gatagov skipped two defenders and crossed to the centre which was turned in by Sychev, who gave Lobos no chance. Good move and goal by the capitals! With 15 minutes to go, the Krylya players called for a penalty for a minimal contact between Adjindjal and Asatiani. Although there was contact I don't believe that it was of a penalty.In the next move, Lokomotiv virtually closed the match. Bilyaletdinov freed Odemwingie on the left, and the latter's pass was met by Gatagov who made no mistake from 5 metres out. With 3 points in the bag, Lokomotiv slowed down the rythym and started to pass around the ball. When the 3-0 was written on the wall, Krylya were given a penalty for a hand ball of Rodolfo. Adamov cooly sent the keeper the wrong side and thus made the score more respectable for the home side. A comfortable victory for the Railwaymen!

Player Ratings
Guilherme - 7 - Composed as always. Made one great stop from Kalachev and looked confident in air.

Yanbaev - 7 - Good at the back, better in attack. Made some good overlaps and combined well with Odemwingie.
Asatiani - 6.5 - Good match from the centre back. However showed some lapses of concentration. Strong outwing neverthless.
Rodolfo - 7 - Another strong performance from the Brazilian. One good block in the second half
Kuzmin - 6.5 - Defended and linked-up well with the attack.

Dujmovic - 7 - Now, I can hardly see a Lokomotiv Dujmovic-less. Won the midfield and let nothing getting past him
Charles - 7 - Impressed throughout the match. Rarely missed a chance and won some good balls. Wondering why Rakhimov wanted to sell the Brazilian. . .
Odemwingie - 7 - Started very strong but somehow faded in the second half. Provided the assist for the third goal.
Bilyaletdinov - 7 - Some fine touches but quieter than usual. Seemed tired
Glushakov - 6.5 - A true machine. Good match.

Sychev - 7 - A lively performance from the Omsk-born man. Took his goal very well. His confidence seemed to be back

Gatagov - 7.5 - His entrance brought two goals for Lokomotiv. However, I need to underline that the lad should learn to keep things simple. Strong performance from the youngster. A real gem of a player.
Durica - N/A - Entered late in the game.
Fall - N/A - Barely touched the ball.

Espanyol captain dies

Yesterday football has dealt another tragic blow. Shockingly newly-appointed Espanyol captain Daniel Jarque, 26 years old, was found death in his Coviciana hotel room tonight. It is believed that Jarque suffered of a heart failure some time after returning from training during Espanyol's pre-season tour of Italy. It is reported that Jarque was talking to his girlfriend on the phone when he suffered the heart attack.

From this blog, I wish to offer my deepest condolences to all Espanyol faithful and his family for this tragic loss. Jarque, who spent his entire career for Espanyol was for sure looking to leading the side he loved out at their new Cornellá El-Prat Stadium in the forthcoming season. However, sadly destiny wanted another way. Rest in Peace Daniel. . .

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wagner steams in at Lokomotiv

Despite yet to be made official by either Lokomotiv or Cruzeiro, Russian website confirmed that the Railwaymen came into agreement with the Brazilians for the transfer of their number 10, Wagner Ferreira dos Santos. The fee involved is believed to be about 6 million euros. The player is expected to fly to Moscow at the end of this week in order to undergo medical examinations and sign the contract.

Wagner, 24 years old, is a left-footed attacking midfielder. However, his versatility also allows him to play comfortably as a supportive striker. His main attributes are powerful long shots and trademark freekicks. Actually the majority of his goals came through freekicks. Furthermore, the player seems to be technichally gifted. I believe that his agility will suit the Lokomotiv formation very well. Considering the inflating prices clubs are currently paying for limited skills, I believe that Lokomotiv struck a one hack of deal. 6 million for a player of his calibre is a real transfer coup! The fact that he is only 24 years of age is a bonus.

Despite such trasnfer brought me a great deal of satisfaction, however, to say the truth I am little bit perplexed by his transfer. Even though if his passing seems to be pinpoint, Wagner is not a natural playmaker, that is what Semin has been calling for. An ideal example is Aliev. Actually I am really curious and at the same time anxious of how will Semin will play. I mean who will get the chop. Despite Wagner use the right foot as well, he is a natural left footed. This means that Lokomotiv will have four attacking left footed attacking midfielders (Wagner, Bilyaletdinov, Gatagov and Torbinsky) on their rooster. Logically Semin is considering to play a left footed player on the right flank. But then how about Odemwingie? Will he take Sychev's place? I HOPE NOT!!! I just hope that if the transfer go through because Wagner seems the right player to up the Loko game. For sure the Lokomotiv fans deserve an end to this suffering. We are Lokomotiv, and we should always aim for the highest. All the best Wagner and welcome at Lokomotiv!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pinkolini a Railwayman - Official

According to various sources Lokomotiv entered into a contract with Italian physician Vincenzo Pinkolini. Despite having more than 4 months left on his contract with Dynamo Kiev, both parties came to a mutual agreement to terminate the contract with immediate effect. Knowing about the possiblity to re-join his former college Yury Semin, Pinkolini wasted no time and soon entered into negotations with the Railwaymen. Although not yet official, it is believed that Pinkolini agreed to join Lokomotiv and thus, together with Oleg Pashinin he will be responsible for the physichal preparation of the Loko players.
It's Official - Pinkolini joined Lokomotiv. The 55 year old journeyman started his career at Parma in 1981. After 5 years he joined Milan. In 1999 he left Italy for Spain (Atletico Madrid), but within a year he returned to Italy, this time to Roma. A year after, Vincenzo went again northward with Inter and for the forth time in a row, he left the club after just one year, this time by crossing the city of Milan to AC Milan. His two years at Milan were followed by three years in Parma. Pinkolini left the Italian shores yet again and this time opted for a completly new experience, Kiev being his destination. After two years with Dynamo, Pinkolini moved yet again, this time to LOKOMOTIV! Welcome at Lokomotiv!! All the best!! Furthermore, his CV is also decorated with two spells with the Italian National Team, precisely at the World Cup of 1994 and 1998.

Kuznetsov transfered to Loko-2

21 year old midfielder Andrey Kuznetsov has been transfered to Lokomotiv's feeder club Lokomotiv-2 till the end of the year. Recall that Kuznetsov just returned from a 6-month loan at Russian first division club Sibir Novosibirsk. All the best Andrey!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lokomotiv finally wins

Finally, Lokomotiv's winless streak is over. 4 matches without a win made yesterday's match against Rostov a must win encounter; something which Lokomotiv delivered succesfully. Goals at the end of both halves from Bilyaletdinov and Sychev paved the way for a long awaited victory. Despite leaving the same starting formation, Semin made 2 changes from the match against Dynamo. The return of Asatiani meant that Croation Dujmovic could play in his favourite position. Charles was the unfortunate to lose his place. On the other hand the young Pavlov made his debut in the Russian Premier Liga when he came in for the suspended Kuzmin. Guilherme started between the posts, while Rodolfo and Yanbaev completed the backline four. Glushakov partnered Dujmovic in the middle while Odemwingie and Gatagov startet on the flanks. On the other hand Bilyaletdinov played behind Sychev.

Lokomotiv started the game strongly and it was clear that this time round Lokomotiv were determined to put their streak to an ubrupt end. On the other hand formor Lokomotiv man Igor Lebedenko seemed to play with fire in his belly as he was a constant threat throughout the first minutes. Neverthless, it was Lokomotiv who came close through a Sychev's shot. As time passed, Lokomotiv piled up pressure on Rostov as both Sychev and Glushakov tried their luck with however no result. Eventually, it was no surprise when Bilyaletdinov broke the deadlock through a well-taken Loskov-like freekick. Lokomotiv Stadium erupted!

Encouraged by their first very positive half, Lokomotiv came out even more eager to impress in the second one. After some passive 15 minutes from the home side in which Rostov hero Osinov tried his luck from distance, Lokomotiv uped their game again and tried to close the match. On the 65th minute the fans at the stadium witnessed one of the best Loko's moves of this season. Sychev picked up a ball on the left and after dribbling an opponent, he played a pin point pass to Bilya, who in turn return the favour to Sychev with a back heel. Sychev faked a shot, by thus putting two defenders K.O. and when everyone was certain that Sychev will finally break his duck in open play, the unthinkable happened; Sychev shot direct to the goalkeeper, a breaking-heart moment for all Lokomotiv fans; including me. I couldn't believe to my eyes. I felt utterly bad for the lad. Just couldn't help myself but feel sorry for Dima. Semin tried to refresh Lokomotiv and thus replaced the tired Gatagov with Fininho. When everything was looking that Lokomotiv was going to record a one-nil victory, Sychev finally scored from open play. Odemwingie bursted into the box from the right and his cross, deflected by a defender in blue and yellow found his way to Sychev who tapped the ball in. Replays showed that Sychev was maybe a little bit offside, BUT for sure the Russian striker deserved the goal for all what he done on the pitch. Best of luck Sychev, I just hope that this goal will boost your confidence!!! Can wait to watch you play the way we, Lokomotiv fans know! Forza Sychev!!!

The match was refereed by Nikolay Ivanov from Saint Petersburg.

Player Ratings:
Guilherme - 6.5 - Apart from a poor outing, the Brazilian was strong throughout all match.

Yanbaev - 6.5 - Troubled a little bit by Gatskan but grew as the match progressed on. Linked up well with Odemwingie
Asatiani - 8.5 - Prefering Levenets over Pelizzoli was bizarre, but overlooking Asatiani was literally outrageous!!! What does Rakhimov was thinking when he tried to get rid of Asatiani? A man of the match performance!! An absolute tower; let nothing getting past behind him and inspired confidence throughout all the team with his composure. Sprayed some good passes as well.
Rodolfo - 7.5 - Like his college, Rodolfo was strong at the back. Won some good balls and also tried his luck with a good shot. Looking forward for the Asa-Rod partnership!!!
Pavlov - 6 - As every debutant Pavlov started the match a little bit wobbly. However grew massively in the second half. Proposed very well sometimes.

Dujmovic - 7.5 - Dominated the midfield. Great stamina, aggresiveness and work rate. A really strong match from the Croation on his return to his proper position
Glushakov - 6.5 - Good game from the Lokomotiv youth graduat
Odemwingie - 7 - Looked more sharp than last time. Tracked back well when needed. If he continue to show this attitude I may start liking him.
Gatagov - 6.5 - Good showing from the young lad. However needs to learn that you cannot win your team a match by yourself. Won the freekick with which Lokomotiv opened the score.
Bilyaletdinov - 7.5 - Lively showing from the captain. Linked-up very well with Sychev and the rest and took his goal very well. Tracked back everytime when needed

Sychev - 7.5 - Apart of spoiling that chance, Sychev was a constant threat throughout all match. Ran past players at relative ease and at times created havoc within the Rostov backline. Amazing work rate and made life very hard for the Rostov defenders. Never gave up, even when tackles went in hard.
Fininho - 6 - (78 mins - Gatagov) No time to impress, however one good run down the left
Mudjiri - N/A - (89 mins - Pavlov) Entered the fray late in the game. Neverthless managed to take a shot.