Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanks to the Fans

I would like to take to opportunity to thank all those fans who cheered on Lokomotiv - both in good and bad times - during this season! You are the best and I wish that even for one day I will be part of you!! You rock!! See you next season!! Take care till then!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dmitry Sychev joins the CLUB 100


The two goals scored today against Khimki enabled Dmitry Sychev to join the CLUB 100 - an initiative took by Russian sport newspaper Sport Express to recognize those Russians players who score 100 or more goals in official matches of the highest level*. The goals, which were the 99th and the 100th respectively also allowed Dmitry Sychev to win his bet with former Lokomotiv coach Rashid Rakhimov - that is to score a minimum of 12 goals this season. In your face Rashid!! It is important to note that the 12 goals came under the guidance of the great Yury Semin, thus meaning 12 goals in 17 appearances - a rate of circa 0.7 goals per match!

Moreover this season also resulted to be Dmitry Sychev's second best in his career at Lokomotiv. The 12 goals scored meant that he surpassed the 11 goals he scored in 2007. Recall that his personal best stands at 15 goals, achieved in 2004.

From this blog I wish to congratulate Dmitry Sychev - you are my hero!! All the Best for the future!!

*Matches of the highest level include matches from:
- USSR Championship
- USSR Cup
- Russian Championship
- Russian Cup (1/16 onwards)
- Premier League Cup (now defunct)
- Russian Super Cup
- Russian National Team (or former CIS & USSR)
- UEFA Competitions
- Goals scored in any of the following championships - Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, France, Czech Republic, Sweden, Scotland, Mexico and the U.S.

Lokomotiv cruise in Khimki


Today Lokomotiv travelled to Khimki to confront relegated side Khimki in a match billed David vs Goliath. Despite not recording the required yet unrealistic 10-0, Lokomotiv cruised and recorded a comfortable 3-1 victory. Unfortunately, the result wasn't enough to see Lokomotiv qualifying to the Champions League as Zenit luckily won against Spartak with 2 goals to 1 and held on their third place; third place achieved thanks to the combination of RFU and president Vitaly Mutko. For sure no Lokomotiv fan forgot April's match against Zenit! The final result was 1-1 but everyone know that Lokomotiv SHOULD HAVE been awarded the three points. The rules are clear and suppose for everyone, apparently except Zenit. Utterly disgusting. Is this the way the RFU wants to promote fair play? Bad example to everyone. Bear in mind that if Lokomotiv were given the three points on the table, Zenit supporters won't be celebrating their qualification as they are doing! But anyways that's football ... just ask the Irish. Still personally, given things took course, the fourth place is a good place for Lokomotiv. Moreover such results also ensures that after one year absence, European football will come back to Lokomotiv Stadium! Europa League here we come! Still, undoubtedly this Lokomotiv driven by Semin is capable of achieving by far more. This year was quite a turbulent one as Lokomotiv started under Rakhimov, then under Maminov and finally under Semin, thus meaning that the squad was in a transition. I am adamant that with Semin at the helm from the beginning next year Lokomotiv will come out more stronger. With a player or two Lokomotiv could seriously challenge for the Premiership! Let's hope for the best!!

Anyways back to the match. Given the limitations of the opposition, Semin opted for an offensive 4-4-2 formation. Guilherme made his 16th appearance while Kuzmin, Asatiani, Rodolfo and Yanbaev completed the back line. Torbinsky and Glushakov started on the left and right respectively while Wagner and Dujmovic partnered each in other the centre. Odemwingie and Sychev started in attack. Before passing on to the match report, I would like to bring to your attention that this today's match was Yanbaev's 30th, thus meaning that he didn't missed one match in the whole season! Congratulations Renat!!

Back to the match. Despite the undisputed difference between the levels of both clubs, no one thought that Lokomotiv would have took over the match the way they did. Actually in some moments I even thought that the 10-0 wasn't impossible as it seemed. In 15 minutes Lokomotiv were 2 up. By 20 minutes they could / should have been four. Odemwingie broke the deadlock on the 5th minute with a placed shot while Sychev doubled the advantage with a great header. Yanbaev assisted Sychev. Moments later Glushakov should have made them 3 as from 5 metres out he blasted his shot onto the keeper. From the resultant corner Odemwingie hit the crossbar. From then on Lokomotiv seemed to have shifted down a gear as they only troubled Khimki's keeper Komarov once before the half time whistle. 2-0 was the score at half time and 1-0 was the score in St. Petersburg.

The score at Petrovsky may have affected Loko's morale as they came out quite in an unconvincent manner in the second half. After coming twice with Sychev Lokomotiv suffered a lapse in concentration which actually allowed Khimki to claw one back through a diving header from Antipenko. This seemed to have brought Lokomotiv to life as they restored the two goal cushion immediately through Torbinsky. However, the goal was disallowed for an adjugded offence caused by the eventual assist man Yanbaev. Eventually Torbinsky was shown the yellow card for continuing the play despite the ref's call. After this episode the match slowed down and the match reached a friendly level. With minutes remaining, Lokomotiv made it three and practically closed the match. Torbinsky played a spectacular one two with Sychev and in front of the keeper it was more impossible to miss rather than score. However Torbinsky showed huge humility and instead of scoring the goal himself he returned the ball to Sychev by thus allowing him to score the 13 th goal, the goal which entailed him to claim his bet with former coach Rakhimov!! Sychev was ecstatic! Well Done Torba!!!! There was no change to the score as the ref whistled the final whistle, a whistle which draw the season to a close. Congratulations Lokomotiv!!!

THANKS TO THE WHOLE SQUAD, MANAGEMENT AND EVERYONE WHO HELPED TO MAKE THIS SEASON A SUCCESSFUL ONE!!
THANKS A LOT!!

Player Ratings:
Guilherme - 6.5 - No chance with the goal. Distributed well

Yanbaev - 7.5 - Tormented Khimki's backline from start to finish. Got an assist as well.
Asatiani - 7 - Rarely troubled at the back
Rodolfo - 7.5 - Closed the season in an emphatic wanner. Played some good balls and got an assist as well.
Kuzmin - 6.5 - Troubled a little bit at the back - all this due to his lack of speed.

Dujmovic - 7 - Started very well but faded as the match went on
Torbinsky - 8.5 - Pulled the strings in Loko's midfield - classy performance from the midfielder. Amazing humility.
Wagner - 6.5 - A little bit quiet today
Glushakov - 6.5 - An all around performance from the midfielder. Should have scored thou.

Odemwingie - 7 - Took his goal very well. Need to learn that sometimes he have to pass the ball rather than shoot it, but could be excused for that today.
Sychev - 8 - What more can you ask from the lad? Finished the season on high! Great performance from the assistant captain

Subsitutes
Gatagov - 6.5 - brought a lease of life when introduced
Kambolov - 6.5 - helped his colleges to close down Khimki
Sennikov - N / A - no time to impress.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bilyaletdinov voted October's best


Former Lokomotiv captain Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has been named Everton's player of the month for October! Diniyar, who joined Everton in summer scored twice last month and his performances earned praise from all corners! Congratulations Diniyar and all the best for the future!! You make US LOKO FANS PROUD!!
The article on Everton's official website can be found by clicking here.

Goodbye Kocsis & Levenets

According to Russian source sovietsport.ru, Lokomotiv president Nikolai Naumov announced the departure of both Rezvan Kocsis and Ivan Levenets.

With regards to former, the president revealed that the player is already at home in Romania. The reason is that he is unavailable for the upcoming match due to the injury sustained in the last training session were he broke his hand. Naumov continued that despite the discontinued ties, the player will be cured at the expense of the club. Kocis, 26, joined Lokomotiv at the beginning of 2007 from Moldovan top club Sheriff Tiraspol. The fee involved was that of 2.6 mln euros. In his 3 year stay in Moscow, the Romanian international racked up 54 league appearances, scoring 4 goals in the process. This season, Kocsis played 15 times for Lokomotiv and scored one goal, coming against Rostov. Although Kocis is nothing extraordinary I believe that Lokomotiv could miss his versatility. Moreover I blame Rakhimov as I believe that he destroyed the player's confidence completly ... All the best for the future Rezvan and Get Well Soon!! Thanks for your service!!

On the other hand, Levenets is expected to leave in a friendly agreement on Monday. Actually Lokomotiv will also help the keeper to find a new club. Levenets joined Lokomotiv in 2008 and to date he made 12 appearances, all coming during last season. His previous clubs include Amkar, Spartak Anapa and Chernomorets. Personally it's about time that Levenets leave the club. Despite I am sympatethic towards him, I never rated him as a keeper. He is an average keeper who could do well for a low-middle-table club or a relegation battler, but by no means he was ever up to the level of Lokomotiv!! I was literally mystified how could Rakhimov prefer Ivan ahead of Pelizzoli!! Anyways, finally his time at Lokomotiv is up and all I can do is to truly wish him the best for the future! Thanks for your service anyways!

Sennikov extends contract ...

Soviet Sport also reported that 33 year old Dmitry Sennikov will be celebrating the his tenth year stay at Lokomotiv by extending his contract with Lokomotiv for another year. The former 26 time capped Russian international joined Lokomotiv from fresh League Champions Rubin Kazan back in 2000. To date he racked up 188 apperances for Lokomotiv. Recall that Sennikov is the only player remaining from Loko's first ever league squad.

*UPDATE* - Tarasov signs for Lokomotiv

It's ALL but official. According to championat.ru Lokomotiv signed Russian international midfielder Dmitry Tarasov. The move is expected to be made official at the end of the season. Recall that the player will arrive on a free transfer.

Welcome on board TARASOV!! All the best!!

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Moreover, Sovietsport.ru claimed that two other likely newcomers could be Vladislav Ignatiev and Alexandr Kerzhakov of Krylya Sovetov Samara and Dynamo Moscow respectively.

Lokomotiv steam in for Tarasov

According to Sport Express, Lokomotiv are one of the leading candidates to reach an agreement with former Russian-U21 midfielder Dmitry Tarasov. Tarasov, 22, currently plays for FC Moscow. Like Lokomotiv, also Spartak and Zenit are said of being interested in signing the youngster.

Despite being a bit sceptical about the rumours, I hope that they are true as I would see him the ideal partner for Dujmovic. He is Russian, only 22 years old of age, a good passer of the ball and have an amazing work rate. Moreover the player would come for free as Tarasov's contract with the Citizens expires at the end of the season. Let's hope that Lokomotiv succeeds in luring Tarasov to Cherizkovo!!

Recall that Tarasov played for Spartak Moscow and Tom Tomsk before joining FC Moscow.


Hull City interested in Draman

On the other hand, according to The Sun, English Premier outfit Hull City are interested in the services of Ghanian offensive midfielder Haminu Draman. Draman, who is currently on loan at Kuban Krasnodar was actually invited for a one week trial ahead of a potential £1m move to England in January. The 23 year old, who can also play either as a striker or a left back, has 25 international caps to his name.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kocsis & Durica looking to leave

According to various portals both Rezvan Cocis and Jan Durica, Romanian and Slovakian international respectively are looking to leave the Moscow side.

With regards to the Romanian, the player confessed that despite the fact the he adapted well to Russian football he needs a fresh challenge. The main factor behind his willingness to leave Lokomotiv is for sure the limited opportunies he found this term. Actually the lack of playing time also costed his place in the national team. According to lokomotiv.info, Cocis is also open to offers from his native country. However nothing is decided yet.

On the other hand a certain departure is that of Jan Durica. Despite starting the season as an undisputed starter, the former Saturn defender found himself behind Asatiani, Rodolfo and Basha in the pecking order as soon as Semin took over Lokomotiv. With the World Cup 2010 looming, lack of playing time could be disastrous for Durica in his bid to make it to the World Cup. Greek outfit Panathinaikos are said of being interested in the Slovakian. Recall that Durica only joined Lokomotiv last January.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Derby win for Lokomotiv

In yet another derby, Lokomotiv visited cross town Dynamo at Arena-Khimki with the hope of strenghtening their position towards an European berth. Putting in a laboured performance, personally one of the best of the season, Lokomotiv scraped a two-nil victory over the Blues. As it turned out to be, the match wasn't a straightforward one for Loko. Actually I believed that if Dynamo had a more experienced striker than the former Loko young Kokorin in their ranks, the result could have been a little different. However this doesn't mean that Lokomotiv's win was undeserved. All the eleven gave their heart out on the pitch and I do really wonder what Lokomtiv could hace been capable of achieving if Wagner hadn't been out for a month...challenge for the championship? Maybe... The only disappointing point was Odemwingie. Despite his undisputed talent, sometimes his decision making truly puzzle me. For example it's not the first time that instead of passing the ball with a possible counter attack he tracks back. I really don't know. He's a total different player when he wears the green of the Super Eagles.

For the derby, Semin opted for a conservative 4-4-1-1 formation. Having to make without the services of key player Sychev, Semin elected Odemwingie to fill his void. Wagner assisted the Nigerian while Gatagov, Torbisnky, Glushakov and Dujmovic completed the midfield. Yanbaev and Sennikov started on the right and left flank respectively while Rodolfo and Asatiani partnered each other for the first time in four matches. Undoubtely Guilherme completed the first eleven.

From the opening minutes Lokomotiv looked happy to stay at the back and hit with the counter. Unexpectedly things turned smooth for the railwayman. Eight minutes in and Loko drew first blood. A good combination from Gatagov and Wagner put Torbinsky in the perfect position to poke home the opener. Dynamo failed to reply for the goal and it was no surprise that this was the only goal of the first half. Apart of a chance a piece, Guilherme and Gabulov were rarely troubled. Actually, it was the hosts the first to trouble the keeper as Kerzhakov made the most of Loko's defence exposure and let off an angled shot which gave the illusion of a goal. This infuriated Semin and he even went out of his area to vent his anger at Loko's backline. On the other hand Loko's chance came through Gatagov who one on one with Gabulov failed to double the guests' advantage.

In the second half, Dynamo mentor Kobelev tried to increase the Blues' firepower infront by introducing former Loko striker Kokorin. Kobelev seemed to hit it right as within seconds the young striker unsettled Loko's defence, only to be stopped by the ref for a foul. Dynamo took the initiative and now were orchestrating the match. Alhthough they seemed the most likeliest to score, this wasn't the case as a quick counter attack put Loko 2 front. Torbinsky returned the favour as he turned provider to Wagner, who after running through the keeper, he cooly sent the ball in the bottom right corner. As a die hearted fan Semin went wild. Such behaviour is justified when there is a Champions League to play for... After the goal the match lost its rhythym and actually nothing of note did happen till the end of the encounter. 2-0 was the final score, a result that ensure that Loko and Zenit go head to head for a place in the Champions League with a match to spare. Go Loko; hope Spartak do us a big favour!! Honour your Capital mates!!

Player Ratings:
Guilherme - 6.5
- Nothing notable to do. Composed as ever.

Sennikov - 6.5 - Put in a good performance despite playing out of position. Some shaky moments at the beginning, but Sennikov grew immensly as minutes went by
Asatiani - 7 - Composed as ever
Rodolfo - 7.5 - If Russia had such defender in their ranks they won't be watching the upcoming World Cup on TV. Made two great blocks and together with Asatiani completly marked Kerhzakov out of the match.
Yanbaev - 7 - After a tormenting week for the Russian international, the left full back put in another good performance as he combined well down the left wing.

Dujmovic - 7 - Bossed the midfield
Glushakov - 7.5 - Industrious performance from the Russian midfielder.
Torbinsky - 7.5 - Was believed to be dejected after Russia's elimination. If it was so for sure he put that disapointment behind as he put in one of the best performances of the season
Gatagov - 7 - Found Wagner perfectly for the first goal. Should have scored though.

Wagner - 8 - Amazing performance from the Brazilian wizard. His technique is extraordinary. Got himself on the scoresheet and provided the assist for the first goal. Made things extremly difficult for Dynamo.

Odemwingie - 6.5 - Good performance; nothing extraordinary thou... He is capable of much more better...

Substitutions
Kuzmin - 6.5 - brought in to protect the back four and did was requested to him
Kocis - N/A - no time available

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lokomotiv-2 Moscow Season 2009 Review


The 2009 season was Lokomotiv-2 Moscow's first ever season in professional football. After Loko-2's succesful debut last season in the fourth level of Russian football, the Amateur Football League, were they even took bronze medals, the management decided to install Lokomotiv-2 in the Second Division for the 2009 season. Being from Moscow they were put in Zone West. The team was lead by former Lokomotiv midfielder Eugeny Kharlachev.

In their first season the team did fairly well. The 5th place should be considered a success. In 35 matches played (bear in mind the 3-0 walk over over Spartak Schelkyovo), Lokomotiv scored 59 goals against the 38 goals received, recording 55 points in the process. Add the 3 points gained from the walkover and the they total to 58 points, of which36 were gathered at home; 11 wins & 3 draws. On the other hand, only 22 points were won from away matches; 5 wins and 7 draws (they include also the 3 points given on the table). At home Lokomotiv scored 41 goals against the 19 received. On the other hand (taking away the 3 goals given on the table) Lokomotiv scored as much as they received at home when playing away from ACI Lokomotiv. Likewise were the number of goals let in when playing away. On average Lokomotiv-2 scored 1.72 goals per match. On the other hand the adversaries found the net 1.05 times per match.

With regards to streaks, the largest number of matches without losing occured between the 12th and the 20th, that is 8 matches. Something to note is that it also includes the 3 wo win over Spartak. 18 points were recorded in the process (5 wins & 3 draws). On the other hand the longest streak without recording a single pointwas that of three matches. Actually it occured two times; from round 9 to 12 and the last three matches. Moreover Lokomotiv could only draw in the two previous matches, thus taking the streak without winning to 5 matches, which actually is the seasonal longest.

Average attendance at the Minor Sports Arena Lokomotiv (MSA Lokomotiv) averaged up to 300 people; 500 and 120 the largest and smallest attendance respectively. The highest attendance to play infront of when playing away from Moscow was that of 3600, in the match against Dynamo of Vologda.

Finally, we take a look to the player's seasonal individual statistics.
Top Goalscorer:
1. Artur Sarkisov - 10 goals
2. George Gabulov - 9 goals
3. Anzur Sanaya - 6 goals

Player with the most Appearances:
1. Georgi Kabulov - 27 app
2. Dmitriy Shikurin - 26 app
3. Yuriy Kulikov - 24 app

Most Undiscplined player:
1. Georgi Kabulov - 7 yellow cards
2. Stanislav Remnev - 6 yellow cards
3. Dmitriy Lyapkin - 5 yellow cards
Yuriy Kulikov - 5 yellow cards
Other:
- In total 57 yellow cards were shown by the referee to Lokomotiv-2 Moscow players.
- No red cards were shown.
- Only Ruslan Nigmatullin & Anton Yepikhin left the club midway through the season. The latter joined FC divisional rivals Zelenograd while the former went to play overseas for Maccabi Akhi Nazareth in Israel
- During Loko-2's final presentation, former Russian international Yury Drozdov (pictured) announced his retirement from professional football. From this blog I would like to thank him for his service for both Lokomotiv Moscow and also Lokomotiv-2 Moscow. Before this year's stint with Loko-2, Drozdov wear the red-green shirt for the whole of ten years, accumulating 254 league appearances in the process.

With regards to the Russian Cup, Lokomotiv-2 were knocked out in the second round by an extra-time goal from Torpedo-Zil Moscow. 1-0 was the final score.

ALL THE BEST FOR THE FUTURE!!

video

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lokomotiv scores at death to climb to 5th place


Oh man! What an end to a pretty boring match! I had not shouted as much as yesterday since Torbinsky's extra time goal against the Dutch!! As Sychev lined up for the freekick I was more than resigned for a draw, and more importantly for a place in the upcoming UEFA Champions League!! The fact that 10 minutes before the same Sychev missed a penalty justified my disbelief that Lokomotiv WOULD HAD NEVER ended their home season on such a high!! In addition recall that Lokomotiv HAD NEVER beaten Amkar at Lokomotiv Stadium before. Watch and learn Rakhimov!! With Semin at the helm dreams are the stuff for us Lokomotiv fans!! With Semin and maybe another player or two, next season could really be our year!! Mind me, there is also the talk of a possible return of another idol, Marat Izmailov...do you remember him??? For sure his return would send the red-green fans into raptures; the same as Captain Sychov sent them yesterday with his goal!! Unlike me, the fans at the stadium believed in the team and cheered on them till death.....Enthrallingly this may have triggered Sychev as he let a thunderstrike which not even five keepers would have saved it!! The guy does have red-green blood running in his veins!!! It's true that his shoot was nothing special in the eye, however all those who followed Sychev this season believe that his heart went out with his shot. Finding such strength at the 93rd minute - and after running all over the pitch (in certain cases he also tracked back as far as to the corner flag) - and playing with a player less for more than 35 minutes - is something which I deem abnormal - power of will maybe?! Im sure it was!! (Actually Sychev later confessed that he felt something strange inside him that sort of forced him to take the freekick!!) Lokomotiv is your home Dmitry!! A true captain!!

Back to the chronicle, our Saviour Yury Semin was forced to ring the changes to the starting formation as Lokomotiv had to make without a host of important players. Kocsis slotted in as right back as Kuzmin and Kambolov were both disqualified. Rodolfo was deemed unfit again and thus Basha took his role. Another suspended man was former Perm midfielder Dujmovic. In light of this Semin fielded a 4-3-1-2 formation. Guilherme started between the posts while Yanbaev and Asatiani completed the back four. Charles, Glushakov and Torbinsky started in the midfield while Gatagov assisted Odemwingie and Sychev up front.

As I had already reckoned, the match was quite lacking in terms of chances. Guilherme was rarely called into action as Amkar troubled the guests only once. On the other hand, Lokomotiv, despite dominating possesion (more in the second than in first, unexplainably even more with a man down) found it bit difficult to trouble Usminsky. Actually it took Lokomotiv the best of 34 minutes to trouble the opposition's keeper as Charles' angled shot was turned around the post by Usminsky. That proved to be the only scare as the referee sent both sets to the dressing roam.

Gladly, the second half kicked off in little bit different way as Lokomotiv came out in search for the vital goal. Actually within minutes they nearly broke the deadlocked as Kocsis seemed certain to deposit the ball into open net. However this wasn't the case as Kocsis failed to connect with the cross. On the 54th minute tragedy struck at Lokomotiv. When Lokomotiv finally looked to have taken the overhand, Charles was sent off after he was shown the second yellow card for foolishy disrupting a quick-taken freekick!! Amazingly, the sending-off seemed to have rather lifted Lokomotiv than demoralised them as from then on it was only Lokomotiv; however with no end result. Passion was running high amongst the players and with 15 minutes to go this was transmitted to both head coaches as they bursted onto pitch in qucik succession to show their disagreement with the referee! At a given moment they even confronted each other! With 5 minutes remaining and a draw on the cards, Lokomotiv were awarded a penalty as Zhilyaev tumbled Sychev! The latter steadied himself, but unfortunately his crashing shot was punched clear by Usminsky. Sychev fell to the ground and couldn't believe what he had just missed.

Despite only 2 minutes of regular time remaining, a player down and no luck at all, the fans at the stadium still believed that Loko could win the three points and they continued to encourage and cheer the guys....and man they were damn right!! 2 minutes, 47 seconds after regular time and Lokomotiv Stadium erupted!!! Strangely enough Sychev steadied himself for a freekick (usually it's either Odemwingie, Wagner or Torbinsky), and with the fans in front of him, Sychev let a rocket which rifled into the net!! The way everything happened, it seemed that the freekick was taken by the whole Loko fans rather than by only Sychev!! 1-0 was the final score as Loko fans remained to celebrate at the stadium!!!!

Recall that being the last home match, yesterday's win meant that Lokomotiv kept the record of being the only Russian Premier Liga side that never lost at home!! Actually, Lokomotiv won 10 and drew 5 times, recording 35 points in the process. Congratulations!!

Player Ratings
Guilherme - 6.5 - Nothing significant to do.

Kocsis - 7 - Never troubled at the back. Bombed forward.
Asatiani - 7.5 - Neutralized Kushev, had one amazing forward run.
Basha - 7 - Deputised well for Rodolfo. Clearly not a bench player.
Yanbaev - 6.5 - Quite a quiet game from the Russian Speedy Gonzalez.

Charles - 4.5 - Got foolishly sent off.
Torbinsky - 7 - sprayed some good balls. Hard-working performance as ever.
Glushakov - 5 - wasn't fit and was unsurprisingly replaced early in the match.
Gatagov - 7 - Brought the freekick which eventually brought Loko the 3 points.

Odemwingie - 6.5 - All running with no end product. No one can explain why he is not capable of replicating his international form in Moscow.
Sychev - 8 - An all action performance from the captain! Missed a penalty but made amends with a blast. Industrious performance!

Substitutions
Wagner - 7 - Brought extra creativity into the match. Actually Lokomotiv started playing on his introduction. Welcome back Wagner!!
Highlights of the match can be viewed here

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lokomotiv looking to Semshov

According to fclokomotiv.com, Lokomotiv Moscow are interested in the signing of Zenit St. Petersburg central midfielder Igor Semshov. The Russian international, who played for the likes of CSKA, Torpedo and Dynamo (all Moscow) before his transfer to Zenit in January 2008, is said to be considering his options as he is nearly certain that he will leave the St. Petersburg outfit at the end of the season. Like Lokomotiv, Dynamo Moscow also showed their interest in bringing their former playmaker back. The diminutive midfielder is expected to command a transfer fee of 6mln euros.

I am of the opinion that Semshov would be a great acquisition for Lokomotiv. Apart of Glushakov & Wagner (I don't rate Mudjiri) we do not have any central midfielders. I just hope that coming January I'll see either Aliev or Semshov in a red-green tracksuit. Up the red-green!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sychev celebrates double with call-up!!

AT LONG LAST!! Dmitry Sychev is back in international fold!! After 6 months of international wilderness Sychov was called up again by Hiddink for the World Cup 2010 playoff against Slovenia. No one can claim that he didn't deserved it. It's true that at the beginning of the championship he wasn't at his best, however in recent matches he found his form and shown why he is toughted to be one of the best strikers in Russia. Just the perfect desert for yesterday's goal which personally is his year's best.
Gladly, also Torbinsky and Yanbaev will make part of the Russian squad. There was also place for former Lokomotiv captain Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. Good luck to all of you and all the Russian squad!!! WE HAVE TO BE AT THE WORLD CUP!!
More International Joy....
If Sychev is pleased to receive the call-up, Dujmovic is perhaps even more pleased with the Croatian call-up as it is his first ever. It was no secret that Tomislav Dujmovic dreamed of putting the red-white checked shirt of the Vatreni. Actually Dujmovic even rejected the chance to represent Montenegro to play for his homeland.
When asked about the call-up, Dujmovic seemed delighted. He even confessed that the fact the he was called up without playing for either Dinamo or Hajduk make him even prouder as it is very difficult that any Croatian player play for Croatia without playing for one of the two clubs mentioned. He ended by saying that he will do his best to impress the management. Goodluck Tomislav!! Recall that Croatia face Liechtenstein.

Lokomotiv beat Tom amidst controversy

Lokomotiv mantained their step with their rivals for a Champions League berth with a 3-1 win in Tomsk. Unfortunately, for the first time this season, I wasn't able to watch the whole match; actually due to unforeseen circumstances I was able to watch Lokomotiv's last 30 mins. This mean that I won't be able to rate the players as I find it rather ridiculous to rate a player's performance in last 15 minutes. Anyways a brief summary of the match.

With Lokomotiv still hoping for a the bronze medals and Tom Tomsk looking to secure their status in the Russian top flight the encounter was always going to be a heated one; which eventually it resulted to be. 4 goals, 4 yellow and 2 red cards were all listed on the ref's handbook at the end of the match. In addition, with Lokomotiv collecting an average point from their last 4 matches another drawback would mean addieu to a possible Champions League berth. Apparently, for the first time since his appointment, Semin decided to change his starting formation from 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-1-1. Guilherme made his 14 start for Lokomotiv, while Kuzmin and Yanbaev started on the right and left flank respectively. The central pair was made up of Basha and Sennikov who replaced Rodolfo and Asatiani respectively. Youngster Kambolov, Dujmovic, Glushakov and Gatagov started in midfield while Odemwingie assisted captain Sychev in attack.


Despite a conservative-looking formation, Lokomotiv opened the score within the ten minutes. Tom keeper Pareiko tripped Odemwingie and with no hesitation the referee pointed to the spot. From 11 metres, Sychev duly converted. However within ten minutes, Tom levelled the matters as Maznov found himself at the right time and place for the rebound to deposit into open net following Kharitonov's effort was parried onto the right-up by Guilherme. On the 33rd minute Lokomotiv hit again as Sychev let an unstoppable strike into the bottom left corner. Pareiko couldn't do nothing. 2-1 was the score at half time.


Showing good football, Semin made no changes at half time and Lokomotiv repaid him by scoring the third goal through Odemwingie. The goal earned harsh protests from Tom as they believed that the player was offside by some metres. Although at first sight everyone would have gave Tom reason, replays showed that at the time of the cross, that is before the ball rebounded off the head of a Tom defender Odemwingie was in onside position. That means that the goal stood. There was an even more drama as ten minutes later, following a brawl, two players, one for either side were sent-off. Dzyuba and Kambolov for Tom and Loko respectively were those two. That resulted to be last action of note as Lokomotiv closed down to record a much-needed 3-1 victory over Tom Tomsk.