# RPL

Dynamo suffer defeat in derby

The encounter of the RPL 20th round that was held at VTB Arena, ended in a 2:0 defeat.

Due to Ivan Ordets and Roman Yevgenyev's absence Fabián Balbuena formed a centre-back tandem with Saba Sazonov who played his opener as a starter. In their turn, Spartak fielded the strongest squad strengthened by two winter newcomers — defensive midfielder Christopher Martins and centre-forward Shamar Nicholson.

From the first minutes, the oldest Russian derby turned out to be intense. In three minutes the main referee Sergey Karasyov showed two yellow cards to Maximiliano Caufriez and Vyacheslav Grulev.

The teams picked up high pace trying to find some luck ahead. From time to time Nicholson terrorized Dynamo defense but Sazonov and Balbuena tackled the most of the Jamaican's attempts. The White-Blues' first effort on goal came from a free-kick, when Saba won an aerial duel but missed the target with his header.

Dynamo created the truly dangerous chance in the 24th minute. Arsen Zakharyan masterfully played in the midfield, Grulev developed the attack down the left channel but Sebastian Szymanski and Fedor Smolov couldn't net a goal.

In their turn, Spartak capitalized on their chances: Shamar Nicholson combined with Zelimkhan Bakayev and Quincy Promes to surge forward at pace, controlling a rebound before volleying home from close range. Ten minutes later, Quincy intercepted the ball and plucked an absolutely screamer — 0:2.

The White-Blues started the second half already in ten men. Guillermo Varela knocked Bakayev down by the half-time whistle and got the second yellow card from Sergey Karasyov.

As expected, the guests took ball possession after the interval, while Dynamo players responded with fast counterattacks. In one of them, Zakharyan made a long ball into the penalty area but Grulev fired over the goal.

When Clinton N'Jie came out as a substitute, the White-Blues added pace and created a couple of goalscoring chances. The brightest attempt was organized by Zakharyan who outmaneuvered the opponent's defense and hit the far post.

Dmitry Skopintsev was very active on the left wing. After one of his deliveries into the penalty area, Tyukavin dropped the ball to N'Jie. However, Clinton's strike was blocked by a centre-back. In the end, Promes could have secured a blowout win for the Red-Whites, but missed the target going one-on-one against Shunin.

Dynamo stay second on 39 points. In the next round, our team will face Arsenal Tula on March 12.