The encounter of the Mir Russian Premier League 17th round that was held at VTB Arena, ended in a 1:0 win for the White-Blues.
In the absence of Roberto Fernandez being suspended, Fabian Balbuena was the unique healthy centre-back option for Marcel Licka. As a result, Daniil Fomin was forced to form a tandem with the captain, while Luis Chavez joined Diego Laxalt in the midfield. At the same time, Nicholas Marichal, who missed a month, found himself on the bench.
The match turned out to be one of the most frosty in RPL history – by the beginning of the encounter, the thermometer stood at -10 degrees. It is not surprising that the teams moved quickly around the pitch and played at high speed from the first minutes. Dynamo footballers had much more ball possession and combined well.
Nicolas Ngamaleu was the first to shoot from outside the penalty area but couldn't beat Yury Dupin. The hosts continued to create promising chances. Diego Laxalt found Jorge Carrascal in the center of the penalty box, from where the Colombian international hit the exterior part of the net. Then, Bitello curled the ball wittily from the free kick so that Dupin barely turned it into the crossbar. Igor Leshchuk also managed to get into the game, swiping the ball off Nikola Cumic's foot in his goalie's box.
Finally, in the 26th minute, the White-Blues took their lead: Dmitry Skopintsev interplayed twice with Ngamaleu on the left wing and crossed brilliantly to Konstantin Tyukavin who played by his chest and sent the ball into the back of the net. Thus, Kostya extended his RPL goalscoring streak to 5 matches and broke Dupin's 6-game series of clean sheets.
The visitors could quickly equalise benefiting from Laxalt's terrible mistake, who made an unsuccessful pass back. Three Kazan players ran away to one Fomin, and, fortunately, Lazar Randjelovic fired over the crossbar from a good position. A minute later, the Serbian midfielder struck dangerously near the post from afar. In remaining time, Dynamo controlled the ball confidently and saved their lead.
The Muscovites could have extended it already at the very beginning of the second half, when Bitello made a tricky pass into the penalty area. Tyukavin shot in one touch, but Dupin managed to cut the distance in time. After that, Rubin seized the initiative: first, Ugochukwu Iwu sent Cumic one-on-one with Leshchuk, who stopped the ball by his leg, and a little later Mirlind Daku headed wide after a corner kick.
In the 60th minute, Laxalt started limping and then asked for being substituted. Staying ten-men for a short time, the White-Blues created a goalscoring chance, when Carrascal broke through on the right wing and struck powerfully from his left. This manoeuver forced Dupin to save his team in a jump. Marcel Licka used a double change fielding simultaneously Luka Gagnidze instead of Laxalt and Fedor Smolov instead of Tyukavin.
Their appearance helped Dynamo to regain ball possession and move the game away from their goal. However, there were not enough precise actions in the final third of the pitch. Smolov was on the roll and tried to throw the ball over Dupin, but missed the target. Neither did Valentin Vada, who established himself in a killing position after a nice interplay with Randjelovic.
The White-Blues responded with two fast counterattacks. First, Smolov dragged the ball down the left wing, rolled it to Bitello, who assisted on Ngamaleu in his turn. Unfortunately, the Cameroonian shot wide with the header. Few minutes later, Moumi tried to return the favor, but Smolov could not jump so far to meet the ball. By the final whistle, Licka fielded Marichal as the third centre-back, after which the Kazan side was unable to create any dangerous chance.
Dynamo collected 31 points and climbed to the third place in the table. In the final fixture of the calendar year, our team will face Fakel Voronezh on the road on December 10.