FC Ufa v CSKA Moscow 11/05/2016


Whilst FC Ufa are still playing with the prospect of relegation hanging behind them, CSKA were looking to extend their lead at the top of the title and reclaim their RPL title…

With both teams at different ends of the table, it was a game both were looking for a vital 3 points. But it was a bad start for the home fans to watch, as CSKA winger, Tosic’s, shot was palmed back into the danger area by keeper, Shelia, which Alan Dzagoev headed in to an empty net. 0-1

Just 3 minutes this lead lasted, as FC Ufa went on a dangerous counter attack, the ball was looped over and looked to be out of play, but it was hooked back in the box for striker, Sysuev to head past the stranded keeper, Akinfeev. 1-1

The home side almost took the lead before half time, a looping header from a corner had Akinfeev beaten, if not for the post CSKA would be a goal down.

The visitors did take the lead in the 60th minute, Wernbloom latching on to a great pass and squeezing the ball past the keeper, albeit in an awkward fashion! 1-2

The league leaders then finished off the game in the 69th minute, Dzagoevs shot first saved by Shelia, but the rebound was pounced on by striker, Musa, to get his 12th goal of the season. 1-3

CSKA remain at the top of the table by 2 points, FC Ufa sit in 13th, just a point separating them from the relegation spotcska3


How Digital Media Covered Controversy in Russia


Over the past couple of years, and especially since they were announced to be World Cup hosts, Russia has been in the spotlight for a variety of reasons, and it’s, often, for the wrong reasons. There have been documentaries showcasing the russian lifestyle, mainly showing communities of Russians who have far-right agendas, as well as Russian hooliganism at football matches. One of these documentaries (Reggie Yates’ Extreme Russia) was first aired on the BBC as to give viewers a look into Russian ideologies, how the people lived and what their views on certain subjects were (e.g. politics). However, since this documentary aired, many Russians have come out and said the documentary did nothing but “Damage Russia’s reputation.”

Compared to print media, digital media, primarily the documentaries based on Russia, put people right in the shoes of someone who’s there, experiencing it. It would be there for viewers to see Russia as it is, though certain scenarios can still be fabricated, compared to print media, it’s much harder to do on camera. Though much has been written about Russia, and interviews given to high ranking government officials that have then been printed, this gives readers another insight as to what’s going on there and the views of Russian people.

ReadRussia, a site dedicated to showcasing various stories and exposing myths on the country, stated that all the documentary did was give people a further impression that Russia is just full of “Neo-Nazi’s, homophobes and child models” which leads in to Russian people feeling that they’re not getting a fair deal and are being unjustly attacked.

Since Russia had been announced as World Cup hosts, a petition has been started on change.org, where the main goal is to “Dismiss Russia as host of the 2018 World Cup.” At the time of writing this post, it currently has 82,369 supporters of this cause. The reasons for doing this are relayed in posts below on the change.org page, where many incidents involving Russia are brought up. Incidents such as the downed Malaysian plane that was linked to have been shot down by Russian weapons, as well as the Ukraine crisis being included and anti gay laws, which some confuse with the banning of homosexuality, however, the anti-gay law that was passed in 2013, is to making “homophobic propaganda” punishable with a fine.

After doing some research regarding the 2018 World Cup in Russia, it was clear to see that most people were against this. I did find, however, that the Russian people themselves were advocates of the World Cup being played in their country, and ensured that safety of visiting fans would be paramount. The debate of what would happen if Russia were denied as World Cup hosts also came up, which lead to the points of not only the Russian people being disappointed, and also the Russian government. Which would make future political negotiations even more difficult.

Many people around Europe believe that Russia is a place simply filled with violence, homophobia, corruption and cold weather. Whilst the last one is true, the rest of those assumptions are exactly that, assumptions. The actions of a few don’t speak for every Russian citizen. It’s a country seeped in history, with amazing views and great people, and everyone is looking forward to a safe and enjoyable World Cup. red-square-in-moscow-russian-federation

FC Ufa v Rubin Kazan 01/05/2016


With FC Ufa lingering just above the relegation spot, this game was a must win for their survival chances. Rubin Kazan looking to finish as high as possible, after their Europa League chances look to be all but gone…

It was a slow start from both teams in Ufa, though the home side looked the more promising, pressing high and forcing Rubin into a lot of misplaced passes and mistakes.

FC Ufa then scored the vital goal they were looking for in the 20th minute. Midfielder Zinchenko striking the ball from outside the area, taking a wild deflection off team-mate, Syusev’s, chest and looping into the corner.

2 minutes after the goal, Rubin midfielder, Devic, latched onto a superb ball and found himself with just the keeper to beat. However, the ball was blazed over the bar on the half volley. The best chance for Rubin so far.

Since FC Ufa’s goal, Rubin had chance after chance, having shots blocked off the line, shots that looked to be going in being blocked. Fantastic defending on show from FC Ufa. Rubin looked to be desperate for a clinical finisher…

That clinical finish came just before half time on the 42nd minute, after Ozdoev placed a superb half volley past the keeper. 1-1.

In the second half, FC Ufa looked to be pressing a lot less, giving Rubin much more space to play. A few close calls for Ufa who looked to be soaking a lot of pressure and attacking a lot less.

Rubin Kazan made a win difficult to achieve when their midfielder, Kambolov, got his second yellow card for a high footed challenge. With 25 minutes left, it left a gap for FC Ufa to possibly expose…

Despite Rubin being down to 10 men, they continued to create chances. One of the best ones coming in the 84th minute, when a point-blank header was somehow saved by FC Ufa keeper, Shelia.

In the last 4 times these two teams have met, 3 have been 1-1 draws. At least there some consistency…

FC Ufa remain just above the relegation spot in 13th, whereas Rubin Kazan sit in 9th place with 4 matches to go.


Lokomotiv Moscow v Spartak Moscow 30/04/2016


With both teams still in the running to grab a Champions League spot, there was all to play for in the Moscow derby…

The game was started positively by Lokomotiv, making Spartak’s keeper, Rebrov, work to save an awkward, goal bound, swerving strike from Denisov from the left flank.

The home side were enjoying a lot of space in the midfield, and in the 22 got in behind the Spartak defence in the 22nd minute, Kolomeytsev found himself with just a defender between him and the goal, though the chance wasn’t taken as the shot passed through the defenders legs, it was caught safely by Rebrov. Positive signs for Lokomotiv…

Despite this good start, Spartak had the most clear-cut chance in the 25th minute, after midfielder, Ananidze, slipped in a perfect pass for striker, Promes, to run on to. One on one with only the keeper to beat, Promes curled his shot around the keeper, and also around the post. A big slice of luck for Lokomotiv.

Another chance for Promes came shortly after in the 30th minute, in the shape of a great cross from open play. Promes met the ball well with a good header but the keeper was in the right spot to catch it comfortably.

After some good attacking play from both sides, Spartak took the lead in bizarre fashion, just before half time in the 42nd minute. Jano put a low cross in front of goal, and with Promes lurking behind him, centre back Durica sliced the ball into his own net.

After half time, despite the goal, Lokomotiv looked more dangerous. Constantly getting in behind the Spartak defence and causing problems. It was on the 69th minute when, winger, Samedov hit a superb free kick that was heading for the top corner if it wasn’t for Pesyakov’s one-handed save.

Spartak should have been down to 10 men after a dangerous, high tackle. Though the referee deemed it unworthy. Could have been a different game if given.

Attack after attack, chance after chance, it just wasn’t going in for Lokomotiv. All their attacking efforts were proved in vain when, in the 92nd minute, Ze Luis put the game beyond any doubt after a superb counter attack from the visitors.

Lokomotiv Moscow still sit above Spartak in fifth, though Spartak still have a game in hand.lokospart


Dynamo Moscow v Amkar Perm 29/04/2016


It was a more than less memorable match for both teams on a Friday night in Moscow, as there was a severe lack of goals…

In a mostly dull first half, the best chance of the first half came in the 31st minute, when a looping ball was sent over the Dynamo defence and then hit sweetly on the volley by Amkar Perm’s midfielder – Balanovich – Only to smash off the post and rebound to Prudnikov, who’s low shot was comfortable for the Dynamo Moscow keeper.

Moments after this chance from Amkar Perm, in the 38th minute, Dynamo’s midfielder, Tashayev, showed some good close control to create space for himself to hit a low drive, Amkar’s keeper, Selikhov handled poorly, but quickly threw himself on the ball to prevent any danger.

Shortly after this, Dynamo’s Montenegro striker, Beciraj, chested down a difficult ball to smash on the half volley from outside the area, only to see it cannon back off the bar. Dynamo Moscow unlucky to not be ahead.

The second half mostly became a scrappy affair, both teams showing great strength and determination, but no moment of skill to break the deadlock. Dynamo looked the more likely, always threatening from the counter attack, but Amkar stayed resilient.

Amkar Perm sit in 11th place, just above Dynamo Moscow at the end of this game.amkardynamo


Zenit St. Petersburg v Kuban Krasnodar 28/04/2016


With Andre Villas Boas’s team perched in fifth place at the start of match, 7 points shy of the top spot, a win tonight against the team sitting directly above them (on goal difference,) Kuban Krasnodar, would highly improve their chances.

The game got off to a good start, the atmosphere booming with both Zenit and the travelling Kuban supporters in full voice. And it took 21 minutes for Zenit to take the lead, Roman Shatov with a fantastic free-kick from the left of the box.

But it didn’t take the visitors long to get themselves level, just 2 minutes after the first goal, a Stinging 20 yard strike from Yevhen Seleznyov putting Kuban level.

5 minutes before half-time, however, Zenit did take the lead again. A great cross by Smolnikov was diverted into the net by head of Artem Dzyuba, taking his goal tally for the season to 12, putting him 4th in the Russian Premier League top scorers.

A lot of good possession play and counter attacking from Zenit payed off in the end, when Hulk provided a moment of magic in the 65th minute, dancing past 3 defenders and firing the ball in to make it 3-1. It wasn’t long after that Zenit scored their 4th goal of the evening, sealing the win. Roman Shatov scoring his second of the game, and Zenit moving up the table.

The game was prodominantly one way traffic, with Zenit constantly a threat, they could have had 5 or six, when near the end of the match, Hulk’s free kick rattled off the bar and moments after, a cross that needed just the faintest touch eluded everyone.

Zenit sit comfortably in third place, 4 points off top spot. Kuban Krasnodar are in 5th place, 3 points from third.zenit


FC Ural v CSKA Moscow 28/04/2016


With just 5 games left to go in the Russian Premier League, and with the top 6 clubs having the possibility to win the title, the next five games look set to be unpredicatable and exciting.

Game week 25 was kicked off with the match between FC Ural and CSKA Moscow. With both clubs having different MO’s; CSKA looking for their first championship in 3 years, and FC Ural looking to cement their place in the Europa League Third Qualifying Round.

In a cagey first half, the deadlock was broken after a sweet back heeled pass put the ball on a plate for Aaron Samuel Olanare to slot home with ease. It then took the leaders 15 minutes into the second half to double score their second; some poor defending and missed clearances from the FC Ural defence led to Ahmed Musa getting the ball just outside the 6-yard box, and smashing it low and hard out of the keeper’s reach, netting his 11th goal of the season. FC Ural kept showing good attacking intent, but often failed to take a shot when one was needed, especially compared to CSKA’s 9 shots on target. Then, in the 75th Minute, Alan Dzagoev killed any hopes the home side may have had to draw level when he made it 3-0 after some good build up play from the away side.

This win has put CSKA top of the league by 2 points, with close rivals FC Rostov yet to play. CSKA