League action in USA and Russia

On Friday, ESPN UK provided subscribers with live coverage of Alania Vladikavkaz against Zenit St Petersburg in the Russian top flight, before airing the Chicago Fire-Real Salt Lake MLS match.

Alania Vladikavkaz vs Zenit St Petersburg, 09/07/10

Both ties were similar – Luciano Spalletti’s Zenit top the Russian Premier League, while Real are Major League Soccer’s team to beat. In comparison, Alania and Chicago both linger in the lower echelons of their respective divisions.

Unsurprisingly, that aforementioned duo showed their lofty positions to be no coincidence, brushing aside their opponents by scorelines of 3-1 and 1-0 respectively.

Neither Vladikavkaz or the Fire appeared overwhelmingly blunt up top, yet defensive lapses proved the undoing of two teams in 4-4-1-1 systems.

Both sides accepted their underdogs roles pre-match, so therefore picked XIs capable of sitting and stifling in disciplined banks. Continue reading

Moscow sides and Rubin trail Zenit

Followers of thermal-clad football rejoice – Russia’s Premier League resumes in full after its break this Thursday!

In spite of bidding to host its 2018 edition, Eastern Europe’s stellar division is ignoring the ongoing World Cup.

The RFUs calendar runs from March to December, and deprivation of fatigued South Africa-starring personnel could therefore impact on the eventual standings.

Overtaking leaders Zenit St. Petersburg side is a primary mission for at least five clubs during the second half of the season, with the recent UEFA Cup champions by far and away the league’s best side.

Defending champions Rubin Kazan began the campaign intent on escaping their (2010/11) Champions League group, and scooping a third successive title. Continue reading