The Russian Championship, round 33, CSKA 2 (1:1) 2 ZENIT
Andrey Arshavin: We started the game brightly, scoring a goal in the first minute. And soon after that we could have scored for the second time. But unfortunately, luck has turned its back on us in that moment ...
I think that CSKA deserves some credit as well, they managed to pull themselves together after a missed goal. They didn’t give in and continued to play as planned, continued to attack searching for an opportunity in front of our goal.
We tried to act on the counterattacks, using long passes. In general, looking back at both halves, I'm sure that spectators must be pleased with the game, four goals were scored. There was tension in the air during the game. Nobody wanted to give in and the chances of winning were equal. A good game between two strong teams.
In summary, I believe that the result is logical.
arshavin.eu: Zenit haven’t played on an artificial pitch for quite a while. Did it give an advantage to CSKA?
AA: It's hard to say whether it was an advantage or not. It is clear that the game on natural lawn is completely different from the one on synthetic pitch. These are two different kind of football. On the other hand, considering the Russian weather conditions during this time period, it is better to play on this pitch than “wade through mud”.
arshavin.eu: After the English overcrowded stadiums, weren’t you surprised to see how low attendance was at the central match of the round? After all, there was a clash of two teams that are going to fight for Championship gold.
AA: Of course the players want more people to come to the stadium. But today, the low temperature in Moscow prevented our fans from coming. It was cold. Perhaps, in this weather it’s more comfortable to stay at home and watch television, or go and root for your team with friends in a pub.
arshavin.eu: The weather wasn’t an obstacle for the fans from St. Petersburg.
AA: I agree, there were a lot of our guys. And they were seen at the stadium.
arshavin.eu: There is a game in the Champions League in a couple of days. It’s necessary to reserve strength and preserve health. Perhaps, there wasn’t such a task: to win no matter what today?
AA: I think that there are experienced players in Zenit who have already seen a lot, played a lot of important matches for the club and for the national teams, so our players no longer divide matches into major and minor. It is clear that the game against Benfica is very important, but Zenit is planning to win the Championship of Russia. Therefore, this issue is not discussed.
arshavin.eu: Have not seen CSKA that motivated for a long time. It’s good that the opponent wants to play and wants to win. But, sometimes they acted "dirty." Or maybe I’m wrong?
AA: There were several dangerous confrontations. Especially in the second half. This is understandable, because nobody wanted to concede. In general, I think that the teams were respectful to each other.
arshavin.eu: March 4. Russia chooses the president.
AA: I’ve made my choice. I'm going to vote at my polling place.