Battling BATE hold Zenit
Matters ended all square at the Petrovskiy stadium as Zenit St Petersburg and BATE Borisov drew 1-1.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 21/10/08 7:37pm
Matters ended all square at the Petrovskiy stadium as Zenit St Petersburg and BATE Borisov shared the points in an entertaining 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw.
Both teams knew that only a win would do as they looked to close the gap on Juventus and Real Madrid at the top of Group H but the visitors will be more than happy with their point.
The two teams played attacking, adventurous football and Zenit will be wondering how they didn't secure all three points in a game they should have won at a canter.
Despite their constant pressure, the home side could have easily lost the match after half-time substitute Pavel Nekhaychik put the visitors ahead only for Fatih Tekke to equalise with 11-minutes of normal time remaining.
The first-half began with the visitors looking the brighter as BATE started with the same quick tempo which saw them draw 2-2 with Juventus on match day two.
But it was the home side who looked the more dangerous in attack as Danny, signed for £24million in the summer and Andrei Arshavin began to look menacing.
Zenit nearly took the lead on 10 minutes, working play from the left over to Arshavin on the right who's delicate cross found Konstatin Zyranov at the back post but his header was clawed out by BATE keeper Sergey Veremko.
Zenit came close again two minutes later when another Arshavin cross from the right was this time met by Fatih Tekke who saw his header come back off the outside of the post.
Arshavin was again the architect as Zenit came close on 14-minutes; his corner evaded everyone including Veremko but was cleared off the line.
Despite the home side looking the likeliest to break the deadlock, BATE caught the Zenit defence off guard as Vitali Rodionov used his pace to get in down the right but although his shot beat the keeper, it came crashing back off the post.
The home side hit the woodwork again on 28 minutes as Arshavin caught the visitors out at the back and his cut back found Danny but his right-footed shot from 12 yards came back off the underside of the bar.
BATE were still looking dangerous on the counter-attack and after some neat one and two touch passing down the left, Igor Stasevich's cross was met at the back post by Sergei Kryvets but his header was punched to safety by Malafeyev.
Arshavin began the second half as he ended the first and three minutes into the second period he danced his way around the BATE defence before firing a low shot at goal. However the Russian's goal bound effort was blocked by team-mate Tekke.
The visitors were struggling to deal with Arshavin and his corner a minute later was met by Denisov who saw his header cleared off the line at the back post.
The more the game remained at 0-0 the more important the value of the first goal became and, against the run of play, it was BATE who got it as half-time substitute Nekhaychik collected Gennadi Bliznyuk's through-ball and slid home to fire across the keeper on 51-minutes.
Zenit continued to press and got their reward on 79-minutes when a long clearance from Malafeyev was latched onto by Tekke who finished left footed past Veremko.
|Zenit St Petersburg||Team Statistics||BATE Borisov|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|8||Shots on Target||1|
|9||Shots off Target||4|