Penalty decisions were at the forefront of conversation after the first round of Russian Premier League matches, with a total of 6 penalties given in the space of 8 matches. Some were correct decisions, however some seemed extremely soft for commonplace actions such as holding or shirt pulling. It could be a case of the league trying to clamp down on such activity within the area, how long it will last is unclear though.

Dinamo and Volga got us off to a cracker with a 2-2 draw in Moscow. Volga were 2-0 up within 3 minutes after goals from Aleksandr Shulenin and Mulumba Mukendi. However Dinamo got themselves back into the game before half time with two quick fire goals from debutant Alan Kasaev and Andriy Voronin. The home side, in front of a sparse crowd, had chances in the second half to win but the game finished a draw.

Anzhi and Lokomotiv also played out a 2-2 draw in the following game which failed to liven up until the second half. Anzhi looked the better team throughout but it was the away side who took the lead through Dame N’Doye, Lokomotiv under new manager Leonid Kuchuk. However Anzhi were in the lead with six  minutes to play after two quick goals from an Eto’o deflected shot off Durica and a some good play by Lacina Traore. But in injury time, Roman Pavlyuchenko got ahead of his marker in the area to hit a lovely finish to equalise. There was more late drama as Samuel Eto’o had the chance to win it, two minutes later but his tame penalty was saved by Lokomotiv keeper Guilherme.

10 man Rubin put in a very strong performance away at Kuban. Alexander Ryazantsev was sent off just before half time for a studs up challenge on Kabore. It was Rubin who took the lead on 71 minutes through some very poor defending from Kuban who left Roman Eremenko space in the box to score into the far corner. The home side equalised soon after through the talented Aras Ozbiliz from a 25 yard free kick.

On loan Spartak striker Artem Dzyuba put in a good performance allowing Rostov to turn it around against Terek with a late penalty and an even later header from a Ananidze (also on loan from Spartak) cross.
Amkar were also on the right side of penalty calls as they two in the first ten minutes against promoted Tomsk. Georgi Peev converted both and the game ended 2-0.

Krylya Sovetov lost out at home to Spartak Moscow 1-2. Two goals in as many minutes from new signing Tino Costa and a penalty from Yura Movsisyan seemed to put the game beyond the home side. However they surged in the second half and a goal from Luis Caballero on 60 minutes gave them hope but the game ultimately ended in defeat for them.

The champions, CSKA, slipped up against newly promoted Ural, drawing 2-2. Ahmed Musa put the away side in front midway through the first half but Ural’s top scorer last season Spartak Gogniev scored twice in the second half to give the home side a surprise lead. Vagner Love saved some of CSKA’s blushes with an equaliser with five minutes to play.

Last year’s runner-up Zenit were made to work for the three points away at Krasnodar, winning 1-2. The away side looked in control after Krasnodar gave away two sloppy goals with Faizulin and Danny both finding space in the area after collecting rebounds and slot into an open goal. The home side rallied in the second half and with a goal from last year’s joint top scorer Wanderson just after the break, they tried to force an equaliser but Zenit’s defence held strong.

Full Results:

Dinamo 2-2 Volga                Amkar 2-0 Tomsk
Anzhi 2-2 Lokomotiv         Krylya 1-2 Spartak
Kuban 1-1 Rubin                   Ural 2-2 CSKA
Rostov 2-1 Terek                  Krasnodar 1-2 Zenit

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