The next two days in Russian soccer will be marked by a confrontation between Spartak Moscow and Zenit St. Petersburg: On July 8, the two clubs' veteran stars will clash at Petrovsky Stadium, and on July 9, the current Red-Whites and Blue-Whites will fight for the Supercup of Russia at Gazprom-Arena.
The confrontation between these two clubs is actually not very old. The first, since the thirties, derby in our country is Spartak vs Dynamo: a trade union, worker, people's club against the departmental, with shoulder straps. In the early nineties, against the background of the decline of the White and Blue and the obliteration of the clubs' origins, a confrontation crystallized between Spartak and CSKA. "Zenit were not properly rated until the noughties: only the 1984 league title comes to mind - but in the early 1990s the Petersburgers even played in the first league.
Two factors contributed to Zenit's ascent: the support of prominent figures from St. Petersburg and a magnificent plethora of local pupils, who were brought together and raised to the master level by coach Yury Morozov. Since then, no matter where Spartak stands, the matches with Zenit are always very bright. We will remember the most vivid ones.
July 10, 2002. "Spartak - Zenit - 4:3
Zenit were still reeling from Russia's World Cup defeat, but the two teams from Moscow and St. Petersburg played maybe their most outstanding game of the season.Zenit took a 2-0 lead early in the second half after goals from Alexander Kerzhakov (5) and Andrei Arshavin (47). But then Vladislav Beschastnykh scored twice in seven minutes. Kerzhakov scored again, giving Zenit the lead. But Spartak had a taste of blood - first Kebe and then Dmitry Sychev came up with the visitors' goal. Sychyov, marking the ball, showed the stands a T-shirt with the words "Who are we? Meat!" Ironically, this goal was Sychyov's last for Spartak - but how beautiful!
May 6, 2012. "Zenit v Spartak - 2:3
"Zenit celebrated their previously won league title, but the red and whites spoiled the celebration in the northern capital. Everything was going well at first, though: Kerzhakov opened the score on 22 minutes and kept it that way for most of the match. However, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov restored the balance on 69 minutes. When Sergey Semak converted a penalty in the 82nd minute, it seemed that the game was over. But in the 84th minute Emmanuel Emenike scored - and was sent off for celebrating the goal: it seemed to the referee that he had made an indecent gesture. Spartak's minority wasn't deterred by the sending-off of the eternally criticized Rafael Carioca, who headed the winning shot into Zenit's goal in the late stages of the game. This win basically gave Spartak the silver medal.
August 11, 2012. "Zenit v Spartak - 5-0
"Spartak were already leading the league and had just beaten Dynamo Moscow 4-0. But as early as on 15 minutes, Maxim Kanunnikov put the hosts ahead. The red and white tried to get even but failed. On 52 minutes Vladimir Bystrov sealed Zenit's lead. Soon the Muscovites earned a penalty, but Vyacheslav Malafeev stopped Bilyaletdinov's shot. And on 61 minutes Roman Shirokov made the score big. He broke Spartak: a minute later Aiden McGeady was red carded for a silly infringement in the middle of the field, and Victor Fayzulin's double (67, 88) finally finished off the Red and White..
October 24, 2021. "Zenit v Spartak - 7-1
The Red and White's most recent wound, which they're sure to recall on Super Bowl eve. "Zenit simply humiliated Rui Vitoria's hapless team: goals by Serdar Akhmun (20, 36), Claudinho (28), Andrei Mostovoy (45, 56), Artyom Dzyuba (80 penalty) and Alexander Erokhin (88), and Quincy Promes' goal (53) can't be called a goal of prestige. Do the Red and White have the class to take revenge on Zenit in the Super Cup?