After their summer transfer window purchases, Zenit St. Petersburg looked like they could be a Champions League dark horse...eh, not so much, at least not yet. A brace from Isco and a goal from Javier Saviola were all Malaga needed as they steamrolled Zenit 3-0 at the Estadio La Rosaleda.
Malaga didn't waste much time in asserting their dominance on the match. The Spanish U-21 international Isco scored in the third minute with a wicked shot that hit off the inside of the post and in to the net. Ten minutes later Saviola cleverly slid a shot past Vyacheslav Malafeev to give the home side the 2-0 lead.
To Zenit's credit, they didn't pack things up, they simply couldn't put the ball in the net. Roman Shirokov and Alexander Kerzhakov had some good chances, creating havoc for the Malaga defense, but ultimately the finishing just wasn't there. Hulk had the best chance to pull Zenit back in to the match, smashing a shot off the underside of the cross bar and back out in to play.
Despite the two goal lead, the pressure from Zenit kept Malaga supporters of edge until Los Boquerones finally got the third goal in the 76th minute. Isco received a pass from Joaquin about 20 yards from goal and sent a right-footed shot into the top left corner of Malafeev's goal to ice the game.
It's a dream start for Manuel Pellegrini and his team who now sit atop Group C after Milan and Anderlecht finished with a scoreless draw. Malaga will next travel to Belgium to face Anderlecht on October 3rd. Zenit will try to get healthy and prepare to host AC Milan.