KHIMKI, RUSSIA - APRIL 28: Mark Gonzalez of PFC CSKA Moscow in action during the Russian Football League Championship match between PFC CSKA Moscow and FC Zenit St. Petersburg at the Khimki Stadium on April 28, 2010 in Khimki, Russia. (Photo by Dmitry Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images)

CSKA Moscow Vs. Rubin Kazan, Russian Premier League: CSKA Defeat Rubin 2-0 Thanks To Two Ryzhikov Howlers

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CSKA Moscow Vs. Rubin Kazan: 2-0 Full Time, Sergei Ryzhikov Gifts CSKA A Win

CSKA Moscow have taken all three points off of Rubin Kazan in comfortable fashion today, thanks to some solid midfield play and some incompetent goalkeeping from Rubin's netminder, Sergei Ryzhikov. He gifted the hosts a goal in the first half with an error on Mark Gonzalez's 27th minute shot, and he did poorly once again in the 49th minute, allowing an average shot from Seydou Doumbia to slip from his grasp as CSKA cruised to a 2-0 win.

The set-up for the Doumbia goal was impressive, but in the end, the shot was a slow dribbler right to the center of the net. Ryzhikov appeared to be in a decent position to stop it, but he reached out towards the ball awkwardly, inexplicably refusing to commit to using his entire body to stop the shot. CSKA scored on a shot that any goalkeeper with a little more confidence would have stopped, and despite Rubin hitting the crossbar a couple of minutes later, that second goal would be more than CSKA needed to take the victory.

Rubin defended well and actually looked at times like they could score, but their goalkeeper was ultimately their undoing. For a team lacking in the firepower and resources of their fellow Champions League contenders, poor goalkeeping performances are simply inexplicable. Ryzhirkov has always been questionable, though serviceable, and Rubin either need to get better performances for him or look elsewhere in the summer.


CSKA Moscow Vs. Rubin Kazan: 1-0 Halftime, Mark Gonzalez Goal Has CSKA Ahead

CSKA Moscow lead 1-0 at halftime over Rubin Kazan from the Khimki Arena, and I'd like everyone to count all of the Rubin Kazan comebacks that they remember on their hands. If you're a newcomer to following the Russian Premier League, don't worry. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have gotten that far. Mark Gonzalez is the man who scored for CSKA, and Rubin will probably have trouble finding a goal of their own.

Gonzalez's strike was a solid one, but it definitely doesn't happen if the goalkeeper does his job, and as a result, Sergei Ryzhikov deserves more criticism than Gonzalez deserves praise for the goal. In the 27th minute, Gonzalez hit a half volley from the left wing, about 30 yards from goal. The angle minimized the places that Gonzalez could put the ball, and it seemed as if Ryzhikov saw it all the way. Still, he played a bounce incorrectly and let the ball bounce off his arms into the back of the net, giving CSKA a 1-0 lead.

With Carlos Eduardo and Alan Kasaev injured, Rubin's attacking options off the bench aren't fantastic. However, they do have Gökdan Karadeniz available, and he'll likely make an appearance in the second half.


CSKA Moscow Vs. Rubin Kazan: Lineups

They're underway at Arena Khimki and the lineups for CSKA Moscow are basically as expected. Neither team has hit us with a major personnel or formation surprise, and the lineups suggest that this game will feature a whole lot of Rubin sitting back and CSKA trying to break them down. Here are the lineups.

CSKA Moscow lineup (4-4-2): Akinfeev; V. Berezoutski, A. Berezoutski, Ignashevich, Nababkin; Semberas, Oliseh, Gonzalez, Dzagoev; Doubmia, Necid

Rubin Kazan lineup (4-4-2): Ryzhikov; Bocchetti, Navas, Kuzmin, Ansaldi; Sharonov, Ryazansev, Natcho, Kislyak; Lebedenko, Dyadyun

CSKA have some serious firepower on the bench in the way of Vagner Love and Zoran Tosic. Keisuke Honda is injured and unavailable for this game. Rubin Kazan's biggest threat off of the bench is attack-minded midfielder Gökden Karadeniz, and his exclusion from the starting lineup is the only mild surprise in these selections. One player to watch is CSKA's Alan Dzagoev; the young Russian playmaker will sit behind the strikers and he is probably the best passer on the pitch.


CSKA Moscow Vs. Rubin Kazan, Russian Premier League: Preview

Coming off of their 1-1 draw 3-0 win against Zenit St. Petersburg, thanks to the defending champions' failure to play an under-20 year old home grown player, CSKA Moscow have another tough task as they continue their march towards the top of the Russian Premier League table. They face another very tough task this week in Rubin Kazan, a team who has gone to the Champions League and frustrated big teams in that competition for consecutive years.

Rubin are coming off of a disappointing 0-0 home draw against Spartak Nalchik, but their rigid, defensive style of play lends itself to these sorts of things happening. Of course, it also allows them to get very good results against big teams, like CSKA.

CSKA will probably come out with a fluid, attacking 4-4-2 setup, while Rubin will almost certainly play a rigid 4-4-2, most of the time playing with nine men behind the ball. For Rubin, the goal above all else is usually a clean sheet

The game takes place at Arena Khimki and kicks off at 8:45 am ET on Sunday.

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