Anderlecht vs. Zenit St. Petersburg: Final score 1-0, Mbokani sinks Zenit

Claudio Villa

Dieudonné Mbokani's first half goal was all Anderlecht needed to sink Zenit

A goal early in the first half by Anderlecht's Dieudonné Mbokani was enough as the Belgian side earned their first Champions League win at home in ten matches and only their second UCL victory in 23 attempts.

Zenit's must-win match got off to a horrid start as they conceded an early goal to Anderlecht. Striker Dieudonné Mbokani, back from a suspension and a broken nose, made an a slicing run just outside the Zenit box, then played a fantastic one-two with Sacha Klejstan. The American midfielder sent the ball right back as Mbokani made his run and put a right footed shot past Vyacheslav Malafeev to give Anderlecht an early 1-0 lead.

The match rumbled on in to the second half with Zenit trying to find the equalizer but never really looking like a team that was capable. They did have one great chance after the ball was poorly cleared by the Anderlecht defense, allowing Axel Witsel a free shot from the top of the box that was smothered by Silvio Proto.

Anderlecht missed a glorious chance to ice the game in the 82nd minute. Milan Jovanovic's cross in to the box was brought down by Oleksandr Yakovenko who quickly put a shot on goal that was ever so slightly deflected by Malafeev, sending the ball off the crossbar and out.

Easily the most entertaining moment of the second half came in the 90th minute after the referee called a foul against Zenit's Roman Shirokov. The midfielder was none to pleased and put his hands over his eyes and face in the international symbol for "you need glasses". As you might guess, the referee wasn't impressed and promptly booked Shirokov.

Anderlecht move out of the group basement, while Zenit's Champions League campaign is effectively over.

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