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City news, 10.03.2006 13:06

Russia's Zenit gains precious lead in UEFA Cup round of 16

football_zenit Russia's sole remaining representative in this season's European soccer club competitions gained a narrow away victory in the first leg of its round-of-16 tie Thursday.

Russian national team striker Andrei Arshavin scored the only goal of the game with a curling shot in the 51st minute as Zenit St. Petersburg defeated Olympique Marseille at the French giant's home field Stade Velodrome.

Zenit spent much of the game on the offensive, and the French club was grateful to goalkeeper Fabien Barthez for a string of saves to keep the defeat to a single goal, including a one-on-one in the last minute to deny substitute Oleg Trifonov. The midfielder also hit the bar in the 80th minute.

Marseille played the last 20 minutes with 10 men after striker Frank Ribery was sent off for a second bookable offence.

The return match will take place in St. Petersburg on March 16.

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(c) 2000