Luciano Spalletti's side scarcely needed to hit top gear in order to maintain their 100% start, going six points clear in Group G.
FC Zenit St. Petersburg have three wins from three UEFA Europa League games after a routine 2-0 victory against HNK Hajduk Split.
Unbeaten in eight European home fixtures, six points clear in the Russian Premier League and top of Group G, Zenit never looked likely to disappoint. Aleksandr Bukharov headed them in front on 25 minutes and Danny added a second midway through the second half to leave Hajduk level on three points with RSC Anderlecht and AEK Athens FC.
An enterprising run and ambitious, if wayward, shot from Ante Vukušić inside the opening minute had promised much from the Croatian side. Zenit, though, showed admirable patience in extinguishing their early gusto and they, too, started to threaten midway through the opening period.
Viktor Fayzulin's diving header fizzed over but Bukharov was better placed to profit two minutes later, nodding Igor Denisov's beautifully floated cross beyond Danijel Subašić. Though Vukušić's neat flick just after the half-hour did require a routine intervention from Yuri Zhevnov, Stanko Poklepović's side offered little to end a run of five European away fixtures without a win.
Indeed, Zenit could have gone further ahead early in the second half. Bukharov combined superbly with Danny to go clean through but fired over, while Ivica Križanac also failed to keep the ball down when presented with a free header from five metres out.
Subašić was right on cue when Nicolas Lombaerts finally found the target with a scrambled effort, but he was helpless to deny Danny's first-time finish from Aleksandar Luković's rifled cross with 22 minutes left. Bukharov beat the visitors' keeper again late on, only for a post to come to his rescue and Sergei Semak to somehow spurn the rebound.
News source: UEFA
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City news archive for 22 October' 2010.
City news archive for October' 2010.
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