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City news, 01.03.2015 18:54
Rondn double downs PSV as Zenit march on
FC Zenit maintained their 100% record of advancing to the last 16 since the introduction of the group stage in 2004/05 after completing a 4-0 aggregate victory against PSV Eindhoven.
Guarding a 1-0 advantage from last week's round of 32 opener, the hosts – who have won all eight home games in the competition now – seized control of the tie via Jos Rondn in the first half and sealed their progress with two more goals after the interval, Hulk and Rondn putting the outcome beyond doubt.
Andr Villas-Boas's charges applied a positive approach to the game and twice called PSV goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet into action during the opening exchanges. Rondn's ninth-minute attempt was rebuffed by Zoet before Hulk tested the 24-year-old with a right-footed effort.
With Memphis Depay, Georginio Wijnaldum and Jetro Willems being kept quiet by the Russian side, the visitors struggled to make an impression. Indeed, Zenit would exploit their strong start by scoring the opener. Sine-belo-golubye captain Danny found Venezuela striker Rondn in space and the No23 broke the deadlock, applying a calm finish from inside the area with 29 minutes gone. Moments later, centre-back Ezequiel Garay missed a wonderful opportunity to double the advantage – firing over from close range after a flick-on at a corner.
Seeking a response, Phillip Cocu's men suffered a further setback when Hulk, a constant menace, buried a powerful effort from distance shortly after the restart. Just 13 minutes later, PSV were presented with a glorious chance to begin their recovery via a penalty. However, home custodian Yuri Lodygin kept out Luuk de Jong's spot kick, and Zenit promptly sealed their progress when Rondn pounced on a rebound after Zoet had failed to hold Hulk's drive.
News source: UEFA