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Baptista blunts Zenit's edge

Thursday, 25 November 2004

Dennis Novitsky from Petrovsky stadium

[1] Julio Baptista's equaliser punished FC Zenit St. Peterburg for some profligate finishing and gave Sevilla FC a share of the UEFA Cup spoils on a freezing night in Russia.

Arshavin opener

[2] The home side had dominated for much of the game and took the lead through Andrei Arshavin on 35 minutes. They had numerous further opportunities but failed to capitalise and Baptista levelled 19 minutes from time to earn Sevilla a draw and ensure the Spanish side remained level with their Group H opponents on four points.

Late loss

[3] Zenit coach Vlastimil Petrzhela was forced to make a late change when defender Martin Horak was injured in training, joining Martin Shkrtel on the sidelines. Nevertheless, the home team started brightly and on four minutes Aleksandr Kerzhakov almost broke the deadlock after collecting Vladislav Radimov's pass, but shot wide.

Silva header

[4] At the other end, Dário Silva almost capitalised on a mistake from goalkeeper Viatcheslav Malafeev but headed against the post. It was a rare opportunity for the Spanish side, however, and Zenit's Igor Denisov twice went close with long-range efforts.

Arshavin scores

[5] Zenit continued to dominate and Arshavin just failed to provide the finish to a sublime cross from Kerzhakov. He made no mistake ten minutes later, though, when Vladimir Bystrov was tackled by Aitor Ocio, collecting the loose ball and shooting into the corner of the net.

Golden opportunity

[6] Arshavin almost doubled the advantage four minutes after the interval, before Kerzhakov missed with the goal gaping after Sevilla goalkeeper Esteban Suárez had miskicked. Zenit were punished for their wastefulness in the 71st minute when Baptista headed in substitute Carlitos's cross to give the visitors a point. Sevilla now play AEK Athens FC on 2 December, while Zenit travel to TSV Alemannia Aachen the same night.

Fernando Sales tries to win the ball from Igor Denisov