Rubin Kazan vs. Levante UD
Rubin and Levante had had a hard time defeating each other in the first leg of this match, and so the second leg would mean everything to both sides. The game was still very much open and even more so for Levante, who were playing away, capable of killing the Kazan with away goals.
It was a very tight game from beginning to end, and it looked to go to penalties, from what we’d seen in the first leg. Both teams would play the same football, more or less, with the difference being only in what they had decided their key areas would be; for Levante, it would be mainly attack, for Rubin, mainly defense.
This didn’t stop Rubin from going out and looking for goals as well, though, and look for goals they did. Both managers tried everything against each other, both teams had decent chances, but the game remained even and eventually went into extra time.
Rubin Kazan knew that they had to be quicker to manage anything against their Spanish visitors, and they managed to do so 10 minutes into the first half of extra time when Rondon was finally on target, getting past Ballesteros to collect the ball from Natcho and slot home with his left.
Things grew more intense for the Spaniards as they continued to look for the one goal that would win them the game. 12 minutes after this goal, another one came, but it came for the home side, leaving Levante devastated as they’d had the better chances. Dyadyun picked up a long pass from his own goalkeeper, Ryzhikov and ran to get it past Navas to keep his side holding on for the 8 minutes that were remaining. Rubin managed to hold on and Levante were gutted.
The home side had been the better squad of the night, having had more possession (56%) than their visitors (44%), more attempts (23 against 17), and better chances. Aleksandar Stavrev, the referee for this match, issued a total of 3 yellow cards between the two teams; 2 to Rubin and 1 to Levante. No players were sent off during this match.
Kurban Berdyev and Juan Ignacio Martinez lined up the following squads:
Rubin Kazan Starting XI
Ryzhikov, Kuzmin, Kaleshin, Marcano, Sharonov (c), Orbaiz, Eremenko, Natcho, Karadeniz, Rondon, Kasaev
Subs: Arlauskis, Eremenko, Tore, Dyadyun, and Kislyak
Levante Starting XI
Navas, Navarro, Juanfran, Ballesteros (c), Lell, Barkero, Iborra, Diop, Zhar, Garcia, Acquafresca
Subs: Munua, Rodas, Karabelas, Lopez, Valdo, Gomez, and Rios
Final Score: Rubin Kazan* 2-0 Levante UD (Agg: 2-0 AET)
Rondon 100′, Dyadyun 112′
Having eliminated Levante, Rubin Kazan are through to the quarter-finals of the competition and will face Chelsea of England as their opponents, as announced in the draw on March 15th. They will play the first leg of this game away and the second leg at home.
Newcastle United vs. Anzhi Makhachkala
After a tough game in the first leg, leaving the game still very much open, Anzhi and Newcastle prepared well for the rematch, knowing it would even be harder facing each other a second time. Anzhi would have the upper hand, as all they had to do was find the net, even for a draw, to win the game on away goals. This game was one of the tightest ones on the night, and looked like it would go into extra time, but as we’ll come to see, this one only just avoided extra time by a few seconds.
Three minutes into the game and Anzhi captain, Samuel Eto’o, had an attempt that went was just wide. The away side continued to threaten. The home side, however, didn’t even for a minute lose control of the game, and got attempts of their own, courtesy of Marveaux and Cabaye. Anzhi’s Carcela-Gonzalez and Joao Carlos were threatening as well, but there were to be no goals in the first half from either team.
The second half started faster for the home side, Sissoko just missing the target, and the game continuing as it had ended at the half. Newcastle were given an advantage just 10 minutes into the second half when Carcela-Gonzalez picked up a yellow card, and was sent off, giving the Toons a slight edge. Anzhi, however, held strong to prevent their hosts from taking advantage of their numbers, and the game remained level.
Both teams continued to threaten, Anzhi even hitting the woodwork, but nothing came. 4 minutes were added on at the end of the second half, and Newcastle’s prayers were finally answered in the 3rd minutes of stoppage time, when an unmarked Papiss Cisse headed the ball past Gabulov and into the net to win the game for his side on what had been a very tough night.
Statistic-wise, the home side had more attempts (15) than the visitors (11) and better chances. A total of 4 yellow cards were issued between the two teams; 1 to Newcastle and 3 to Anzhi. Deniz Aytekin also issued one yellow card, which went to Anzhi’s Carcela-Gonzalez.
Alan Pardew and Guus Hiddink lined up the following squads:
Newcastle Starting XI
Elliot, Santon, Yanga-Mbiwa, Taylor, Haidara, Sissoko, Marveaux, Tiote, Anita, Cabaye (c), Cisse
Subs: Harper, Perch, Bigirimana, Obertan, Ameobi, Campbell, and Gutierrez
Anzhi Starting XI
Gabulov, Eschenko, Carlos, Zhirkov, Ewerton, Jucilei, Ahmedov, Diarra, Boussoufa, Eto’o (c)
Subs: Pomazan, Tagirberkov, Logashov, Agalarov, Traore, Solov, and Shatov
Final Score: Newcastle United* 1-0 Anzhi Makhachkala (Agg: 1-0)
Having eliminated Anzhi, Newcastle United are through to the quarter-finals of the competition and will face Benfica of Portugal, as announced in the draw on March 15th. They will play the first leg of this game away and the second leg at home.
Written by Ange Marline