Dubai tactics

The second practice of the year conducted by Luciano Spalletti on Sunday evening focused on teamwork.


The first players to go to the Strelkovy Complex where Zenit is practicing in Dubai were the team`s goalkeepers. The team`s goalkeeper coach, Mikhail Biryukov, offered his men a series of intense exercises. Thus Zenit`s three goalkeepers, Vyacheslav Malafeev, Yury Zhevnov, and Dmitry Borodin, together with their coach, were the first Zenit players to see the changes which have been made at Zenit`s practice facility in Dubai: besides the previous pair of fields, there is now a new pitch was well. Furthermore, two trails for ATVs and sport motorcycles have been installed, and a roof has been installed over the one set of stands at the practice facility.

The full-team practice session started, as it should be, with stretching. That said this time Alberto Bartali was not in charge. The coaching staff gave their team new Nike T90 balls, which immediately felt the power of the shots of Russia`s best footballers. After a short jog around the perimeter of the complex and fifteen minutes of practice at holding onto the ball, the Zenit players then broke into two groups – defenders and attackers – and started to work on teamwork in various situations modeled by the team coaches.

The practice ended with the first scrimmage of the season: ten players in each team, with two halves of seven and a half minutes each. The Zenit players in pennies were the first to score: Danko Lazovic executed a penalty kick awarded by Nikolay Vorobyev. Roman Shirokov responded with a superb shot into the far upper corner. The score didn`t stay tied for long: Viktor Fayzulin answered with a goal of his own. Even though the Zenit players without pennies had three perfect chances to score after halftime (Zyryanov`s shot hit the side-netting, and excellent strikes by Bystrov and Danny hit the post and the crossbar, respectively), the final score went unchanged.