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  Thursday, June 20, 2019
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Zenit St. Petersburg put in a professional and accomplished performance
Zenit St. Petersburg put in a professional and accomplished performance in Russia's northern capital on Wednesday night to beat Marseille 2-0 and make the last eight of the UEFA Cup.

Having lost the first leg in France 3-1 a week ago, Zenit knew that a repeat of Spartak Moscow's recent 2-0 victory over Marseille would be enough to see them go through on the away goals rule.

In front of a packed Petrovsky Stadium it was forward Pavel Pogrebnyak who opened the scoring in the 37th minute with a well-taken goal following some good build-up work by Zenit.

The reigning Russian champions continued to press in the second half, and it was Pogrebnyak again who hit home the winner with 12 minutes remaining following a cross by Russian international Konstantin Ziryanov and a lay-on by Turkish striker Fatih Tekke.

Pogrebnyak is now the UEFA Cup's joint top scorer this season with seven goals.

Russian clubs are well-known for their almost pathological tendency to give away last second goals in vital matches, but Zenit displayed a most uncommon maturity to see the match out to the end, and could well have had a third as they looked to hit Marseille on the counterattack.

"The supporters were the twelfth man," said the Russian Premier League's most expensive footballer, Ukrainian midfield international Anatoliy Tymoschuk. "We didn't stop for a minute, and achieved what we set out to do."

Zenit will learn their quarter final opponents on Friday as they continue their bid to repeat CSKA Moscow's 2005 triumph in Europe's second most prestigious club tournament.

The result means that Russia rise to sixth place in UEFA's club ratings, ensuring that the country will have three clubs in the 2008/09 Champions League. Two of the clubs will start from the group stage, and one of them from the qualifying rounds. This will be the first time Russia has had so many representatives in Europe's biggest club tournament.


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