Dzagoev double reveals extent of Russian threat

Russia 4 Czech Republic 1

The Municipal Stadium

Russia went top of Group A in Euro 2012 as Alan Dzagoev's double helped them to an impressive victory over the Czech Republic at the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw.

Dick Advocaat's side made a slow start but soon found their stride to take a 2-0 interval lead through midfielders Dzagoev and Roman Shirokov.

Vaclav Pilar gave the Czechs hope by pulling one back shortly after the break but Dzagoev and substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko, on for the profligate Aleksandr Kerzhakov, sealed the win.

Despite Russia being favourites to top the group, it was the Czechs who settled the better of the two sides.

It took Russia almost a quarter of an hour to muster a meaningful attack, and when they did they came close to taking the lead.

The imperious Andrey Arshavin brilliantly played in Yuri Zhirkov near the left-hand byline but striker Kerzhakov could only steer his effort wide.

But it was a brief reprieve for the Czechs as Dzagoev drove at the heart of their defence to tee Konstantin Zyryanov up for a cross that was headed against the post by Kerzhakov, Dzagoev followed up to slam home the loose ball.

The CSKA Moscow midfielder should have doubled the lead just a few minutes later after another incisive Russian break out, but he flashed wastefully wide of Petr Cech's goal.

Rezek saw a glancing header saved by Vyacheslav Malafeev at the other and but an error from Jaroslav Plasil allowed Russia to make it 2-0 in the 24th minute.

The midfielder gave away possession and Arshavin seized on it, the Arsenal player's pass was meant for Kerzhakov but the striker's miscontrol saw the ball reach Shirokov, who lofted over the advancing Cech.

Plasil was fortunate to get away with a clumsy push on Arshavin in the penalty area, as English World Cup final referee Howard Webb waved away the appeals.

Kerzhakov was once again guilty of being profligate in front of goal 12 minutes before the break, blazing over the bar from Zyryanov's pull back as Russia again toyed with the Czech defence.

Having been second best for much of the opening stanza the Czechs were again on the back foot after the restart with Kerzhakov again going close.

But Russia's momentum was halted in the 52nd minute as they were pegged back by by Pilar.

Bordeaux midfielder Plasil produced a superb pass to cut the Russian defence, allowing diminutive winger Pilar to round Malafeev and find the net.

Buoyed by the goal Michal Bilek's side suddenly looked far more assured and began to take the game to Russia as the match became increasingly open.

Arshavin's artistry meant Russia remained a threat at the other end, but once again Kerzhakov failed to hit the target from a lovely through ball.

The striker's nightmare evening soon got worse as he shot hopelessly wide after cutting inside Michal Kadlec, prompting Advocaat to put him out of his misery and summon Pavlyuchenko from the bench.

Theodor Gebre Selassie almost produced a stunning effort as his first-time volley from a Tomas Rosicky cross flashed narrowly wide of the near post, before the Arsenal midfielder's awkward angled shot was gathered at the second attempt by Malafeev.

But Dzagoev effectively killed the game off when Pavlyuchenko seized on a loose ball 12 minutes from time to set up the midfielder to plant a firm shot beyond Cech.

Pavlyuchenko then put a gloss on the win as he tricked his way into the box before firing into the roof of the net.

Man of the match Arshavin.

Match rating 7/10.

Possession: Russia 49% Czech Republic 51%.

Attempts on target: Russia 7Czech Republic 10.

Referee H Webb (Eng).

Attendance 37,348

News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
News
i100(More than you think)
Sport
Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game