Spartak Moscow 2017 Champions
Russian Premier League side Spartak Moscow were crowned champions on the 7th May beating Siberian side Tom Tomsk 1-0 in front of 42,000 spectators at the Otkritie Arena.
They won the league with three games left to go, after beating Tom Tomsk, Spartak travelled to Perm to face Amkar. The Muscovite side were once again victorious and travelled back to the Russian capital with a 1-0 win over the Krasno-chernye (The Red and Blacks).
Their last home game of the season was against Chechen side Terek Grozny and comfortably beat Rashid Rakhimov’s side 3-0.
Denis Glushakov put the home side in the lead in the fifteenth minute and slotted a low shot passed Terek keeper Evgeniy Gorodov.
Four minutes later Spartak doubled their lead, Zé Luís sent a short pass to Glushakov, both who were inside the Terek box, the former Lokomotiv player cooly chipped the ball over Gorodov, scoring his eighth goal of the season for The Red-Whites.
The Moscow side could have made it 4-0 just before half time with chances coming from Quincy Promes and Glushakov respectively.
In the seventy-third minute Spartak made it 3-0, Dutch International Quincy Promes went on a darting run into the Terek box, skimmed past the Chechen side’s defence and fired a low shot into the keeper’s left handside of the goal.
Despite losing their final game of the 3-0 in Tula against Arsenal, Spartak won the league with sixty nine points, city rivals CSKA came second with sixty two points, and Zenit finished third with sixty one Points.
Back in the 2000/2001 season, the Moscow side finished the season in first place with sixty points under Oleg Romantsev and beat city rivals Lokomotiv by four points to clench the domestic title.
Foreign Influence at Spartak
Image source: Soccer Sweep
It’s fair to say Spartak’s foreign influence has definitely contributed to winning the Russian Premier League title.
Dutch talisman Quincy Promes has scored twelve goals in twenty six appearances for the Moscow side, Zé Luís has also played a key part, scoring five goals from twenty one appearances.
A lot of credit goes to tactician Massimo Carrera for getting his team to play as formidable unit, something previous foreign managers at Spartak have failed to achieve.
Carrera’s caretaker manager position at Juventus definitely helped shape his management skills, during his ten games in charge of the Bianconeri, he won seven games and drew three, in addition, adding the Italian Super Cup to his CV.
The former Juve and Napoli player brought the Italian game with him to Moscow, Spartak this season have focused on improving their defence which has drastically improved since last year. In the 2015/2016 season, The Red Whites kept eleven clean sheets in thirty games, in contract, this season, Spartak kept fourteen clean sheets after twenty eight games.
Not only have they been defensively robust, they have had the attacking arsenal with the likes of Quincy Promes’ dangerous runs and causing havoc in the opposition’s half and also providing essential assists to his team mates.
Not only has the Italian created an all strength team, he has more importantly created a different style of thinking at the Otkritie Arena. This season we’ve seen a resilient and tenacious Spartak team, something former foreign and domestic managers have failed to achieve. Beating the likes of rival sides such as CSKA and Zenit clearly showed just how much they have improved under Massimo Carrera’s leadership.
Sustaining Spartak’s Winning Elements
Image source: Ultras Tifo
Spartak next season have Champions League football to look forward to, any team that travels to Moscow will not expect a walk in the park, it will be interesting how they get on and definitely fancy them to surprise many teams.
It will also be interesting to see if Quincy Promes will stay or leave the Moscow club, either way, it’s a win-win situation. If he stays, he will provide vital assists and goals, on the other hand if he goes to a bigger club, Spartak will definitely receive a decent amount for the twenty five year old Dutchman.
It’s fair to say that it’s exciting times at the Otkritie Arena, not only have the regained the Russian title, they’ve adopted a philosophy that now works to their advantage. With Carrera at the helm, we’ll definitely be expecting him to conjure up some more winning elements into the Spartak side.
*Top image taken from Ultras Tifo