In what was a well balanced game, the first half-time was dominated by CSKA Moscow, the team did not let Spartak Moscow express in attack with good defensive organisation, the team played in a 5-3-2 that restrained attacking player, so Bakaev did not have space to influence the game. CSKA could count on a Nikola Vlasic for the big day, he scored to give his side the lead in the first half. In the second half, Spartak Moscow put on an improved performance, but whilst they was dominating and becoming progressively more dangerous, Roman Zobnin was sent off after a violent act. In numerical superiority and with a vigilant Akinfeev, CSKA kept the lead and secured the victory at the end with a second goal from Nikola Vlasic.


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Nikola Vlašić

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Croatian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 04/10/1997
  • Current Club: CSKA Moscow
  • Career: NK Omladinac Vranjic (Y), HNK Hajduk Split (Y), Everton, CSKA Moscow (L)
  • Position: Attacking Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Nikola Vlašić played as an attacking midfielder in this 3-4-2-1 system, he had the responsibility to hold the ball and launch transitions to inject energy into the attack.

He had a lot of energy activity in the midfield which impacted the effectiveness of his team at different positions on the field. His technical ability allows him the freedom of play to interact at different points on the field. He alternated his positioning, offering support between the lines or occupying deepers positions during the build up play. His tight ball control helps him to dominate the ball, he can attack open space, but also take advantage in tight areas, dribbling past his opponents by varying the rhythm and direction of his run to attack.

His great balance means he make use of his body to hold and protect the ball and secure possession. During this match, he disturbed the defensive lines of Spartak Moscow, he was the player who made the most successful dribbles (4 dribbles succeeded from 6 attempted). He impact the game during the build up play, using his technical ability to drive with the ball in key areas, but also with his good passing vision, to put his teammates in good situations to score (With 6 key passes, the most successful in this match), he also posed a threat from set pieces. With his 2 goals, he secured victory for his team. The first goal came from a long range shot with his right foot that deceived Aleksandr Maksimenko. His second goal came from a counter attack led by Arnór Sigurðsson who found Vlasic in support who found himself in a 1v1 situation against Aleksandr Maksimenko which he won with a clever shot from his left foot to lob Spartak’s goalkeeper.

At the defensive level, he did the minimum. CSKA Moscow shaped up in a 5-3-2, where joined Ivan Oblyakov and Konstantin Maradishvil in midfield. His main defensive duty was to mark Nail Umyarov to limit options and disturb Spartak’s build up play. He’s a player who is not scared of contact, his solidity helps him to respond in the challenges, but on the contrary, he showed an inefficiency in aerial duels winning only one duel from 8 attempted, an aspect where he can improve. He creates great opportunities for himself, however, his decision making could improve as he often shot when it was perhaps not the best option.

Nikola Vlašić showed himself to be one of the best players in RPL, he can directly influence a game with his technical quality and great vision. With 10 goals, he is one of the top goal scorers in the championship. With only 4 assists, he can still increase his impact on his creativity to create better chances for his teammates.

Rating: A1

Ivan Oblyakov

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Russian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 07/05/1998
  • Current Club: CSKA Moscow
  • Career: SShOR Zenit St. Petersburg (Y), Ufa (Y)
  • Position: Central Midfielder
  • Secondary Position: Left Midfielder / Attacking Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Left

Ivan Oblyakov played alongside Konstantin Maradishvili in the midfield, he adapted his positioning with his midfield partner during the different phases of play, though he mostly operated on the left side.

At the first stage of play, he offered a simple option for defenders facilitating quick movement of the ball. His technical ability helps him to hold the ball in deeper position and resis pressure with a capacity to drive the ball forward and relieve and pressure on the defensive line. He’s an intelligent player who adjusts his positioning with his teammates during different phases of play. In defensive plays, his deep position and his good reading of the game permits him to anticipate and cut passing lanes to intercept and launch counter attacks.

He often recovered balls with interceptions and drove the ball forward to attack. In build up play, his positioning offered support and facilitated progression of the ball into the opponent’s half. He also offered a linkwith his precise left foot to find forwards, with his long balls into active players between the lines. At the base of the attack, he can hold and protect the ball before and delivering passes to switch the play, his left foot permits him to accurately make short and long passes. He showed difficulty when he had to play with his right foot, with imprecise passes. He sometimes took attacking responsibility, occupying a high position and using his left foot to shoot from range.

During the first half, the 5-3-2 established by CSKA Moscow totally restrained the attacking play from Spartak Moscow. In this defensive system, Ivan Oblyakov occupied a place in the three man midfield. He mostly occupied the left side to defend, marking players who came to his side to close down their space and deny them time on the ball. He was confronted most of the time by Roman Zobnin, restraining his influence in attacking play effectively. His defensive work totally frustrated Roman Zobnin who after 77 minutes of play, elbowed Ivan Oblyakov and this uncontrolled act resulted in Zobnin receivimg a red card and permited CSKA Moscow to finish the game with a numerical superiority. His defensive play restrained the activity between the lines. He’s not a strong player physcially, but he can adjust his position with his good coordination to protect and recover the ball, but he won’t use his physical strength to dominate his opponents. In the air he is totally absent not only when challenging for headers, but also in the precision of his heading game, this might be an aspect that he could improve upon.

A midfielder who brings intelligence to the midfield, helping his team in build up play, with this capacity to link the play from defenders to forwards with his precise left foot. His left foot is a strong asset to develop attacks and he offers support with his positional play, but can still improve his defensive contribution primarily when he plays in a midfield partnership.

Rating: B1/A2

Igor Diveev

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Russian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 27/09/1999
  • Current Club: CSKA Moscow
  • Career: Ufa (Y), CSKA Moscow (L)
  • Position: Central Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

He played in a back three with Kirill Nababkin and Hörður Magnússon and occupied the central role.

In a deeper position than his defensive partners, he had more space and time to attack and stop direct play from Spartak Moscow. Contrary to his partners, most of his challenge were aerial. He had to confront the tall and powerful Aleksandr Sobolev but Igor Diveev has a more than adequate physical structure to respond at this level. Indeed, Igor Diveev is a tall (193 cm) and strong defender, this stature gives him a natural advantage in the challenge when physically battling his opponents. During this match, he was dominant in the air, with 8 aerial duels won from 9 attempted, he was the most effective player in this aspect. This aerial presence can also be a threat from attacking set pieces. For the second goal, he won the challenge that started the counter attack that lead to the goal for Nikola Vlasic. His physical domination permits him to defend in higher positions, but also in his own penalty area, he found good positions to close spaces and stop attacks with his good reading of the game. In a back three, he can have more freedom to cover and clear the area with his good presence.

He is strong in his marking, but he had to adjust his interventions, as if his partners did not compensate for his aggressivve movement to step up and attack the ball, he could leave an open space in the defence which the opponent could exploit. In this position of last defender, he needed to be vigilant with the ball at his feet, he made a few errors at the first stage of play but he succeeded to recover the ball after it. He did not take a lot of risk with the ball, he did not hold on to it too much and with his position between the two other defenders, he had options on either side. With space and time, he tried to play vertically with the long ball, and was fairly accurate. This precision in his progressive passes is an advantage to exploit space and launch attacks from deeper position.

In a game where CSKA Moscow dominated for long periods, Igor Diveev was not really exposed to the attack from Spartak Moscow. He was vigilant and made good interventions in different areas of the field to solidify the defensive block of his team. His power and precision of play help him to be a reliable defender in the back line.

Rating: B1/A2


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