Spartak Moscow are a step closer to the group stages of the Champions League, after beating visiting Fenerbahce 2-1 in the qualifying playoffs.
Spartak needed nearly an hour to capitalize on their territorial advantage, with Emmanuel Emenike breaking the deadlock.
The striker, who came to Moscow from Fenerbahce, upset his former teammates by turning a great cross from Dmitry Kombarov into a goal to make it 1-0.
The Turks equalized six minutes later, capitalizing on keeper Andrey Dikan’s mistake, who was too early to leave his goal.
Moussa Sow passed to Dirk Kuyt, with the Fenerbahce striker having few problems scoring into an empty net, 1-1.
But on the 69th minute Spartak restored their lead, when Kombarov fired a low shot past goalie Mert Gunok, after a corner fed in by Aiden McGeady.
The Muscovites kept looking for more goals, with McGeady coming the closest to netting the third, but the score remained unchanged.
“Victory was Spartak’s main task in this match and we achieved it,” Unai Emery, Spartak’s coach told Sportbox.ru. “The only thing that spoils the mood is the goal we conceded. We were planning to control the game from start to finish and we did that. I'm satisfied with our performance. We’ve chosen the right path and we’ll keep moving in this direction. We only allowed our rivals to create two chances in front of goal… The game was under our control for the whole 90 minutes. Our opponents were under constant pressure.”
“Next week, we’ll have an interesting and difficult game in Turkey. We will do everything to pass Fenerbahce,” he added.
Spartak has won the match, but there are some other worries on the club’s mind.
The Red-and-Whites have been put on probation by UEFA after the awful behavior of their fans in Slovakia two years ago.
But fireworks were once again seen in the stands at the Luzhniki stadium, which puts Spartak at risk of a huge fine or even exclusion from the Champions League.
The Moscow side travel to Turkey for the away leg, which is scheduled to take place on August 29.