Liverpool beat Salzburg in wild 7-goal thriller

Zenit St Petersburg make it two wins from two by seeing off Gent

30/09/2015

Oleg Shatov's second-half goal earned Zenit St Petersburg a 2-1 Champions League victory over Gent at the Petrovsky Stadium on Tuesday night to strengthen their position at the top of Group H.

Zenit began strongly in front of their home fans, but had to wait until the 35th minute to take the lead through Artem Dzyuba's close-range header.

Thomas Matton's fine 56th-minute volley drew Gent level before Shatov's cool finish 11 minutes later sealed all three points for the hosts.

Back-to-back wins from their first two games means the Russians sit top of their group on six points - three points clear of second-placed side Valencia - while Gent, who drew 1-1 at home against Lyon on matchday one despite being reduced to nine men, slumped to bottom of the table along with the Ligue 1 side.

Zenit began their group-stage campaign with a thrilling 3-2 win at Valencia and midfielder Axel Witsel, who scored the winner at the Mestalla, wasted a glorious chance to give the hosts a fifth-minute lead when he diverted Hulk's low cross over the crossbar.

Gent goalkeeper Matz Sels made a late penalty save to deny Lyon victory last time out and had to be alert four minutes later to keep out Danny's goal-bound effort from Hulk's out-swinging corner.

At the other end, Gent midfielder Kenny Saief very nearly turned Nana Akwasi Asare's left-wing cross into Mikhail Kerzhakov's net.

Zenit took the lead after 35 minutes when Hulk, who bagged a brace against Valencia but very nearly missed this match with a hip injury, swept a pin-point cross from the left into the area and Dzyuba guided his close-range header past Sels and into the net.

Gent had avoided defeat in their first 11 games of the season and their resilience paid off 11 minutes into the second half as midfielder Matton unleashed a low left-footed volley to draw them level.

Dzyuba thought he had won Zenit a penalty moments later when he appeared to be pushed as he tried to head Hulk's cross beyond Sels, but referee Matej Jug turned down the home side's spot-kick appeals.

Zenit were not to be denied a short while later, however, as Hulk went on another one of his trademark runs before sending Shatov clear on goal with a delightful through-ball and the Russia international secured victory by coolly lifting over the onrushing Sels and into the empty goal.

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