The early Champions League game on Wednesday may well have produced one of the goals of the season as Zenit conjured a 3-2 victory over Benfica in freezing conditions.
Zenit’s second goal was a true beauty. A searching ball was played down the right touchline and Alexander Kerzhakov produced a sublime back heel as he was running out of space on the touchline.
Kerzhakov’s flick fell perfectly into the path of Vladimir Bystrov who crossed first time for Sergei Semak to swivel and knock in a terrific finish with a flying back heel.
Somewhat disappointingly Semak has played down his heroics: “Luck certainly played its part. I was a bit fortunate with the goal; I looked at the situation I was in and took a shot. Luckily for me it managed to go in the bottom corner. I don’t think it was down to my skill as a footballer − on the contrary, it was down to luck.”
Two-goal hero Roman Shirokov was not so sure though: “Semak scored a fantastic goal today. It’s becoming a bit of a habit for him to get spectacular strikes. In last year’s Europa League he also scored a super goal with his left foot.”
(We think, Shirokov was referencing this Sergei Semak goal, scored against Young Boys in the Europa League last season.)