Formidable Zenit crush Bayern

ZENIT St Petersburg secured passage to their first-ever European final in emphatic fashion after inflicting a humiliating defeat on Bayern Munich in their UEFA Cup semi-final second-leg clash at Petrovsky Stadium.

After holding the German outfit to a 1-1 draw in the first leg at the Allianz Arena last week, first-half goals from Konstatin Zyryanov and Pavel Pogrebniak set Dick Advocaat’s men on their way to the final at the City of Manchester Stadium on May 14.

Viktor Faitzulin added a third 11 minutes after the restart while Pogrebniak’s second of the night after 73 minutes ensured Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld’s final European campaign before taking up the reins of the Swiss national team ended on a sour note.

The night ended badly for two-goal hero Pogrebniak, however, after he received a yellow card for an innocuous aerial challenge with Lucio that means the tournament’s top scorer, with 11 goals, will not feature in the final.

Bayern almost made a dream start, when the hosts were forced to clear off their line inside the first 90 seconds.

Miroslav Klose had the early chance, lofting the ball over the Zenit goalkeeper Viacheslav Malafeev, only to see a defender hook the ball clear of danger.

Zenit survived that scare to take the lead less than three minutes later.

A free-kick 25 yards out was left to Pogrebniak, who fired home down the middle of the goal when the wall broke in front of the unsighted Oliver Kahn.

Six minutes before half-time, Zenit went two goals ahead.

Alejandro Dominguez passed the ball to Zyrianov, who sent Bayern’s Martin Demichelis the wrong way with a delightful body feint, before surging into the box and finishing beyond the advancing Kahn with a lofted shot into the left corner.

The result was put beyond all doubt after 56 minutes. A brisk Zenit passing move resulted in Aleksandr Aniukov being set free in space down the right channel, and his cross was met with a thundering header by Faitzulin.

On 73 minutes the hosts were home and hosed, as Alejandro Dominguez centred low for Pogrebniak to score with a controlled side-footed finish from 18 yards that wrong-footed Kahn and set the seal on a famous win for the Russian champions.

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