Zenit had a pretty average preseason and we could have won a trophy if we had played better. We did however do well on the transfer market and made some shrewd deals. Without further ado, here is the preseason.
Our first game was against Metallurg Lipetsk and was a relatively easy game. We scored first with Igor Denisov header and we never looked looked back. Axel Witsel scored another one in the 43rd minute;. The last goal was Witsel again in the 92nd minute, he calmly converted a PK.
Our second game was a hugely frustrating game against FC Istres, a French Side. The D was pitiful and no matter how many goals we scored, it just was not enough. We struck first with a Skirokov finish in the 21st minute before an immediate equalizer came from Barillon of Istres in the 23rd minute. Our new signing Manga scored a head ball off a corner kick before yet another equalizer in the 51st minute. They would score 2 more before we scored a consolation goal in the 81st minute, from Danny.
Our third game was a straight forward match against a better french side than Istres, OGC Nice. This time we were really solid, getting our first goal in the 11th minute from free signing Hubschmann. We followed our first goal with an Axel Witsel goal in the 38th minute. They pulled one back a goal in the 88th minute with a direct finish from Bosetti, but Axel Witsel would not be stopped, the next minute he beat 2 guys before powering a hit past the keeper.
Our 4th game was in the Russian Super Cup against Rubin Kazan, a great test for the season.
What a disaster it turned out to be. Wellington Nem, our new signing from PSG got us off to a roaring start with a powerful finish in the 3rd minute. From there, it all went downhill. In the 9th minute Solomon Rondon beat our keeper while a 32nd minute goal for Rubin would give them the lead. It looked like we would go into half time 2-1 down, but a Cristian Ansladi goal in stoppage time would put the game out of reach for us. But it wasnt over, Rondon scored again in the 61st to increase our misery. That is how the preseason would end for us, in heartbreak.
We were active in the transfer window this summer with some key captures.
The first was Wellington Nem, a fast Brazilian superstar who can play anywhere in the Attack. His versatility makes him a great option for any top team and it was a bargin to take him from PSG for only 11 million pounds. He would score his first competitive goal at Zenit against Rubin in the Russian Cup.
Our next signing was Bruno Ecuele Manga, a center back from Lorient. The 24 year old provides great physicality in the back as well as great heading. The Youngster is a leader already and is a bargain for 15 million pounds.
We also brought in Thomas Hubschmann, a Czech center back to provide more depth. He was brought in on a free.
We also sold Alexandr Bukharov, a striker not needed at the club, to CSKA Mosscow for 3.5 million pounds.
We made 34 million pounds in June and our financial report projects us to improve our financial status in the coming months, so some good news there.