Europa League: Dundalk v Zenit

The Lilywhites can go top of Group D with Manchester United also in action

Ruaidhrí Croke Thu, Oct 20
 
LIVE: Europa League: Dundalk v Zenit

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  • 19:14

    Good evening and welcome to The Irish Times liveblog of Dundalk's clash with Zenit St Petserburg in the Europa League at Tallaght Stadium! I'm Ruaidhrí Croke and I'll be with you for the evening as Stephen Kenny's side look to add to the four points that they've already accrued in Group D. You can get involved by using the 'Contact Us' button at the top of the blog or you can get me on Twitter @Ruaidhri_Croke.

    It's hard to believe but, if Dundalk can manage the seemingly impossible and win tonight then they will go top of the group after three games. Just to put some perspective on it: Zenit's squad is made up of 21 full internationals and cost €145 million. Dundalk's contains one full international and cost about €20,000. It's safe to say they're up against it tonight.

    Also this evening Manchester United take on Fenerbache at Old Trafford as they look to pull themselves towards the top of Group A.

    Team news from Tallaght on the way!

  • 19:20

    DUNDALK: Gabriel Sava; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle (C), Dane Massey; Robbie Benson. Ronan Finn, Chris Shields, Daryl Horgan; Patrick McEleney, David McMillan.

    Subs: Gary Rogers, John Mountney, Patrick Barrett, Ciaran Kilduff, Dean Shiels, Darren Meenan, Alan Keane.

    ZENIT: Yuri Lodygin, Aleksandr Anyukov, Luis Neto, Nicolas Lombaerts, Domenico Criscito; Oleg Shatov, Javi Garcia (C), Axel Witsel, Robert Mak; Artem Dzyuba, Giuliano.

    Subs: Mikhail Kerzhakov, Ivan Novoseltsev, Mauricio, Aleksandr Kokorin, Alexsandr Kerzhakov, Artur Yusupov, Luka Djorjevic.

  • 19:27

    In Milan, Antonio Candreva has just given Inter the lead against Southampton. There's just over 20 minutes left in that one.

    But let's get to matters in Tallaght - Gabriel Sava continues in goal for Dundalk as Stephen Kenny has again decided to leave out Gary Rogers after a few recent mistakes.

    Stephen O'Donnell however will be a big miss as the captain failed a late fitness test and will play no part tonight. He's been instrumental for Dundalk this season and for a number of years now and will leave a tough hole to fill in the centre of midfield. Chris Shields has been tasked with doing exactly that.

  • 19:32
  • 19:33

    At Old Trafford Manchester United make seven changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Liverpool on Monday night.


    Meanwhile Robin van Persie is in the starting line-up for Fenerbache against his former club.

    Like proceedings at Tallaght Stadium, that game kicks off at 8.05pm.
  • 19:45
  • 19:53
  • 19:54
    Present in Tallaght tonight is Ireland assistant manager Rory Keane. He'll be checking out the talent and reporting back to Martin O'Neill. Surely, surely, Daryl Horgan has to be in the next Ireland squad.
  • 20:00

    Ok, here we go. Just five minutes until kick-off now and the teams are in the tunnel.

    This is going to be a monumental task for Dundalk tonight as they come up against a Zenit side that have won their opening two games, scoring nine goals and conceding just three. Last day out they hammered AZ Alkmaar 5-0.  

    Dundalk are underdogs to say the least but they've defied the odds so many times already this season so why not again?

  • 20:06
    1 min: Zenit get the game underway in Tallaght!  (Dundalk 0 Zenit 0)
  • 20:09
    3 mins: Dundalk probably aren't going to see much of the ball this evening and already have barely had a kick. Zenit are controlling the pace so far with Dundalk packing 10 men behind the ball.  (Dundalk 0 Zenit 0)
  • 20:12
    4 mins: The first corner of the game goes to Zenit but Brian Gartland gets up well to clear the danger. Dundalk are going to need serious discipline and concentration this evening, they're already chasing the light blue shirts all over the pitch.  (Dundalk 0 Zenit 0)
  • 20:14
    7 mins: Chance for Dundalk! What a chance to take an unlikely early lead! Sean Gannon came out from right back with the ball at his feet and found Ronan Finn in the middle of the pitch. The Dundalk midfielder turned and found David McMillan who returned it to his team mate over the top, setting him away one on one against Lombaerts. Finn absolutely left the Zenit defender for dead and surged towards goal but his effort from a tight enough angle on the right slid inches past the post.  (Dundalk 0 Zenit 0)
  • 20:17

    11 mins: Anyukov is causing serious problems down the right and keeps getting in behind Horgan to have a free run at Dane Massey. His latest foray down that wing leads to a corner but again Dundalk are able to deal with it.  (Dundalk 0 Zenit 0)

  • 20:21
    15 mins: Dundalk are really holding their own here and causing Zenit a few problems. After a foul on McMillan on the right they get a free-kick which is delivered into the box but the Zenit defence are able to deal with it. The home side have really come into it the last 10 minutes or so however and are putting it right up to the visitors.  (Dundalk 0 Zenit 0)
  • 20:23
  • 20:26
    20 mins: Dundalk win a corner on the right which McEleney takes but it's cleared. Zenit look to break as Witsel bursts through the middle towards the Dundalk box but Shields tracks him all the way and clears. Excellent work from the Dundalk man.  (Dundalk 0 Zenit 0)
  • 20:31
    24 mins: Zenit really are very good at keeping the ball and they're forcing Dundalk to chase. Eventually Shields intercepts and wins a free-kick which gives his side a breather but Zenit win it straight back. This is going to be a tough night stamina-wise for Dundalk. Zenit have had 70 per cent possession so far but Dundalk have still managed to create one or two decent chances.  (Dundalk 0 Zenit 0)
  • 20:37

    29 mins: Zenit are controlling all of the possession now and Dundalk are really struggling to even get a kick. Shatov cut inside from the left and was hacked down by Gannon with what looked to be a certain foul but somehow the referee managed to see it as a dive and booked the Zenit player.  

  • 20:38

    MANCHESTER UNITED 1 FENERBACHE 0 (POGBA, 31')

    The Frenchman opens the scoring for United from the spot with an excellent penalty.

  • 20:41
    35 mins: Dundalk have come back into it a bit now in the last five minutes or so and have been able to keep the ball. McMillan wins a corner on the right which eventually finds the head of Massey on the edge of the box but his effort flies inches over the bar!  (Dundalk 0 Zenit 0)
  • 20:42

    MANCHESTER UNITED 2 FENERBACHE 0 (MARTIAL, 34')

    United double their lead with a second spot kick, this time it's Martial who fires it home.

  • 20:44
    37 mins: Superb feet from Benson leaves Garcia for dead 40 yards from goal and the Zenit man drags him down, giving away a free-kick and picking up a yellow card. Horgan stands over the ball...(Dundalk 0 Zenit 0)
  • 20:44
    38 mins: And delivers a great ball to the head of Gartland but the flag goes up for offside. Dundalk are really putting it up to the visitors here.  (Dundalk 0 Zenit 0)
  • 20:51
    44 mins: Zenit get a corner late on but Dundalk deal with it after the visitors opt to play it short. The home side look very comfortable it has to be said.  (Dundalk 0 Zenit 0)
  • 20:52
    HALF TIME: DUNDALK 0 ZENIT 0
  • 20:54

    MANCHESTER UNITED 3 FENERBACHE 0 (POGBA, 45+1')

    It's a brace for Pogba as he curls in a screamer from the edge of the box!

  • 20:59

    So Dundalk go into the break having chased the ball for much of the opening 45 minutes but they have been very comfortable.

    Zenit haven't really created anything of note while Dundalk have probably had the best chance of the game in the form of Finn's shot which slid inches wide of the post.

    Stephen Kenny will be delighted with his team's discipline defensively and they certainly look a threat on the counter attack.

  • 21:08
    46 mins: Dundalk get the second half underway!  (Dundalk 0 Zenit 0)
  • 21:12

    MANCHESTER UNITED 4 FENERBACHE 0 (LINGARD, 48')

    United are absolutely running riot at Old Trafford now as Lingard thumps home a fourth from 20 yards.

  • 21:15
    50 mins: Chance for Zenit! Dzyouba wriggles free into space on the right and slips it past Gannon who had been attracted to the ball. Shatov ran onto it and into the space behind, looking for Mak at the back post but his low cross was just a little too heavy and ran out of play.  (Dundalk 0 Zenit 0)
  • 21:16

    GOAL FOR DUNDALK!!! (BENSON, 52')

    DUNDALK 1 ZENIT 0

  • 21:18
    53 mins: Oh my word! What is happening?! Dundalk lead Russian giants Zenit in the Europa League! Incredible stuff! A quick break after Shatov's shot went wide found Benson 30 yards from goal and in space. He hit a hopeful shot towards goal which should easily have been dealt with by Lodygin but the Zenit goalkeeper inexplicably misjudged it and dived almost completely out of the way as Benson's shot bobbled over the line!  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 0)
  • 21:21

    58 mins: This really is absolutely astonishing stuff. Dundalk were 11/1 at the start of this game you have to remember. This Zenit squad is worth €145 million and contains 21 full internationals.

    Still a long, long way to go however and Dundalk need to maintain their discipline. Fitness is going to be the key now, especially after the amount of games they've played recently.  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 0)

  • 21:24
    59 mins: Horgan plays a beautiful round the corner pass to McMillan on the halfway line. The Dundalk man is scythed down from behind by Neto and the Zenit defender has his added to the referee's book. Just 30 minutes to go now, can Dundalk hold on?  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 0)
  • 21:25
    61 mins: Yet more excellent play from McMillan draws a foul and gets Dundalk a free kick. He burst down the left and was pulled down cynically by Anyukov who also receives a yellow card.  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 0)
  • 21:26
    62 mins: Dundalk hit the post! They nearly doubled their lead! A superb ball in from Horgan from that free-kick is met by the head of Massey who came charging into the box and is unlucky to see his effort crash off the post. Zenit are absolutely rocked here!  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 0)
  • 21:28

    64 mins: Zenit get a corner after Kokorin - who has just come on to replace Shatov - wriggled through to the edge of the box and saw his shot take a deflection and flash wide.

    The cross comes into the middle but Sava is out strong to catch and allow his team to regroup.  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 0)

  • 21:30
    66 mins: Zenit are really pushing now and forcing Dundalk to get everyone behind the ball. The home side are continuing to defend excellently and are throwing their bodies on the line, Gartland the latest to block a Giuliano shot from the edge of the box.  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 0)
  • 21:32

    68 mins: David McMillan has been absolutely superb tonight. He's given the Zenit defence a serious workload and once again wins a free-kick in a good position. Again it was a tackle from behind and again it's a yellow card - this time for Criscito.

    Horgan's ball in is too close to the goalkeeper and Zenit get the goalkick.  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 0)

  • 21:34

    GOAL FOR ZENIT! (MAK, 70')

    DUNDALK 1 ZENIT 1

  • 21:36
    72 mins: Zenit finally get their equaliser but it's a heartbreaking one for Dundalk. A backpass to Sava possibly bobbled as it got to him but the goalkeeper completely misjudged it and his clearance was scooped straight into the air, landing on the chest of Giuliano. He took it down and played in Mak who coolly slotted home to level the scores.  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 1)
  • 21:36
    73 mins: Ciaran Kilduff replaces McMillan for Dundalk. Can he continue his European heroics?  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 1)
  • 21:40

    GOAL FOR ZENIT! (GIULIANO, 77')

    DUNDALK 1 ZENIT 2

  • 21:42
    78 mins: Dundalk are lagging a bit now and it shows as Zenit easily slice through the back four. Gartland was drawn to Witsel at the edge of the box, leaving a big gap in behind. The Belgian slipped it inside to Giuliano before getting it back from the Brazlian. Witsel dribbled to the byline before pulling it back for Giuliano again who was able to tap home. A beautifully worked goal.  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 2)
  • 21:43
    80 mins: John Mountney replaces Benson for Dundalk as they chase an equaliser.  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 2)
  • 21:44
    81 mins: McEleney shoots from range but Neto gets enough of a block in to divert it from goal.  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 2)
  • 21:46
    83 mins: In the other group game Macabbi Tel-Aviv have gone 2-1 up against AZ Alkmaar.  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 2)
  • 21:47
  • 21:48
    84 mins: Dundalk are struggling to get a hold of the ball now as Zenit look to close this out. They have a free kick in a decent position but they're perfectly content to play it back and stroke it around, forcing Dundalk to chase.  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 2)
  • 21:50
    86 mins: Dean Shiels replaces Shields for Dundalk. Do they maybe have that last ounce of energy needed to mount another attack? They'll need to get the ball first.  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 2)
  • 21:52
    88 mins: Dundalk finally get the ball and almost create a chance! Horgan flights a good ball in towards the penalty spot which Kilduff rises to meet but Lombaerts is able to do enough in front of him to divert it back to the goalkeeper.  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 2)
  • 21:53
    89 mins: Penalty for Zenit!  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 2)
  • 21:54
    90 mins: Sava saves the penalty!  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 2)
  • 21:55
    90+1 mins: It's not over just yet! It was a dead cert penalty after Gartland barged into Mauricio on the edge of the box and received a yellow card for his troubles. The Zenit player got up to take the penalty but it was a poor effort and Sava saved well down to his left. Dundalk break away but Criscito has gone down and needs treatment so the game is stopped. We'll have three minutes of added time!  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 2)
  • 21:56
    90+3 mins: Dean Shiels is foulded on the halfway line and Dundalk have a free kic. Everyone piles forward...(Dundalk 1 Zenit 2)
  • 21:57
    90+4 mins: And it's a shocking delivery! Sava came forward to take it but compltely miskicked, his effort scuttling along the ground before Zenit easily clear. The Dundalk 'keeper has had a bit of a nightmare tonight.  (Dundalk 1 Zenit 2)
  • 21:58

    FULL TIMES

    DUNDALK 1 ZENIT 2

    MANCHESTER UNITED 4 FENERBACHE 1

  • 22:00

    Dundalk suffer their first Europa League defeat while Maccabi take all three points from AZ Alkmaar.  

    Group standings

    1. Zenit 9pts

    2. Dundalk 4pts

    3. Maccabi 3pts

    4. Alkmaar 1pt

  • 22:03

    In the end it was the fair result as Zenit's class shone through late on but Dundalk can take huge heart from how they pushed the Russians all the way.  

    They're still in with an excellent chance of qualifying for the knockout stages with Zenit to come away from home in their next game before AZ Alkmaar at home and Maccabi Tel-Aviv away in what could be a crucial final game.

  • 22:15

    That's it from me for this evening. Dundalk put in a sterling performance against one of the biggest names in European football and can take a lot from it.

    But next up for the Lilywhites is the opportunity to win the league on Sunday!

    Make sure to stay tuned to irishtimes.com/sport for Emmet Malone's report from Tallaght Stadium. Thanks for reading, bye!