Beloved football team of St. Petersburg, Zenit, has taken a two point loss to their lead at the top of the Russian Premier League, following a draw against team FC Krasnodar.
The Zenit team coach, Andre Villas-Boas, was indignant about the loss and accused the referee of making numerous mistakes in his handling of the game.
The draw has allowed the second place team CSKA Moscow, which has won its last five games, to make up ground in the rankings.
Zenit has been a long time favorite of the population of Saint Petersburg. Founded in the Soviet period when the city was still known as Leningrad it was initially subject to a number of name changes, as well as frequently shifting coaches. The issue of sports was at the time highly influenced by politics, and though officially formed in 1925, the team didn’t take definitive form until 1936, when football team Bolshevik joined the Zenit sports society and was renamed. Ultimately the merger between Zenit, Bolshevik, and later on the Stalinets formed the basis for the modern team.
The team performed poorly at first in the larger all Soviet league, but did well regionally, and was always loved by the people of Leningrad. Their first major accomplishment as a team was a victory in the midst of the Great Patriotic War over Moscow team CSKA. Dmitri Shostakovich, famous Soviet composer was a tremendous fan of Zenit and attended many of their games.
Beginning in the 1980s Zenit began to make major gains in the national leagues, and has continued their upward trend since, remaining one of the premier sports teams in Russia even after the collapse of the Soviet Union.