Live Commentary: Austria Vienna vs. Zenit St Petersburg - as it happened

Live Commentary: Vienna vs. Zenit - as it happened
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Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Austria Vienna vs. Zenit St Petersburg.

Austria Vienna hosted Zenit St Petersburg in Group G of the Champions League tonight.

For Zenit, they knew that a win would send them through to the last 16, although they would still achieve that if Porto failed to beat Atletico Madrid.

The visitors took the lead in the first half when Alexander Kerzhakov slotted in, but Philipp Hosiner equalised just before the break.

In the second half Vienna dominated their opponents and ran out comfortable 4-1 winners, but the Russians progressed because of Porto's defeat in Spain.

Read how the action unfolded below.


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6.45pmEvening all. It's another night of Champions League football for us to get excited about. Despite Atletico Madrid having Group G wrapped up, there's plenty still to play for.

6.47pmIt all comes down to who will take second in the group and therefore join Atletico in the last 16. Zenit St Petersburg can confirm a place in the knockout stages with a win tonight, but if Porto fail to win in Spain, then Zenit are through no matter what happens here in Austria.

6.49pmFor the home side, it's all about pride. They will finish bottom even with a win, but they are sure to put up a fight as they look to end their European campaign on a high.

6.52pmRight, the team news is in.

6.54pmAUSTRIA VIENNA: Lindner; Rogulj, Ortlechner, Suttner, Mader; Holland, Dilaver, Jun, Hosiner; Murg, Stankovic

6.54pmSUBS: Kardum, Ramsebner, Leovac, Koch, Simkovic, Royer, Kienast

6.55pmZENIT: Lodygin; Ansaldi, Criscito, Lombaerts, Hubocan; Shirokov, Zyryanov, Fayzulin, Witsel; Hulk, Kerzhakov

6.56pmSUBS: Baburin, Luis Neto, Smolnikov, Anyukov, Bystrov, Tymoshchuk, Arshavin

6.58pmVienna are missing defender Lukas Rotpuller and midfielder Bernhard Luxbacher, and Kienast, the scorer of their only goal so far in the group stages, is on the bench.

7pmEnglish fans will of course remember Andrey Arshavin from his time at Arsenal. The little striker starts from the bench tonight for Zenit, but the Russians are without Danny, who has scored 12 goals in all competitions so far this season.

7.03pmAnatoliy Tymoshchuk could make his 50th Champions League appearance if he comes off the bench tonight. He has played 28 times for Bayern Munich, 15 for Shakhtar Donetsk and six for current club Zenit.

7.07pmLet's focus on the home side for a few minutes. As I said earlier, they are already out of this year's competition after picking up just one point from five matches. That was a 1-1 draw away at Porto.

7.09pmTheir problem has been scoring goals, with just one registered. However, their coach, Nenad Bjelica, is confident that tonight will be different.

7.11pm"We are motivated for every match, and against Zenit it's a Champions League match which is motivation in itself. Zenit have a good team with superb individuals, but, like us, they are struggling in their league so they have their own problems too. We definitely have a chance to take something from this game," he told reporters.

7.12pm"Zenit are very good on the counterattack. They have power up front. We have to remain rock-solid at the back. We cannot give them space on the break. On the other hand, we want to score some goals," he added.

7.14pmAs hinted at by Bjelica, Vienna are struggling in their domestic league, too. They have won just four of their last 15 games in all competitions, losing ten of their last 20. On Saturday, they drew 2-2 with Admira Wacker Modling, despite being 2-0 up.

7.18pmThat run of form means that Vienna are 11 points behind league leaders Salzburg. Last season, under the management of Peter Stoger, the club won their 24th league title, but it looks unlikely they will retain it this year.

7.21pmStoger left for Cologne in the summer and was replaced by Bjelica, who earned praise for taking Wolfsberger AC to a mid-table finish.

7.25pmAs for Zenit, tonight is a chance to reach the knockout stages for a second time. They previously made it to the last 16 in the 2011-2012 season, where they lost to Benfica.

7.27pmHowever, despite being in pole position to make that a reality, Zenit have hardly set the world alight. They have drawn all three of their home group-stage fixtures, with their solitary win coming away at Porto.

7.30pmLike their hosts, they have struggled in their domestic fixtures, with a 2-1 win over Ural representing their first success in eight games. Nevertheless, Luciano Spalletti wants his players to attack from the first minute against Vienna.

7.32pm"We will have to give our best to succeed tomorrow. Austria have put in some solid performances defensively, but I expect them to attack tomorrow, because of the nature of the game. Our task is to respond to it, we must play offensive football, attack. Austria will have no fear to attack, they have nothing to lose," he told reporters.

7.34pmHe continued: "The match will not be easy, Austria will give their best, it is a Champions League game after all. We still have everything in our hands. We must focus on our own match."

7.36pmThe key for Zenit tonight could be Hulk, who has 12 goals in his last 18 games. If he's on form, then it could be a long night for the Vienna defence.

7.40pmThe previous match between these sides ended in a 0-0 draw. Fingers crossed that we see a few goals tonight. Looking at the teams, Zenit look the more likely, with plenty of skill sitting on the bench as well.

7.41pmPrediction: The players are in the tunnel, so just time for a prediction. Even though the home side have nothing to play for, they will want to go out with a bang. Taking that and Zenit's quality into account, I'm going for a 2-2 draw.

0 minKICKOFF! We are underway in Group G.

2 minOVER THE BAR! Decent start by Zenit, who move the ball forward with pace. However, the move ends with Hulk smashing a shot over the bar from 25 yards.

3 minThere's an obvious gulf in class in the early stages. Vienna are struggling to keep hold of the ball, but Zenit seem happy to keep it in the middle of the park.

4 minVienna are sitting quite deep here. I'm not sure if it's wise to invite pressure onto the defence, but maybe they are concerned about being beaten by Hulk's power and pace over the top.

7 minCHANCE! Oh, what a great chance for Vienna! Zenit switch off and give the ball away to their opponents. Philipp Hosiner plays a one-two with Tomas Jun and runs clear in the box. However, his shot is poor and Lodigin makes the save.

10 minIt really should be 1-0 to the home side. Hosiner tried to place it with the side of his foot, but it might have been better to go at it with the laces.

11 minIt's better now from Zenit. Hulk accelerates away from his marker on the right-hand side and powers into the box. His cross to the middle is cleared by Ortlechner, however. Seconds later they launch the ball forward, but it's an easy take for Heinza Lindner.

14 minThe away side come forward again and again Hulk is involved. His shot from long range is blocked, but Zenit come again and Shirokov curls in a cross which is half cleared. A neat passing move almost gets Hulk in, but the the ball is slightly over hit.

17 minUPDATE: Atletico Madrid have taken the lead against Porto thanks to Raul Garcia's goal. That's good news for Zenit. As it stands they are through to the last 16.

20 minSAVES! Finally we see some quality. Hulk shows good skill on the left, before cutting in a hammering a low shot at goal, which is well saved by Lindner. The danger isn't over, however, and seconds later Criscito hits one from about 30 yards, but Lindner saves again.

22 minGOOD SAVE! Vienna are lucky to be level here. Ansaldi runs on to a brilliant long pass from Hubocan and has just Lindner to beat. He can't do it, however, as the goalkeeper rushes out to save the home side.

24 minCHANCE! Now Vienna attack as the match (hopefully) comes alive. Zenit concede a free kick, which is delivered to the penalty area where Rogulj gets up the highest. His header is good, but it's a comfortable save for Lodigin.

26 minMISS! And now Hosiner misses the target with a header. Much better from the home side.

29 minDISALLOWED GOAL! Alexander Kerzhakov has the ball in the net, but he's flagged for offside. It was a smart finish, taking the ball down and volleying in, but it was a correct decision.

31 minWe have a halt in proceedings here. There appears to be some unrest in the stadium, with flares being let off.

31 minIt looks like it is in the Zenit section of the crowd where there's trouble. However, the referee restarts play.

32 minCHANCE! Straight from the restart, Thomas Murg clips in a free kick, which is just out of reach of Hosiner. If he could have stretched a bit more that would have been a terrific chance.

35 minGOAL! Austria Vienna 0-1 Zenit (Kerzhakov)

35 minIt's 1-0 to Zenit and as it stands they are cruising into the last 16. Hulk is deeper this time, and plays a lovely through ball, which takes out two defenders. Kerzhakov rounds the goalkeeper and taps the ball in.

39 minNow, Vienna need a response quickly, otherwise Zenit could run away with it. They have been the stronger team, with Hulk causing the home defence all sorts of problems.

40 minYELLOW CARD: Ortlechner gets a booking for a rash challenge on Hulk after the Brazilian had beaten him down the flank. Free kick to Zenit in a decent position.

41 minThe free kick is delivered with pace, but it's a comfortable take for Heinza Lindner. Hulk is down and has asked for treatment after that Ortlechner challenge.

43 minUPDATE: The night gets better for Zenit as Atletico Madrid are 2-0 up against Porto. Diego Costa with the goal.

44 minGOAL! Austria Vienna 1-1 Zenit (Hosiner)

44 minOh my! This is shocking defending from Zenit! They have a free kick in the left-back area, but for some reason decide to take it quickly, back towards their own goal. Hosiner wins it, and smartly rolls the ball into the bottom corner past Lodigin. A composed finish, but suddenly it's 1-1 from nowhere.

45 minHALF TIME: Austria Vienna 1-1 Zenit St Petersburg

8.35pmThat's the end of a decent half of football, but Zenit will be wondering how they are not 1-0 ahead.

8.37pmThe Russians have had 66% of possession and six shots on target. Lindner has made some good stops for the home side, but I'd probably say that Zenit should have created more, considering the time they spent on the ball.

8.40pmTheir failure to do so doesn't look like it will be crucial, however, as Porto are 2-0 down against Atletico Madrid. That said, Luciano Spalletti will be keen to wrap up second spot with a win.

8.44pmThe issue for Zenit has been the final pass. Apart from Hulk, they are lacking a spark in attack and too often, long diagonal balls have drifted out of play. They need to be more clinical around the penalty area.

8.46pmVienna, on the other hand, haven't had enough of the ball to really threaten the away side consistently. They have had their moments but, up until the goal, they were lacking ideas and invention.

46 minKICKOFF! The players are out and the second half has begun.

47 minNothing to report as yet in the second half in terms of chances. As I type that, Vienna launch a free kick, which has the Zenit defenders worried. They manage to get it away, just.

48 minGOAL! Austria Vienna 2-1 Zenit (Jun)

48 minVienna have turned it around, but Zenit are lacking leadership at the back. They fail to properly clear the ball, which results in Markus Suttner crossing the ball, and there is Jun to tap in. Brilliant cross, poor defending.

51 minGOAL! Austria Vienna 3-1 Zenit (Hosiner)

51 minZenit have fallen apart here at the start of the second half. Their players are all over the place, especially in defence. Mader moves forward with the ball with no Zenit player applying pressure. He takes the shot, which is parried by Lodigin, but Hosiner wants it more than the defender and gets there first for his second of the night.

52 minIt's incredible to think that just 10 minutes ago I was discussing how Zenit should be in control of this match. They have much to do to get back in this one. At the moment, they don't look capable.

56 minSHOT! Zenit come forward, but Hulk's shot lacks power and direction and goes into the arms of Lindner. Poor from Hulk, just like this teammates.

58 minWIDE! Another effort for the visitors, as Zyryanov slices a shot wide from 20 yards. I wonder if they are missing Danny tonight?

60 minSUB: Royer comes on for Murg as the hosts make their first switch of the night.

62 minZenit win a corner, but it comes to nothing. They are playing a dangerous game, here. It's as if they went into the dressing room at half time, saw the Porto score, and thought it was job done. They need to work harder off the ball, otherwise it could be four or five.

63 minWIDE! Hulk: brilliant one minute, poor the next. He does the hard part, working space in the box, but then tries too many step overs and curls the ball harmlessly wide of Lindner's post.

64 minZENIT SUB: Spalletti looks utterly mystified on the touchline, and he makes a change, bringing Arshavin on for Zyryanov.

66 minVIENNA SUB: A second change of the night for Vienna, as Simkovic replaces Stankovic.

69 minZenit are a shambles at the moment. Simple passes are going astray, they are devoid of ideas going forward, and the defenders are finding it very difficult to handle Vienna's movement.

72 minIt's almost a hat-trick for Hosiner as he hammers a shot at goal, but he is pulled back for an early foul. Now Zenit come forward as they desperately seek a way back into the game.

74 minOVER THE BAR! This is better from the visitors. They finally put the home defence under sustained pressure, which leads to the ball being cleared to Axel Witsel on the edge of the box. His shot is well over, but at least it's an attempt at goal.

76 minMISS! It should be 3-2, no doubt about it. As I said, Zenit are gradually coming back into the match, and they almost score their second of the night. Hulk shows his good side, turning his marker on the byline before crossing to Kerzhakov, who's first-time shot goes over the bar from six yards out.

78 minHulk wants a free kick deep in the corner of the pitch, but the referee tells him to get back on his feet. He thumps the ground in frustration, but now Vienna have a free kick in dangerous territory.

79 minThe wall does its job, deflecting the ball out for a corner. The Zenit defence deal with the high cross, which is a rarity in this second half.

81 minYELLOW CARD: This sums up Zenit's performance. Hulk is booked for protesting with the referee, I guess about that earlier decision not to award a free kick. He then smacks the ball over the bar with options to his left and right.

83 minZENIT SUBS: Spalletti makes his second and third changes of the night, swapping Fayzulin and Ansaldi for Smolnikov and Bystrov.

85 minVienna are in complete control as we head into the final five minutes. The home fans are in good voice, while the away fans must be scratching their heads. The only word I can use to describe this second-half display by the visitors, is pathetic.

86 minSmolnikov shows some bite, unlike the majority of this teammates, to fight for the ball near the byline. Zenit have been severely lacking in workrate and desire tonight.

88 minMISS! Overlooking what he brings to the team with his skill, is Hulk worthy of a first-team place? On this evidence, no. He beats two men, but then shots wide. Poor finishing again.

89 minCHANCE! Good chance for Vienna to rub salt in Zenit's wounds. Hosiner plays a delicate through ball for Royer, but his shot lacks power and is easy for Lodigin.

93 minGOAL! Austria Vienna 4-1 Zenit (Kienast)

93 minShambolic defending again from Zenit allows Kienast to ghost past a non-existent defence and latch onto Hosiner's cross, which he calmly taps in. Terrible defending, poor goalkeeping, I'm lost for words. Awful from Zenit.

94 minFULL TIME: Austria Vienna 4-1 Zenit St Petersburg

9.41pmIt's a famous win for Vienna who end their European campaign with a well-deserved victory. Zenit progress to the last 16 after Atletico Madrid beat Porto 2-0, but my word, they need to dramatically improve.

9.43pmLuciano Spalletti's men collapsed in the second half after what was a decent first-half showing. They were second to every ball, were beaten far too many times in the air, failed to deal with any Vienna pressure, and, perhaps more worryingly for their manager, lacked desire and hunger.

9.46pmZenit have made history, however, by becoming the team to qualify from the group stages with the lowest amount of points (6). Perhaps that says it all.

9.50pmThe key for Vienna is to use tonight's win as a catalyst for better things in the Austrian league. They finish bottom of Group G with five points, level with Porto. For a club of their size, that's a decent achievement.

9.52pmThat's all we have time for this evening. Thanks for joining us for what was another action-packed night of Champions League football. I'll leave you with our match report, but make sure you stay on the site for the latest reaction.

Zenit's Hulk celebrates after scoring the equaliser against Atletico Madrid during the Champions League on September 18, 2013
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