Malcolm lifts Russian Premier League title with Zenit St. Petersburg
A 4-2 victory over third place FC Krasnodar on Sunday was enough to see the Sine-belo-golubye win the title with four games to spare. A 13-point lead at the top means Lokomotiv Moscow in second place can only attain 12 more points at best.
Zenit retained the title it won last year and have now equaled CSKA Moscow with six overall title triumphs. Only Spartak Moscow has won more Russian titles with 10.
Iranian forward Sardar Azmoun netted the ball in the fifth minute, giving Zenit the lead, but Krasnodar’s Daniil Utkin evened the score. A penalty by Artyom Dzyuba put Zenit back in front, but Utkin made it 2-2. Goals by Azmoun and Alexei Sutormin secured the win for Zenit.
Malcom will be delighted to have lifted the Russian title in just his debut season at the club. The Brazilian winger only joined the Russian giants last summer in a €40 million deal from Barcelona.
The 23-year-old saw a tough start to life in the country and was initially faced with cases of racism just days after completing his move to Zenit.
That saga was over and Malcom looked to be making a claim into the Zenit starting eleven until injury hampered his progress. In the course of the season, he was only able to make 10 appearances and 646 league minutes in total, scoring three goals in the process.
For Malcom, the target now would be to see a strong individual campaign next term where he can stay injury free. Also on his agenda would be striving hard to impress Brazil coach Tite, with the 23-year-old still uncapped in the national team.