Things just got tougher!
The players were met by wintery conditions. And OL were caught cold when Zenit had a chance in the first seconds of the match after a turnover. OL slowly got into the game. OL took control of the ball, but Zenit played the counterattack to perfection. Yanga-Mbiwa had the first chance of the match from Valbuena's free-kick. Kerjakov saved. Dziouba then opened the scoring in the third minute. Zenit played direct football and looked dangerous. Ferri twice fired over. It was tough going in the first half against an organised Zenit.
Jallet almost equalised and then provided Lacazette to do just that from a cross from the right. OL were back in the match. Hulk then fired Zenit back in front with a piece of individual brilliance and a long range missile. OL had to do it all over again. OL were playing high up the pitch and winning challenges. Dziouba missed another chance on the counter. Ghezzal came on for Ferri. Hulk was dangerous with every touch. OL fought magnificently. The game looked as if it could go either way. Lacazette had a chance to equalize, Umtiti as well... Beauvue replaced Lacazette. Unfortunately, Danny killed off OL's chances on the counterattack again. And that was that...
OL could have hoped for more, given their second-half performance. With just one point from their opening three matches in the competition and Valencia's win over Gent, qualification for the last-16 is looking more and more unlikely.
In Saint Petersburg, Stade Petrovski, 18,000 spectators; Referee: M. Atkinson (Eng). Zenit 3-1 OL (H-T: 1-0).
FC Zenit : Kerjakov – Anioukov, Lombaerts, Garay, Criscito – Javi Garcia (Neto 84'), Danny (c) (Ryazantsev 88'), Witsel – Hulk, Dziouba (Yusupov 74'), Chatov. Coach: Villas-Boas.
OL: Lopes – Jallet, Yanga-Mbiwa, Umtiti, Morel – Gonalons (c), Ferri (Ghezzal 70'), Tolisso – Valbuena, Lacazette (Beauvue 79'), Rafaël (Cornet 83'). Coach: Fournier.
Goals: Dziouba (Z) 3', Lacazette (OL) 47', Hulk (Z) 57', Danny (Z) 82'
Bookings: Hulk (Z) 5', Gonalons (OL) 38', Rafaël (OL) 46', Javi Garcia (Z) 48', Umtiti (OL) 48', Yanga-Mbiwa (OL) 89'.