Former Tottenham boss loses first game since July at new club

AVB Alone

Andre Villas-Boas has lost the club's first game since July, as he faces his first challenge at Zenit St Petersburg.

When Daniel Levy decided to sack Andre Villas-Boas in December last year it did not come as a surprise.

They had just lost 5-0 at home to Liverpool, at the time not a Premier League title freight train, and he had also become increasingly detached from the Spurs fans.

The Portuguese boss was installed as the new Zenit St Petersburg manager in March - taking over from the sacked Luciano Spaletti at the mega-rich club.

Since his arrival in Russia things have gone pretty well.

This season they broke the Russian League record for consecutive wins at the start of a season.

In fact, after losing the first leg of a Champions League qualifier against AEL Limassol AVB led Zenit to a fantastic run of 13 straight wins in all competitions - and 16 games undefeated, until last night.

Zenit were defeated by Bayer Leverkusen in Germany after goals from Giulio Donati and Kyriakos Papadopoulos saw the Bundesliga side win their Champions League tie.

And after such a fantastic run of form, this represents AVB's most barren spell in charge of Zenit.

They have now gone four games without a win after drawing their previous three against Spartak Moscow, AS Monaco and Krasnodar.

Previously the club have only gone on a run of two games without victory under the reign of AVB - so this represents the first real test of his ability in Russia.

But he should not be overly concerned.

His team still top the Russian Premier League and face relegation threatened Mordovia Saransk this weekend. When AVB should get back to winning ways.

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