£15m former Arsenal star in shock cup exit to third tier Russian side

Zenit St Petersburg and Andrei Arshavin have been dumped out of the Russian Cup by little known minnows FC Tyumen.

The doom and gloom merchants are back in business at The Emirates, after The Gunners were dumped out of their first competition of the season on Tuesday night. They were soundly beaten by a simply better Chelsea second string at The Emirates, leaving Wenger with just the three shots at a trophy in 2013-14.

So Arsenal may have been dumped out of the Capital One Cup, but trust me, it was not as bad a defeat as the one a former Arsenal player suffered just 24 hours later.

The player in question is Andrei Arshavin, who Arsenal allowed to leave on a free transfer at the end of last season.

Arshavin had some of his best moments as a Gunner in cup competitions, who can forget the memorable four goals he scored against Liverpool and his outstanding performance against Barcelona - two glimpses of his obvious talent that are rightfully overshadowed by the mediocrity and apparent laziness that blighted the rest of his four year stint in the capital - as he rarely justified his reported £15 million price-tag.

But yesterday afternoon was certainly one he will want to forget, and forget fast - as he played 90 minutes for a Zenit St Petersburg team dumped out of the Russian Cup by FC Tyumen - the current league leaders in the Russian third tier.

Tyumen won 2-0 with goals from Mikhail Kanaev and an own goal by Egor Baburin, against a strong Zenit side containing the likes of Arshavin, Alexander Tymoshchuk and Domenico Criscito.

Zenit were not the only Russian big boys sent packing in the fifth round, the round where the Russian Premier League sides join the competition.

Luch-Energiya Vladivostok knocked out Rubin Kazan, Salyut Belgorod defeated Dynamo Moscow while Lokomotiv were defeated on penalties by Rotor Volgograd - leaving this years Russian Cup already wide open.

But Zenit’s defeat, because it was against third and not second tier opposition is by far the most shocking, and it leaves Arshavin without a chance of winning the cup this season - but at least his Zenit side are top of the league, just like Arsenal.

image: © Ronie Macdonald

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