Finland 0-1 Russia: Player ratings as Aleksei Miranchuk magic gives Russia Euro 2020 lift off

Russia secured a vital win
Russia secured a vital win / Kirill Kudryavtsev - Pool/Getty Images

Russia claimed a vital 1-0 victory over Finland on Wednesday afternoon, keeping their hopes of progressing to the Euro 2020 knockout rounds alive in Saint Petersburg.

Finland thought they'd taken the lead inside five minutes, but Joel Pohjanpalo's neat header was ruled out for offside by VAR, and the teams remained level. It was Russia who did break the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, and in superb fashion, too.

Aleksei Miranchuk played a neat one-two on the edge of the box, jinked inside onto his left foot and curled a stunning strike into the top corner, sending the home crowd wild.

Both sides had chances in the second half, with Teemu Pukki testing Matvey Safonov, and Russia substitute Rifat Zhemaletdinov dragging an effort agonisingly wide of the far post. Finland pushed to find an equaliser, but they eventually came up short, allowing Russia to take a first step towards the round of 16.

Let's check out the player ratings.


1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

The General / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/Getty Images

Lukas Hradecky (GK) - 7/10 - Looked a bit shaky with the ball at his feet, surrendering possession on more than one occasion. No chance with stopping Miranchuk's beaut. Unbelievable save to keep Finland in the game late on.

Joona Tolivio (CB) - 6/10 - Really struggled against the height and brutish strength of Artem Dzyuba, and had to settle for grappling with the giant's waist as he waited for the ball to plummet onto his head.

Paulus Arajuuri (CB) - 7/10 - Relished the physical battles, charging into tackles and leaping to win the odd aerial duel. A solid, commanding presence at the heart of the defence.

Daniel O'Shaughnessy (CB) - 6/10 -
Got tangled up with a fellow defender and almost allowed Dzyuba to tap home, but the forward was too slow. Otherwise, decent.

2. Wing-Backs & Midfielders

Glen Kamara, Magomed Ozdoev
On the charge / Anatoly Maltsev - Pool/Getty Images

Jukka Raitala (RWB) - 6/10 - Did excellently against Russia's main threat of Golovin in the first half, only allowing the odd cross to float in from his flank. Struggled in the second half as his opponent grew in stature.

Rasmus Schuller (CM) - 6/10 - On the back foot as Russia controlled the midfield battle, but didn't give up the ghost. Played higher up the pitch in the second half, trying to add an extra body to attacks.

Robin Lod (CM) - 6/10 - Plenty of energy and running in that midfield, although his touch let him down on a couple of occasions. Had a great chance in the second half with plenty of space, but saw his shot blocked.

Glen Kamara (CM) - 7/10 - Took a nasty blow to the ankle in the first half, but kept on plugging away. Gave one back and picked up a yellow card. The pick of the midfield trio.

Jere Uronen (LWB) - 8/10 - Came flying back to snake out a boot and flick the ball out for a corner, when it so easily could have been turned home. Goal-saving.

3. Forwards

Joel Pohjanpalo
Short-lived / Anton Vaganov - Pool/Getty Images

Teemu Pukki (ST) - 7/10 - Did more of the dirty work to link up the midfield and attack. Tested the keeper from inside the box but couldn't find the corner of the net. The biggest threat by the end, until strangely subbed.

Joel Pohjanpalo (ST) - 6/10 - Thought he'd given his nation the lead, only for the goal to be disallowed. A menace running in behind, twice catching the Russia defence sleeping in the first half.

4. Substitutes

Joni Kauko (CM) - 5/10

Pyry Soiri (CM) - 6/10

Lassi Lappalainen (ST) - 6/10

Frederik Jensen (RW) - 6/10


5. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Joel Pohjanpalo
A goal-saving tackle / Lars Baron/Getty Images

Matvey Safonov (GK) - 7/10 - Reactive and alert to fly out of his goal and head the ball away from Pukki when clean through. Handled everything Finland threw at him with relative comfort.

Mario Fernandes (RB) - 6/10 - Flew down the wing and threw himself into the box to get on the end of crosses. Flew too high, landed with a horrific thud and had to be substituted. Looked nasty, let's hope it's not too serious.

Igor Diveev (CB) - 8/10 - Unbelievable recovering tackle to deny Pohjanpalo when clean through on goal. As vital as a goal. Produced a second equally crucial intervention in the second half.

Georgiy Dzhikiya (CB) - 7/10 - Headed everything out of the box that came his way in the first half. Led by example at the back and battled on through injury.

Daler Kuzyaev (LB) - 7/10 - Looked to make an impact in the final third, and saw his chance of glory blocked by Dzyuba's unnecessary intervention. Thought he'd scored, but his curler was somehow tipped round the post.

6. Midfielders

Glen Kamara, Roman Zobnin
Eyes on the ball / Kirill Kudryavtsev - Pool/Getty Images

Roman Zobnin (CM) - 8/10 - Tidy in possession and the smart passer in the midfield, always looking to get on the ball and bring others into play. A talented player.

Dmitri Barinov (CM) - 7/10 - Dropped in defensively to help out, and took a yellow for a cynical foul on Kamara. A warrior in the middle, allowing little past him.

Magomed Ozdoev (CM) - 6/10 - Blazed a brilliant opportunity over the bar from only six yards out. Got to be hitting the target there. Booked for a late challenge on Kamara.

7. Forwards

Aleksei Miranchuk
A moment of genius / Kirill Kudryavtsev - Pool/Getty Images

Aleksei Miranchuk (RW) - 8/10 - Broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, working the tiniest of spaces to curl the ball into the far corner. A brilliant goal from a magician in the final third.

Artem Dzyuba (ST) - 7/10 - Such a terrifying presence. Reacted slowly when a loose ball flashed across him. Just poke it home, man! Impossible to win a header against him, ever.

Aleksandr Golovin (LW) - 8/10 - Created a couple of nice early chances, and helped his team break up the field with pace. Fizzed a shot towards goal in the second half, which whistled past the post. Showed his quality.

8. Substitutes

Vyacheslav Karavayev (RB) - 7/10

Rifat Zhemaletdinov (RW) - 7/10

Aleksandr Sobolev (ST) - 6/10

Maksim Mukhin (CM) - 6/10