21:08 GMT +319 February 2018
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    Zenit left reeling by Sevilla defeat in UEFA Cup quarterfinals

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    MOSCOW, March 31 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's sole remaining representative in this season's European club soccer competitions is poised on the brink of elimination after being humiliated in the first leg of its UEFA Cup quarterfinal Thursday night.

    Zenit St. Petersburg faces a massive task to overturn its 4-1 thumping at the hands of Spanish club Sevilla. Argentina national-team forward Javier Saviola scored twice for the Spanish team as Zenit pressed the self-destruct button, with central defender Erik Hagen and key striker Andrei Arshavin getting sent off in the second half.

    Hagen was dismissed for scything down Malian striker Frederic Kanoute in the penalty box, and Jose Luis Marti converted the spot-kick.

    Arshavin had provided the cross for Alexander Kerzhakov to equalize just before halftime, after Saviola opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Saviola completed his double in the 80th minute, and Arhshavin saw red 10 minutes later.

    Adriano completed Zenit's misery by adding a fourth in injury time.

    Both Hagen and Arshavin will miss the return match at St. Petersburg's Petrovsky Stadium, scheduled for April 6.

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