Zenit were the most convincing of champions after spending 28 of the 30 rounds in first place and leaving no doubt, which was the best team in Russia. This despite the fact that not a single new player was signed last summer and Semak was appointed in charge for what was his first managerial job at senior level.
Having big squad from previous years Zenit hit the ground running straight away and with just 2 points dropped in the first 8 rounds they took control.
Some doubts appeared during the long winter break as 3 defeats in the last 4 rounds of 2018 left Zenit with only a point advantage at the top before the restart in March.
Semak got busy on the transfer market during the winter though and by adding 1 key player for every area of the pitch, Rakitskiy, Barrios and Azmoun joined, plus recalling Rigoni from loan in Italy he guided Zenit to 9 wins, 3 draws and just 1 defeat in 2019. This saw the title won with 2 games to spare.
Many players impressed during the campaign, all of the 4 new additions to the team during the winter were particularly good in 2019, but it was Dzyuba’s contributions throughout the entire season that made him Player of the Year.
With Semak now settled in charge, great strengthening already taking place in the winter and impressive depth Zenit will aim even higher next season.