Zenit beats CSKA in clash of table-toppers

Zenit were confident 2-0 winners away at Russian Premier League leaders CSKA to heat up the battle for the top spot in the table.

­CSKA Moscow 0-2 Zenit St. Petersburg

Both sides were struggling with injuries before the starting whistle. Tomas Necid, Mark Gonzales and Georgiy Schennikov were sidelined for the Muscovites.

The visitors, for their part, were missing Sergey Semak and the league’s top scorer, Danko Lazovic, and were set to give Italian international defender Domenico Criscito his debut.

It appeared Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti was better at coping without his stars, as the St. Petersburg side cruised to a well-deserved win at Khimki Arena just outside the Russian capital.

Their goal in the first half was annulled due to an offside call, which looked like a rather doubtful decision from the referee. But after the half, they continued to increase their pressure on CSKA.

Two goals within one minute decided the fate of the game.

Aleksandr Kerzhakov netted the opener with a header in the 54th minute and – just seconds later – Aleksandr Anyukov upset home keeper Igor Akinfeev from close range to settle the final score, 2-0.

CSKA stays on top of the table, but the loss see the gap with second-place Zenit shrinking to just two points.

Anzhi Makhachkala 2-0 FC Tom

Anzhi unveiled their newest signing, Russian international midfielder Yury Zhirkov, ahead of their home game against Tom, whom they beat 2-0 thanks to goals from Aleksandr Prudnikov and Ma’hach Gad’zhiev.

The 27-year-old Zhirkov joined the Makhachkala club from Chelsea on a four-year-deal and hopes to play in next week’s game against Spartak Moscow.

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