Zenit narrow gap with leaders CSKA

Champions Zenit have narrowed the gap to five points with Russian Premier League leaders CSKA Moscow and returned intrigue to the competition. The teams will go head-to-head in Moscow in a crucial game next week.

Zenit 1-0 Spartak Nalchik

Zenit are currently second in the Russian Premier League, but have closed the gap on CSKA to five points after a 1-0 win over Spartak Nalchik.

Luciano Spaletti’s side took the lead after 23 minutes, when Viktor Fayzulin paired up with Aleksandr Kerzhakov to head home the only goal of the game.

The St. Petersburg side hang on to their narrow lead to pick up their eighth win in a row.

With the Russian transfer window opening today, Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti says he intends to strengthen his side in time for the Champions League.

FC Krasnodar 1-1 CSKA

CSKA had the chance to restore their seven-point lead at Krasnodar, and took an early lead thanks to Keisuke Honda.

But despite missing a penalty, the home side eventually found a second-half equalizer through Andrey Mikheyev.

Dynamo Moscow 2-0 Volga

Dynamo Moscow maintained their top-three position with a 2-0 victory over stubborn Volga.

The new boys were reduced to ten men, approaching the half hour. Gia Grigalava picked up two yellow cards in just over a minute.

With its one-man advantage Dynamo then scored a beauty through Igor Semshov, while Aleksandr Samedov completed the scoreline in injury time.

Rostov 0-3 Lokomotiv

Loko’s captain Dmitry Loskov netted the first, and his third in as many games.

Dmitry Sychev then doubled the lead from the spot after Isaac Okoronko’s handball.

And Dmitry Tarasov got the third late in the game to mark a great start for new manager Jose Couceiro, who has now two wins from two as head of Lokomotiv with his team’s scoring record 7-0.

Rubin 0-3 Anzhi

In-form Anzhi have leapfrogged Rubin into fourth spot following a shock 3-0 trouncing of the twice former champions on their home turf in Kazan.

The first half was a tentative affair. Then, six minutes after the interval, Brazil legend Roberto Carlos aimed a long-range free-kick at goal. Rubin net-minder Sergey Ryzhikov was guilty of a howler as Makhach Gadzhiev finished it off.

Then midway through the second half, Mbark Boussoufa’s cross found the head of Aleksandr Prudnkiov who stunned the unfortunate Ryzhikov for his first top-flight goal in almost three years.

And things went from bad to worse for Rubin after Anzhi were awarded a stoppage-time penalty.

Boussoufa had to retake the spot-kick but he actually netted both attempts to complete the 3-0 scoreline, and send Anzhi’s following into raptures.

Spartak Moskow 1-1 Kuban

Spartak Moscow are now two points further back to Rubin following a disappointing 1-1 draw against Kuban at the Luzhniki Arena.

Welliton saved at least some of the Spartak blushes courtesy of a 52nd-minute equalizer.

Tom 0-1 Terek

The Chechen side won 1-0 at Tom thanks to a goalkeeping blunder five minutes after the interval.

A speculative Levani Gvazava free-kick was inexplicably fumbled by Sergey Pesyakov, and Shamil Asildarov was left with a simple tap-in.

That proved to be the difference.

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