FC Zenit St. Peterburg have overhauled FC Krylya Sovietov Samara at the top of the Russian Premier League thanks to a 2-0 Monday win at FC Dinamo Moskva.
Spartak beat leaders
Krylya Sovetov's recent four-game winning run came to an abrupt end two days previously as they crashed to a 3-1 defeat at FC Spartak Moskva. It had started brightly for the visitors to the Luzhniki stadium after midfield player Jóse Souza had opened the scoring on ten minutes.
However, Spartak were to score three times before the break. They levelled eight minutes after the opener when Roman Pavlyuchenko scored for the second time in three games. Midfield player Alexandr Samedov put the home side ahead just before the half hour, and 19-year-old striker Nikita Bazhenov added a crucial third in first-half injury time to double the lead.
Zenit, who has lost the league lead a fortnight ago, took full advantage of Krylya Sovetov's slip despite ending with nine men at lowly Dinamo. Aleksandr Kerzhakov scored on two and 20 minutes for Zenit, who held on despite losing Daniel Kiritse to a second yellow card eleven minutes from time and then Lukas Hartig to a straight red in the final seconds. They now lead by two points with nine games left.
However, Krylya Sovetov remain in the top two as their other rivals FC Lokomotiv Moskva lost 2-1 against second-bottom FC Kuban Krasnodar on Sunday. After Kuban had taken a two-goal lead through Stanislav Lysenko and Ricardo, Dmitri Khokhlov gave Lokomotiv a lifeline midway through the second half but the equaliser proved elusive.
Lokomotiv's city rivals PFC CSKA Moskva had a more productive weekend, winning 1-0 against FC Saturn Moskovskaya Oblast on Sunday. Dmitri Kirichenko scored the only goal of the game with just three minutes remaining to lift his side up to second. FC Shinnik Yaroslav also left it late against FC Torpedo Moskva with two goals in the last ten minutes clinching a 3-1 win.
SC Rotor Volgograd gained only their ninth point of the season in a 1-1 draw with mid-table outfit FC Moskva. Spartak Gogniev gave the bottom side the lead on 60 minutes, but it lasted less than two minutes as Héctor Bracamonte equalised. The game between FC Alania Vladikavka and SC Rotor Volgograd ended goalless in Sunday's remaining game, while the next day FC Rubin Kazan and FC Amkar Perm drew 2-2 to remain in reach of the relegation zone.
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