Seydou Doumbia continued his remarkable goalscoring form as PFC CSKA Moskva overcame PFC Spartak Nalchik 4-0, on a night when six hopefuls warmed up for UEFA Champions League action next week.
CSKA required a win to move back within two points of Russian Premier League leaders FC Zenit St Petersburg but the result hung in the balance after 74 minutes when Vágner Love, who had opened the scoring (34), was sent off.
However, Doumbia made it 2-0 with seven minutes remaining before completing his hat-trick with two added-time efforts. The Ivorian striker, the leading scorer in Europe’s elite club competition with four goals in three matches, has now scored back-to-back league trebles following two goals in CSKA’s matchday three win against Trabzonspor AŞ.
FC Viktoria Plzeň went one better than CSKA as they beat FC Hradec Králové 5-0 to rise to second in the Czech First League, Marek Bakoš scoring twice, while FC Porto also cruised to victory as they downed FC Paços de Ferreira 3-0 to move three points clear in the Portuguese Liga.
One goal was enough for Bayer 04 Leverkusen to edge hosts SC Freiburg, Michael Ballack grabbing the winner after two minutes, and for FC Oţelul Galaţi to see off CS Gaz Metan Mediaş. APOEL FC could not claim three points, but they did complete a clean sweep of clean sheets for the UEFA Champions League sides with a goalless draw at home to Anorthosis Famagusta FC.
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