FC Lokomotiv Moskva ended their disappointing year on a high with a convincing win against Maccabi Petach-Tikva FC, thereby progressing to the UEFA Cup knockout stage.
Dmitri Loskov, who scored a hat-trick against Brøndby IF in the Railwaymen's previous Group B fixture, had kickstarted the victory before two goals from Igor Lebedenko and one from Francesco Ruopolo in a six-minute barrage after the interval settled it.
Lokomotiv started brightly as Malkhaz Asatiani's left-footed shot forced Maccabi goalkeeper Ohad Cohen into action inside the first 60 seconds. Cohen then kept out a close-range header from Igor Lebedenko after a cross from Asatiani.
Maccabi mounted their first attack on eleven minutes as striker Omer Golan headed wide from a Stanislav Dubrovin cross. The opening goal came 15 minutes later following a foul by Morad Megamadov on Ruopolo. Loskov curled a brilliant right-footed free-kick into the top left-hand corner from outside the penalty area.
Lebedenko headed over soon after and Loskov missed another chance before Lebedenko forced Cohen into action again. Dubrovin had two more headers for Maccabi, the first saved by Aleksei Poliakov and the second flying over the crossbar.
Three goals in six minutes after the interval quickly killed the contest. Lebedenko scored twice in a minute, first by finishing off a fine Asatiani run before then converting from Ruopolo's pass. Provider became scorer when Ruopolo made it 4-0 from the edge of the area with a shot that deceived Cohen in the Maccabi goal.
Maccabi's miserable night continued when Salim Toema's penalty was saved by Poliakov and substitute Adham Hadiya saw his effort stopped, while at the other end Lebedenko was denied by Cohen. Maccabi battled in vain for a consolation but there was no way back and the Railwaymen, who had just one point from their opening two matches, cruised through.