CSKA spoil Zenit's title party

Leaders FC Zenit St Petersburg spurned the chance to wrap up the Premier-Liga title with three games to play, losing 3-1 at home to second-placed PFC CSKA Moskva.

Igor Denisov (left) and CSKA's Keisuke Honda compete for possession
Igor Denisov (left) and CSKA's Keisuke Honda compete for possession ©Getty Images

PFC CSKA Moskva kept their slender hopes of winning the Premier-Liga alive by inflicting leaders FC Zenit St Petersburg's first home defeat since August 2009.

The loss leaves Luciano Spalletti's Zenit requiring four points from their last three matches, starting at home to FC Rostov on Sunday, to guarantee the club's second Russian title. CSKA visit PFC Spartak Nalchik the same day unbeaten in 13 games in all competitions and two points clear of FC Rubin Kazan in the battle for the second UEFA Champions League group stage place.

Knowing a draw would have confirmed them as champions, Zenit fell behind after 14 minutes when Vágner Love ducked inside Bruno Alves and powered a shot into the top corner. A loose goal kick from Yuri Zhevnov allowed Mark González to curl in the second 11 minutes before half-time while after the break, with the hosts pressing, Seydou Doumbia outpaced the defence and confirmed only Zenit's second league reverse of the campaign. Alessandro Rosina struck a consolation in added time.