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Zenit beat CSKA to claim Russian Super Cup

Aleksei Ionov scored the only goal as league champions FC Zenit St Petersburg defeated runners-up PFC CSKA Moskva 1-0 to lift the Russian Super Cup.

Luciano Spalletti's Zenit beat CSKA 1-0
Luciano Spalletti's Zenit beat CSKA 1-0 ©Getty Images

League champions FC Zenit St Petersburg have added the Russian Super Cup to their list of honours after beating PFC CSKA Moskva 1-0.

Zenit, who also claimed the Russian Cup last term, had to endure some difficult moments during the first half as Seydou Doumbia hit the bar and Vágner Love missed the target with only goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev to beat. Luciano Spalletti's side nonetheless held firm against league runners-up CSKA and eventually prevailed through substitute Aleksei Ionov 17 minutes from time.

"Everything is important in these kinds of matches – mentality, fitness and tactics," said Spalletti afterwards. "But the main thing is your character and the absence of fear. I want to thank my players for this trophy. I am also grateful to all the staff here at Zenit as their work is really important to our success."

The Army Men were the better side before the break and were left ruing their luck on more than one occasion, with Alan Dzagoev failing to convert from seven metres out in addition to the missed chances from Love and Doumbia. The match changed after the interval, however, and Zenit duly broke the deadlock when Ionov registered following good work from former CSKA captain Sergei Semak.

Both sides will resume UEFA Europa League duty in the round of 16 on Thursday, when Zenit visit FC Twente and the capital club host FC Porto.