Rubin Kazan added three points to their balance with a 2-1 win at Grozny today.
The result lifted the reigning champions into third, with eight points from four matches, one point behind Samara and Dinamo Moscow. However, Zenit will return to the summit if they overcome Perm at home tomorrow.
Kazan dominated play from the start and went into the lead in the 18th minute through captain Sergei Semak, before Argentinian forward Alejandro Dominguez added a second just two minutes later with a precise free-kick.
Shamil Lakhiyalov reduced the arrears in the last minute, but failed to save the day for Grozny.
"We were a bit afraid of Grozny ahead of the match as they look pretty good this season," said Kazan coach Kurban Berdyev. "But we scored twice early within three minutes and had few problems in the remaining time."
Spartak tumble in Moscow derby
Meanwhile, FC Moscow recorded their first win of the season by upsetting Spartak Moscow 3-1 in their derby. The home side got off to a flying start through Lithuanian midfielder Edgaras Cesnauskis, who scored when the game was just one minute old by firing a rebound under the crossbar from close range.
Fifteen minutes later, defender Alexander Epureanu made it 2-0 with a close-range header from Alexander Samedov's well-struck free-kick from the left. In the 70th minute, Dmitry Tarasov netted FC Moscow's third with a header from another Samedov freekick.
Brazilian midfielder Alex could only sweeten the bitter pill for Spartak, scoring from the spot with three minutes remaining after another Brazilian, Welliton, went down in their box.