Reigning champions Zenit St Petersburg thrashed FC Krasnodar 5-0 to join CSKA Moscow at the top of the Russian Premier League on Sunday.
CSKA were held to a 2-2 draw with arch-rivals Spartak Moscow and are now level with Zenit on 46 points from 22 matches, five points ahead of third-placed Dynamo Moscow.
Zenit were in complete command from the start of their game, taking the lead in the 24th minute through Russian international striker Alexander Kerzhakov. Kerzhakov added a second six minutes later, firing in from six yards and completed his hat-trick 11 minutes from time with a free-kick.
Midfielder Roman Shirokov and Miguel Danny added one apiece in the remaining time to complete the thrashing.
"I'm pleased with how we played, the result and, of course, with my own performance today," said Kerzhakov said. "We managed to convert almost all of our chances into goals and keep a clean sheet against a very good side."
Spartak, CSKA draw
Spartak and CSKA produced a tough battle at the Luzhniki stadium, with Spartak breaking the dealock just before the break when Brazilian marksman Welliton fired in a rebound following Dmitry Kombarov's shot.
However, CSKA's Ivory Coast striker Seidou Doumbia levelled six minutes after the interval, tallying his 13th goal of the season to put him alongside Kerzhakov as the league's top scorer, while Zoran Tosic gave them the lead in the 69th.
Nigerian forward Emmanuel Emenike made it 2-2 six minutes later, though, beating CSKA goalkeeper Sergei Chepchugov with a sharp strike from just outside the box.
Meanwhile, third-placed Dynamo Moscow enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Spartak Nalchik, with first half goals from German striker Kevin Kuranyi and Dynamo playmaker Igor Semshov.