Brazilian veteran Roberto Carlos, the co-manager of big-spending side Anzhi Makhachkala, finally notched his first win in the Russian Premier League with a 2-1 success over visiting Amkar Perm.
Russian international left winger Yury Zhirkov, who joined Anzhi in August from Chelsea, put Anzhi into the lead, firing home a rebound after a corner with a help of a ricochet three minutes before the break.
Cameroonian international striker Samuel Eto'o added a goal with nine minutes to go, firing into the top right corner from 20 metres to secure Anzhi a well-deserved win. Amkar's Ukrainian forward Ilya Mikhalev netted a late consolation in injury time with a ten-metre header but failed to save a point.
The win ended Anzhi's five-match winless streak and assured the side a top-eight placing, sending them through to the title phase.
"We dominated the playing and should have scored much more goals today," Zhirkov said. "But after missing a series of chances we lost the initiative and allowed Amkar to score. Luckily we managed to keep our lead through and clinch a place in the upper half of the league to play for the title next year."
Spartak see off Lokomotiv
Meanwhile, nine-time champions Spartak Moscow thrashed 3-0 city rivals Lokomotiv thanks to a hat-trick by Nigerian forward Emmanuel Emenike. The win ended Lokomotiv's 12-match unbeaten streak under Portuguese manager Jose Couceiro.
Spartak started in lively fashion, clinching the lead in the second minute through Emenike, who sent the ball into an unguarded post from three metres following Aiden McGeady's short cross.
Lokomotiv poured on the attack seeking an equaliser, but Emenike made it 2-0 for Spartak in the 15th minute firing home from the edge of the box. Emenike completed his hat-trick six minutes after the interval, scoring again from the edge of the area past Lokomotiv Brazilian goalkeeper Guilherme.
In the closing stages, Lokomotiv's Nigerian striker Victor Obinna reduced his team's chances of saving the day as he was sent off for two bookable offences, the pair of yellows received within just two minutes.