Three-time former champions Zenit St Petersburg went top of the Russian Premier League with a confident 4-0 win at Rostov on Sunday. Zenit joined nine-time Russian champions Spartak Moscow, who thrashed city rivals CSKA 3-0, and CSKA on 20 points with Zenit taking the summit due to better goal difference.
Zenit's Portuguese midfielder Danny put his side into a 51st minute lead when he received Hulk's precise pass into Rostov's area to send the ball into the net from close range under helpless 'keeper Stipe Pletikosa.
In the 67th minute Zenit midfielder Andrei Arshavin made it 2-0 for Zenit battling with Rostov's South Africa defender Siyanda Xulu to secure his side's well-deserved win. Hulk and Viktor Faizulin added one apiece to secure Zenit's well-deserved win and to send their side top.
Spartak looked more focused than CSKA from the start but missed all of their chances before the 40th minute when their Armenian international midfielder Aras Ozbiliz fired the ball into the back of the net from seven metres on Tino Costa's razor-sharp pass into CSKA's area.
Six minutes after the interval Russian international winger Dmitry Kombarov scored Spartak's second goal with a close-range header after a well-served corner. Spartak's full back Sergey Parshivlyuk completed the thrashing just before the one-hour mark scoring with a seven-metre header from Kombarov's precise left-handed cross.
Spartak manager Valery Karpin expressed his satisfaction both with the result of the match and his team's performance. "My team's perfromance was almost perfect, everything went according to the plan that we worked out for this match," he said. "Of course there were some nervous moments in the beginning of the match as CSKA are very strong opponents but we managed to keep the play under our control. After we have scored the second goal I have no doubts in our win. We were the better side today and won this match deservedly."
Meanwhile, CSKA head coach Leonid Slutsky blamed himself for his team's defeat in Moscow's most famous derby.
"When your team shows terrible football in the clash with bitter rivals there's nobody else to blame except the team's coach," he said. "We need to find out the reason of our poor performance to avoid its repetition in the future."
Minnows Tomsk recorded their season's first win, beating former two-time champions Rubin 2-1 at Kazan to lift themselves one step above bottom place.