A hat-trick by Armenian forward Yura Movsisyan helped nine-time Russian Premier League champions Spartak Moscow beat league leaders Zenit St Petersburg 4-2 on Sunday. The result ended Zenit's 13-match unbeaten run and lifted Spartak into joint second, level on 33 points with city rivals Lokomotiv and just three points behind the table-toppers.
Zenit got off to a lively start, taking the lead in the sixth minute when Russia forward Alexander Kerzhakov converted a precise left-wing cross from Italian full-back Domenico Criscito. Brazilian forward Hulk missed a clear opportunity to increase his side's lead in the 19th minute when his spotkick was stopped by goalkeeper Artyom Rebrov.
Zenit midfielder Viktor Faizulin and Hulk squandered more chances before Movsisyan pulled the scores level in the 33rd minute with a header from a corner. Movsisyan put Spartak into the lead with just a minute remaining before the break, firing the ball home from close range after Slovakian full-back Tomas Hubocan's schoolboy error.
Movsisyan completed his hat-trick three minutes after the interval when redirecting Argentinian midfielder Tino Costa's cross into the net. Hulk reduced the arrears in the 64th minute, beating Rebrov with a powerful free-kick but Denis Glushakov restored his side's two-goal lead when he rounded off the scoring with seven minutes to go.
"We started the match really badly," Glushakov said. "We allowed Zenit too much and we made too many mistakes in the opening 25 minutes. Luckily we managed to seize the initiative and clinch the lead before the break. The save from Hulk's spotkick was probably the key moment of the match. Artyom (Rebrov) has performed great services today for our win."
CSKA see off Terek
Meanwhile, reigning champions CSKA experienced few troubles on their way to a confident 4-1 win over visitors Terek Grozny, who were playing their first match under new manager Rashid Rakhimov. Ivory Coast forward Seydou Doumbia lifted the Red Army side 1-0 up in the ninth minute, knocking home Bulgarian Georgi Milanov's left-wing cross from close range.
Serbian midfielder Zoran Tosic made it 2-0 for CSKA in the 20th mnute, while Russian international full back Sergei Ignashevich gave CSKA a commanding 3-0 advantage just four minutes later. In the 38th minute Doumbia netted his second of the match from the spot after he had been fouled. Brazilian forward Ailton Almeida scored the visitors' consolation goal in the 72nd minute.