Lokomotiv held by Rubin, Samara win
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Two-time former champions Lokomotiv Moscow failed to regain the outright lead of the Russian Premiership after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Rubin Kazan in their last match before the winter break.

The railway-backed side now jointly lead the league with Zenit St. Petersburg, both clubs having amassed 40 points from 19 matches, four points ahead of third-placed Spartak Moscow, who play Rostov on Sunday.

In heavy snowfall, Lokomotiv pushed for a winner in the second-half, pinning the visitors back.

But the hosts failed to break the deadlock, squandering all of their scoring chances in front of the Rubin net.

Lokomotiv's Vitaliy Denisov saw his last-minute 20-metre effort rebound off the goalpost in a dramatic ending that also saw midfielder Lassana Diarra sent off in injury time for a second bookable offence.

"Today two well-organised teams clashed in a really intense encounter," Lokomotiv manager Leonid Kuchuk said.

"We played well but unfortunately failed to win as Rubin also played some solid football."

In Saturday's other match Samara battled from a goal down to beat hosts Volga Nizhny Novgorod 2-1.

Polish defender Marcin Kowalczyk gave Volga the lead 13 minutes into the match with an 11-metre header from a well-struck free-kick but Samara's Paraguayan striker Luis Caballero levelled 20 minutes later, firing home from 12 metres after a piece of good individual work.

Caballero's strike partner Artem Delkin netted his team's winner in the second minute of injury time with a sharp-angled shot to lift his side into the league's top ten.

"I'm happy to score my first goal in the Premiership. And I'm really delighted that it was the winning goal," Delkin said.

"But it's a pity that I managed to score only in the last match of the year and will have no chance to extend my scoring series!"

After this weekend, there will be no games in the Russian Premier League until the start of March.