Champions CSKA, Zenit start with wins
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Reigning champions CSKA Moscow and last season's runners-up Zenit St. Petersburg began the new Russian Premier League campaign in winning fashion, defeating Torpedo Moscow and Arsenal Tula respectively.

Italian full-back Domenico Criscito scored a brace either side of strikes by Salomon Rondon and Hulk as Zenit won 4-0 at Tula, while Seydou Doumbia set CSKA on their way to a 4-1 win against capital rivals Torpedo.

Zenit's campaign had begun with a 1-0 defeat in midweek against AEL Limassol in Cyprus in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie, a game in which Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel was sent off.

But they received a boost ahead of the decisive return leg of that tie with a comprehensive victory against their promoted opponents.

Criscito, Rondon and Brazilian international Hulk all found the net in the first half before Criscito headed home his second and Zenit's fourth goal midway through the second period.

"We had to repair the damage done to our image after the Champions League and I think we have done it," said coach Andre Villas-Boas, who is beginning his first full season in charge.

"We played good football and created plenty of chances and hopefully this win will boost our confidence."

Argentina FIFA World Cup™ defender Ezequiel Garay made his Russian league debut for Zenit following his recent transfer from Portuguese champions Benfica.

At the Arena Khimki, CSKA began their title defence against a Torpedo side playing their first top-flight game since 2006.

And it was Torpedo who opened the scoring when midfielder Semen Fomin capitalised on a defensive blunder to net with just five minutes played.

However, the game changed just after the half-hour mark when Vladimir Rykov was sent off after giving away a penalty which was converted by Ivorian striker Doumbia, the league's leading scorer last season with 18 goals.

Forward Kirill Panchenko, a summer signing from Tom Tomsk, then put CSKA ahead just prior to the break, with Dmitry Aidov putting through his own net in the 49th minute before Brazilian substitute Vitinho added a fourth goal late on.

In Saturday's other match, Mordovia Saransk came from behind to beat Ural Yekaterinburg 3-2.

Spartak Moscow were resounding 4-0 winners at Rubin Kazan on Friday, while Dinamo Moscow and Lokomotiv Moscow both kick-off their campaigns on Sunday.