Rubin Kazan capped a memorable week with a 2-1 win at Rostov that took them back to the top of the table.
Rubin, who stunned Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, led 2-0 at half-time thanks to goals from Alejandro Dominguez and Cristian Ansaldi.
Mersudin Ahmetovic pulled one back at the start of the second period, but the visitors held on to re-establish their one-point advantage over Spartak Moscow.
Zenit St. Petersburg lost ground on the top two with a 2-2 home draw against Spartak Nalchik.
FC Moscow moved up to fourth after winning 3-1 at city-rivals CSKA. The game was effectively over inside 39 minutes as the visitors surged ahead through goals from Dmitri Tarasov, Alexei Rebko and Alexandru Epureanu. Tomas Necid pulled one back for a below-par CSKA.
Dinamo Moscow drew 1-1 at struggling Kuban Krasnodar while the day's other game, between Amkar Perm and Tomsk, finished goalless.