Champions take control after CSKA draw

Champions Zenit St Petersburg jumped to the top of the Russian Premier League table today with a 3-0 thrashing of visiting Samara.

Zenit have 13 points from six matches, which puts them one point ahead of second-placed Kuban Krasnodar, with CSKA Moscow third on 11 points with a game in hand.

Zenit took an early lead after 11 minutes when striker Alexander Kerzhakov fired home a well-struck free-kick following a foul on Alexandedr Bukharov.

We created plenty of chances today with ease and managed to score three goals.
Luciano Spalletti, Zenit St Petersburg coach

The hosts continued to dominate at the Petrovsky stadium but missed all their chances before Serb forward Danko Lazovic found the net after 81 minutes. Second-half substitute Lazovic claimed his second four minutes later.

"Every match in the Russian league is tough," said Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti. "We created plenty of chances today with ease and managed to score three goals, it's a good per cent of conversion."

Kuban Krasnodar had taken the provisional lead yesterday with a tight 1-0 win at Volga Nizhny Novgorod thanks to a 72nd-minute goal from midfielder Vladislav Kulik.

CSKA lose lead at Tomsk
CSKA Moscow, who shared the lead with Zenit before this weekend's round of matches, were overtaken after a 1-1 draw with Tomsk.

The Red Army side took the lead in the 28th minute when their Côte d’Ivoire striker Seydou Doumbia headed into goal from Serb Zoran Tosic's well-served corner.

But the Muscovites failed to hold their advantage as Tomsk upped the tempo after the break and pulled level on the hour mark through forward Maxim Kanunnikov, whom they took from Zenit on loan.

In the day's other games, Spartak Moscow were 1-0 winners at home to Spartak Nalchik, while Rubin Kazan and Amkar Perm drew 1-1.