Russian reigning champions Zenit St Petersburg remained in the race for the domestic title following a 1-0 home win over minnows Samara on Sunday.
Zenit have collected 47 points from 23 matches to stay eight points behind the leaders CSKA Moscow.
Big-spenders Anzhi Makhachkala missed a chance to add three points to their total with a 0-0 draw against bottom side Alania Vladikavkaz to sit third on 43 points.
Zenit started brightly, pinning Samara back from the start and went into the lead in the 14th minute through Brazilian forward Hulk, who scored with a precise penalty after Samara skipper Petr Nemov fouled him in the area.
Zenit squandered chances while Samara, who desperately needed the points to avoid relegation, missed all of their chances to save the day.
Third-placed Anzhi dominated in their home clash with Alania, making the visiting 'keeper Soslan Dzhanaev the most overworked player and hit the woodwork on four occasions but failed to find the net.
Fourth-placed Rubin Kazan failed to take advantage and narrow the gap on the Makhachkala outfit as they were also held to a 0-0 draw by the hosts Kuban at Krasnodar.