Oscar Cardozo came within inches of sealing a UEFA Champions League hat-trick, but his brace for Benfica saw the see off Spartak Moscow and maintain their hopes of escaping Group G.
Samuel Eto'o was on target as Anzhi Makhachkala won 3-0 at Spartak Moscow, Krylya Sovetov beat ten-man Rostov 2-1, while Lokomotiv Moscow and Rubin Kazan drew 0-0.
Spartak Moscow have tied down Argentine defender Nicolas Pareja for the next five years, after the Russian Premier League side agreed a contract extension until 2016.
Zenit St Petersburg were held to a 2-2 draw by Spartak Moscow, missing their chance to extend their lead at the top of the Russian Premier League, while Lokomotiv Moscow moved up with a win over Anzhi Makhachkala.
Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o scored his second goal in as many matches to seal a 2-1 win for Anzhi Makhachkala over Volga Nizhny, while Spartak Moscow edged Amkar 1-0.
Ajax coach Frank de Boer believes his team's pressing style will be the right approach for the club in taking on their last-16 UEFA Europa League opponent, Spartak Moscow, tomorrow.